Costs for everyday items have been rising across the country. That’s why it’s important to save on the essentials whenever possible.
Joining a warehouse club is one great way to do this. Not only will you save money on gas, but you’ll save money on other necessities and groceries too.
Though my husband and I are Costco members, we’ve found the groceries we buy at BJ’s Wholesale to be cheaper, and we also save an additional 10 cents per gallon on gas when we use our BJ’s card, which makes it totally worth it. This extra savings means the gas beats the price at Costco!
However, not every state has a BJ’s Wholesale. BJ’s Wholesale locations are scattered throughout the Northeast and Southeast. As of this writing, the company has 222 stores in 17 states.
You can get a year-long membership for just $25. That’s $30 off if you’re joining as a new member.
20 Money-Saving Grocery Items at BJ’s Wholesale
My comparison is between BJ’s Wholesale and what I’ll refer to as “my favorite grocery store” without naming names. Though the favorite store is within walking distance of my house, I have found it’s worth it to drive to the next town to get to our nearest BJ’s Wholesale Club. Also, the drive-up pickup option is super easy to use, and it saves me at least an hour each week. For 52 hours of my time back per year and all this cash, to me, it’s worth it to shop at BJ’s.
Below are some things we buy regularly that add up to $2,510 per year. Note that the prices below are those I found on or around September 15, 2021, at a BJ’s Wholesale and a grocery store near Atlanta, Georgia.
1. Deli Turkey: $260 per Year Savings
My husband is awesome. He often makes his own lunch, but when he needs a break from the monotony, he’ll get a meal out.
I typically buy two pounds of lunch meat per week. This covers most weekday lunches and a couple of meals on the weekend for us as well.
At our favorite grocery store, store brand oven-roasted turkey is $8.99 per pound. At our local BJ’s, the house brand is $6.49 per pound, and sometimes there’s an additional $1 off coupon per pound. If we buy two pounds per week, that’s $934.96 per year (gasp!) of lunch meat at the favorite store.
Compare that to $674.96 per week at BJ’s, and you’re saving $260 per year, without the additional $1 off coupons you’ll find on occasion.
2. Sliced Cheese: $62 per Year Savings
You can’t have a sandwich or wrap without cheese (or at least I can’t). A package of 44 slices of provolone cheese is currently $6.99 at BJ’s Wholesale; that’s 16 cents per slice. The store brand of provolone cheese at the favorite store is $3.29 per package for 10 slices, making it 33 cents per slice.
If we use one slice of cheese per day on average, that’s about $58.40 annually for the cheese at BJ’s, whereas at the other store it’s $120.45. This means a savings of $62.05 yearly.
3. Yogurt: $247 per Year Savings
Our favorite yogurt as of late has been Dannon Oikos yogurt because it’s extremely low in sugar and high in protein. A container of Oikos typically costs $1.25 at my favorite store, but buying a big pack at BJ’s makes them $.72 each. Sometimes BJ’s will also have a coupon, like right now for $2.25 off, which makes them as low as 60 cents each.
Even without the coupon, buying one pack of these at BJ’s Wholesale every two weeks means we spend $337.74 per year. Compared to $585 buying the same amount of yogurt at our other store, this saves us $247.26.
4. Hummus: $192 per Year Savings
At BJ’s, a 30-ounce tub of Sabra hummus is $5.99, and sometimes there is a $1.50 off coupon. A 17-ounce tub of this at my other favorite grocery store costs $5.49. That’s the largest size available at that store.
So at 19 cents per ounce at BJ’s versus 32 cents, that adds up. Buying one tub a week at BJ’s costs $311.48, while buying the same amount at my favorite grocery store would cost $503.78. That’s $192.31 in annual savings.
5. Aidell’s Chicken Sausage and Meatballs: $259 per Year Savings
Let’s face it, sometimes you just need to make an easy dinner. I love having frozen chicken and veggies on hand to make a quick chicken stir-fry, and it’s also nice because the ingredients stay fresh in the freezer.
Aidell’s chicken sausage and meatballs save plenty of dinners when there’s not a lot of time. A 12-ounce package sells for $5.99 at our favorite store, while a 32-ounce package is $10.99 at BJ’s. As of this writing, one of the flavors had a $5 coupon.
Without the coupon, if we use one of these 32-ounce $10.99 packs per week, that’s $571.48 a year. Compared to the same amount at the favorite store, that comes out to $15.97 per pack: $830.61 per year. Total savings? A whopping $259.13 per year.
6. Tyson Black Pepper Chicken: $120 per Year Savings
As I mentioned above, I’m always glad when we can save money and time. Cooking is not my favorite thing, so having something on hand that’s quick and easy to prepare is a lifesaver for me. We also try to eat as low-carb as possible, which typically means we have a protein and a vegetable for dinner.
Though they aren’t exactly the same, this Tyson black pepper chicken is comparable to another seasoned Tyson chicken. For this example, I chose a blackened variety of frozen chicken at the favorite store.
The black pepper chicken at BJ’s is $14.99 for 48 ounces, while the blackened chicken is $10.49 for 20 ounces at the favorite store, making them 31 cents and 52 cents per ounce respectively.
Buying one pack per month at BJ’s means it costs $179.88 annually without additional coupons, while buying the similar seasoned chicken at the favorite store costs $299.52, adjusting per ounce. That means a savings of $119.64 per year.
7. Dole Peaches in a Cup, 100% Fruit Juice: $53 per Year Savings
My husband consistently takes these to work in his lunch, and I snag one every so often. At the favorite store, it’s $7.75 for a 12-pack, whereas at BJ’s Wholesale it’s $7.99 for a 16-pack. So, for 50 cents at BJ’s, that’s roughly $182.27 per year in peach cups, while the favorite store is 64 cents, or $235.73 per year, making this item’s savings $53.46 annually.
8. Vegan Cheese: $78 per Year Savings
I know this is an unusual item to include, but I rarely eat dairy with the exception of yogurt. This item typically runs $4.99 for 10 slices at our favorite store, while I can find a different brand that tastes just as good for $6.99 for 20 slices at BJ’s.
The 35 cents per slice beats the other favorite store brand’s 50 cents per slice. Buying this item once every other week (20 slices) costs $181.74 at BJ’s annually versus $259.48 at the favorite store. All in all buying at BJ’s for vegan cheese saves $77.74.
9. Romaine Lettuce: $304 per Year Savings
We eat lots of salad at our house. This two-pound bag of salad will go in a week! It’s currently $5.99 at BJ’s Wholesale. The same lettuce at the favorite store costs $3.33 for a nine-ounce bag on sale, so we’ll use that number since we’d spend about that for the store brand at its regular price.
Doing the math, the salad from the favorite store is 37 cents per ounce, while the salad at BJ’s is 18 cents per ounce. So romaine lettuce at BJ’s Wholesale costs $311.48 per year, while the same lettuce at the other store costs $615.68, a difference of $304.20.
10. Ken’s Steak House Salad Dressing: $45 per Year Savings
It’s difficult to enjoy salad without some salad dressing. BJ’s has a few options to choose from. My favorite is Ken’s Steak House Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, which is currently $3.99 for a 32-ounce bottle. There’s also a $1 off coupon for this right now.
Compared to our favorite store’s price of $3.87 for a 16-ounce bottle, that’s a savings of nearly 50%. Buying one every month means we save $45 per year at BJ’s Wholesale compared to our other favorite store.
11. Almond Milk: $58 per Year Savings
As I mentioned before, I don’t do much dairy. However, I will gladly throw back some almond milk!
This Blue Diamond unsweetened vanilla almond milk is my favorite. Considering I use enough for cereal and smoothies I’ll buy one 96-ounce jug a week. It’s currently $3.98 at BJ’s Wholesale, while the same size is $5.09 at the other store. Buying this product at BJ’s every week saves us $57.72 per year.
12. Cheerios: $106 per Year Savings
This gluten-free favorite is a staple for many. At BJ’s, a 40.7-ounce, two-pack box is $5.79. Compared to a family-size 18-ounce box of Cheerios at the favorite store for $6.41, this works out to 36 cents per ounce, while the BJ’s box is just 14 cents.
Conservatively, we might go through one box a month, making the cost $69.48 per year. Compared to $175.82 for the same amount at the favorite store, this is a savings of $106.34 per year.
13. 100% Apple Juice: $76 per Year Savings
A two-pack of 96-ounce store brand 100% apple juice is $5.19 at BJ’s Wholesale, while the least expensive 100% apple juice, Mott’s, is $3.65 for 64 ounces at the grocery store. That makes each selection 3 cents per ounce and 6 cents per ounce respectively.
Buying the two-pack of store brand apple juice monthly at BJ’s would cost $62.28 per year, while the same number of ounces at the other store would cost $138.24. This means a savings of $75.96 at BJ’s.
14. DiGiorno Pizza: $79 per Year Savings
If there’s one thing I love about warehouse clubs, it’s the huge sizes. You can get a lot all at once to cut down on the number of trips.
This three-pack of DiGiorno 12″ Rising Crust Supreme Pizza is $14.49, making each pizza $4.83. The same pizza is $6.35 at the other store. We always have pizza night on Friday nights. As such, we’d buy enough of these to have one a week: 17 three-packs for the year. That’s $251.16 for pizza night, but compared to the other store, it’s a savings of $79.04 over a year’s time.
15. Soda Water: $131 per Year Savings
My husband loves soda water. It’s been a great replacement in lieu of sodas and other sugary drinks. It all depends on what BJ’s has in stock, but this 24-pack of Bubly sparkling water is $8.99 or 37 cents per can. Compared to $4.41 for an eight-pack at the other store, this is 55 cents per can.
The man drinks a ton of soda water. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say he drinks two cans per day. This costs $270.10 annually, while two cans from the other store would be $401.50. This means a savings of at least $131.40 per year.
16. Vitamin D3: $95 per Year Savings
Discounts at warehouse stores aren’t limited to just food items. Vitamins are a big deal at our house, and Vitamin D is one of our staples. This particular 220-count vitamin D offers 5,000 IUs in a softgel, and comes in at 7 cents per pill (without the $2 coupon I found). The other store: $17.59 for 90 softgels which is 20 cents per pill.
We’d need about 730 softgels per year for the two of us, so that’s $51.10 at BJ’s compared to $146 at the other store. The annual savings? A whopping $94.90.
17. Scott Toilet Paper: $96 per Year Savings
This 36-pack Scott 1100-sheet, one-ply bath tissue is $25.99, making it 72 cents per roll at BJ’s. A similar 12-count Scott 1000 toilet paper bath tissue is $14.39 at the favorite store, or $1.20 per roll.
Though I’ve never kept track of the TP we used in a year, I found a stat on the internet that said most people use about 100 rolls per year. Using that number, that would make our total cost for Scott at BJ’s Wholesale $144 for the year, while the cost at the favorite store is $240. That’s a savings of at least $96.
18. Progresso Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup: $99 per Year Savings
Soup, especially chicken soup, is great to have on hand for a quick meal or if you’re not feeling well. For an eight-pack at BJ’s Wholesale, this soup is $11.99 which comes to $1.50 per can. At the other store, it’s $2.45 per can. If we each have soup once a week, that’s about 104 cans. At $156 versus $254.80, that’s a $98.80 difference.
19. Organic Frozen Mixed Berries: $77 per Year Savings
Smoothies are definitely something we both enjoy. It’s a nice alternative to ice cream and can be so much healthier.
BJ’s Wholesale has a three-pound bag of organic mixed berries for $13.49. Currently, there’s an additional $2 off coupon! But without the coupon, they’re $4.50 per pound. At our favorite grocery store, organic mixed berries are $6 per pound.
If we use two cups of berries per week for smoothies, that means we’ll use one pound per week, so that’s about 17 bags per year. For 17 bags at BJ’s, that will cost $229.33, while the same number of bags at $305.83: an annual savings of $76.50.
20. Bubba Burgers: $73 per Year Savings
Bubba burgers are another item that can be kept in the freezer and cooked straight out of the box, making them a convenient dinner item. A pack of 12 original Bubba burgers costs $22.29 at BJ’s Wholesale, making them $1.86 per burger. At the favorite store, a six-pack of the same product is $15.29 when it’s not on sale, making each burger $2.56. So if my husband eats two burgers per week, it costs $193.44 from BJ’s Wholesale and $266.24 from the other store. This is a savings of $72.80 per year.
Important note: Because beef burgers can get expensive, we’ll often buy turkey burgers instead. A pack of 16 Bubba turkey burgers is $13.99, making them 87 cents each. Of course, buying fresh beef burgers may save you money, and then you can freeze them yourself. A favorite of mine has become Dr. Praeger’s California veggie burgers, but at $1.20 each, those are even more expensive than turkey burgers.
Total savings per year = $2,510
You may be able to find some of the products I listed at lower prices than BJ’s a store such as Aldi or Lidl. But it’s fair to point out that there are some downsides to warehouse stores in terms of the available variety or options you might find there.
This is not an exhaustive list of essentials we buy, so we probably save more on other items we purchase from BJ’s. I enjoy shopping at BJ’s due to the ease of online ordering, curbside pickup and knowing we’ll find the items we typically need.
It’s worth it to comparison shop, even for groceries, because this can save you big over the long term.
Charis Brown is the managing editor of Clark Deals, a site dedicated to finding the best deals you can trust from around the web every day. Sign up for the Clark Deals free daily newsletter to get the best bargains in your inbox.