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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

BJ's Trip And $25 Gift Card GIVEAWAY!!!

Just recently, My Blog Spark offered to let me give BJ's Wholesale Club a try. BJ's and General Mills provided me with a $25 gift card, coupons, and a free 60-day trial membership. Plus, they gave me an extra $25 gift card to give away to a reader! I thought, why not?!

I've never been in BJ's (other than this time), so I wasn't really sure what to expect. The only experience I've had with wholesale clubs is when I was little and went with my mom from time to time (it was an all-day affair since it was quite a drive!).

Now that I am such a committed couponer and bargain hunter, I was interested in having this opportunity to check out just how much you can really save at BJ's in comparison to other grocery stores.

I did a lot of investigating on prices while I was there. To avoid being extremely wordy (as you know I always am), I will just give you a list of pros and cons.

Pros:
  • Unlike other wholesale clubs, BJ's allows you to use coupons.
  • Not only that, BJ's allows you to stack coupons. You are allowed to use one store coupon (found in coupon booklets that they give you in the store or mail to you) and one manufacturer coupon per item. There were signs in front of many of the items that stated this coupon policy very clearly.
  • It gets even better, though! Since BJ's packages their items in bulk, you are allowed to use a coupon per individually wrapped item within a bulk purchase. For example, if you buy a package with 2 shampoos in it, you would be allowed to use (2) $1/1 coupons with that! If you buy a big box of 4 normal-sized cereal boxes, you can use 4 coupons! This is a really good thing, otherwise you would never be able to touch the prices that you can get by couponing at other grocery stores.
  • Great for a big family, since you have to buy in bulk.
  • Awesome if you are not a couponer or sale-shopper, don't have time for coupons, or just don't want to mess with coupons at all. The prices are 30% lower than retail value on the same items at other stores.
  • One stop store for all your needs. They have everything - from electronics to food.
  • Gas is really cheap!
  • Good place to buy meats, due to lower prices.
  • High quality produce (but a little bit pricier).
  • Low cost membership, compared to other wholesale clubs.
Cons:
  • If you are a couponer used to coupling sales with coupons, you can't come close to the prices you are used to. In my mind, I have target prices of what I'm willing to pay for just about every item. As I went around from item to item calculating prices, I couldn't believe how "expensive" they all were. Haha! I guess I'm just spoiled! So, even though it's 30% off of retail, it's still much higher than I'm willing to pay.
  • Not a good choice for a small family, or just a married couple like us.
  • Like I said, produce is pretty expensive.
Overall, I was pleased with my experience. I just don't think it would be worth it for us. I'm way too used to coming out of the grocery store paying $20 for over $100 worth of groceries. Like I said, I'm spoiled.

Since the prices (even with coupons) were more than I was willing to pay, I decided to utilize my gift card on items that I normally buy at Walmart for the cheapest price, or don't have coupons for. The picture above is what I ended up buying. I bought my 3 favorite spices: curry powder, chili powder, and cumin! I make a lot of Indian and foreign food, so I go through those tiny bottles of these spices like there's no tomorrow! As soon as I saw these, I was really excited. Also, biscotti with a hot cup of coffee is one of my favorite treats. Now, with coupons, you can get Nonni's Biscotti at Publix for next to free. However, for some reason, my region never gets the Biscotti coupons when they come out. It's always a regional coupon! So, I decided to go ahead and splurge on these, since I usually can't get that great of a price on them anyways.

After coming home, I realized a few things that I should have gotten instead. Fish would have been pretty inexpensive, and I've heard that yeast for bread machine baking is the cheapest you can find it at wholesale clubs. Oh well! Next time I'll plan a little better!

Okay, who wants a $25 gift card? Maybe you're already a member and would really love to have this gift card for your monthly shopping trips. Or, maybe you're like me and just want to see what it's all about! If so, you can go sign up for their 60-day FREE trial membership!

To Enter This Giveaway:

Mandatory Entry:

1. Leave a comment telling me how you'll use this gift card. Will you stock up on something specific? Will you try to save using their coupon policy? Do you enjoy shopping at BJ's, if you already do?

Extra Entries:

2. Become a fan of Frugal Fun and Fortune on Facebook. Leave a comment letting me know. (If already a fan, just say so in the comment).

3. Subscribe to Frugal Fun and Fortune's blog feeds through reader or e-mail. They are both on the right side of the page if you scroll down a bit. (If you're already a subscriber, just say so in the comment).

4. Grab my button, put it on your blog, and leave a comment with a link to your page so that I can verify it. (If you already have the button, just say so with a link).

5. Follow me on Twitter.

This giveaway will end on December 13th, Sunday night, at 10 pm. The winner will be announced Sunday night, so be on the lookout to see if you've won! Good Luck!!!

The opinions expressed in this review are solely my own, not influenced in any way by the offer I received through My Blog Spark.

Labels:

31 Comments:

Blogger nelly said...

I have a Bj's membership but I seldom go there, now with a $25 gift card and knowing the coupon policy I would give them a new try,I always need diapers and formula.Again thank you for your wonderful blog, since reading it I have save so much and it has changed the way I shop.

December 9, 2009 at 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Lisa Burgess said...

I just signed up for my 60day free membership on monday and I also found out this tip: you can join with a friend and that friend does not need to live in the same house as you...I specifically asked if myself and my mom who lives 45 min away from me can join on one membership together and she said yes! Plus we get a $10 off coupon if we join before 12/31...YAY! I'll be joining next week! Oh, I am also a fan on facebook.

December 9, 2009 at 10:17 PM  
Blogger Jason Robinson said...

I would LOVE this card. Ashleigh and I recently signed up w/BJ's & have enjoyed it so far. As with all the bulk warehouses there are some things that are just easier to get at "normal" stores, but it's fantastic for a number of items we regularly purchase.

If I win the card, I'll be using toward the purchase of a new printer that we actually NEED. Thanks for all your hard work on the blog, Meg!

December 9, 2009 at 10:21 PM  
Anonymous Deb ~ Frugal Living And Having Fun said...

I would love to have this gift card to stock up on things that I love to have on hand all winter such as ;
Rice, beans, flour, and paper cups for hot chocolate for our ice skating parties....

I follow in google reader as of today!!

Deb @ Frugal Living And Having Fun
contact @ frugal living and having fun .com

December 9, 2009 at 10:39 PM  
Anonymous Deb ~ Frugal Living And Having Fun said...

I am now following you on Twitter!! Keep up the great work and keep on smiling..."smile" Deb

Deb @ Frugal Living And Having Fun
contact @ frugal living and having fun .com

December 9, 2009 at 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Deb ~ Frugal Living And Having Fun said...

I have your button on my blog!! Wouldn't have it any other way!!

Deb @ Frugal Living And Having Fun
contact @ frugal living and having fun .com

December 9, 2009 at 10:41 PM  
Anonymous JKris said...

I do not have a BJs membership, but I do remember going there when I was younger with my parents. The amount of stuff you can get is great, but like you said it does not work for a small family. Its just my son and I at home, so it is probably not a wise use of money to join. But if I got a gift card, I would use it to buy supplies for my son's teachers' Holiday presents. I am baking them each a basketful of treats. I know BJs has good deals on cookies, and baking supplies. The coupon policy is interesting, thank you for mentioning it. I just started couponing, so all these tips are great! Thank you.

December 9, 2009 at 10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Thank you for your giveaway! I would definitely stock up on some of the frozen items they have in bulk and probably get their big blocks of cheese and large packs of yogurt. My 9 month old LOVES yogurt! I really love BJs and how you can use coupons there. Thanks again for the giveaway! :)
bethel28 @ yahoo.com

December 9, 2009 at 10:51 PM  
Anonymous JessInJax said...

I have one up the road but I am not a member, but our neighbor is. I would go with them and use the gift card to get my kids something fun like a DVD or some books OR get some frozen items for future meals if there is a great deal. There coupon policy is VERY cool!

December 9, 2009 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger Joann said...

Hummm, how would I spend the $25? There are so many choices...given that it's the Christmas season, I could probably use it to purchase a Christmas present. OR, I'd use it on one of those 'like to have one day items' (like a paper towel holder). Thank yo for all your hard work!!

December 10, 2009 at 12:49 AM  
Blogger kim said...

COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE!! I can never have too much, did I already say it, COFFEE. :)

And, I am a fan on Facebook.

And, I subscribe to you on Google Reader.

Have a wonderful day! :)~

December 10, 2009 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Ashley Lyon said...

I would probably use it for baking supplies. You can get a huge bottle of Vanilla extract for the same price as a small bottle at the grocery store! Also, meat, meat, meat! We hardly ever buy meat at Publix because it's so much cheaper at a warehouse type store. Can't beat $20 for 8 meals worth of boneless skinless chicken!

December 10, 2009 at 10:24 AM  
Anonymous JKris said...

I hope you and your husband have a wonderful and safe holiday season, you deserve to have a good one. The time you take out of your life to help perfect strangers, is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. I already mentioned I would use the gift card for holiday baking supplies for presents. But I would probably buy a little something for my son too. It is always nice to buy him something, but can be hard in these times to have the little extra money.

December 10, 2009 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger JC said...

I'd use the gift card to stock up on baking items. It's this season again. And of course will arm with my coupons to shop.

December 10, 2009 at 4:53 PM  
Blogger JC said...

FB fan@tcarolinep JessieKatie S.

December 10, 2009 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger JC said...

I'm a subscriber.

tcarolinep at gmail dot com

December 10, 2009 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger JC said...

@tcarolinep twitter follower.

December 10, 2009 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger JC said...

Button http://tcarolinep.blogspot.com/

December 10, 2009 at 4:56 PM  
Anonymous argenvina@aol.com said...

I would buy meat, and diapers. thank you for all your help, I always wanted to use coupons but didnt know how to really save a lot, your blog should be named ''couponing for dummies", haha.Of course I'm a fan on facebook.

December 11, 2009 at 12:12 AM  
Blogger Jason Robinson said...

I follow on google.

December 11, 2009 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Jason Robinson said...

I follow on Twitter.

December 11, 2009 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Jason Robinson said...

By the way, the reason we need a printer is so we can, y'know, actually PRINT all these amazing coupons you share!

December 11, 2009 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Klee said...

Keith tried out a 30 day membership when he first got to covington, but since he lived alone did not use it much. We are getting low on our bulk items we normally stock up on ( the last time was right before we got married in may) I have not been in a BJ'S but i know Sam's has great deals on disposables and baking goods. It would be great to see how much we could save using the sweet coupon policy and a $25.00 giftcard

December 12, 2009 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger Klee said...

i have your button on my blog fosure!

December 12, 2009 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger Klee said...

I am a fan of you on facebook!

December 12, 2009 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger sphinx63 said...

I would stock up on frozen pizzas! Plus I would try to use coupons to go along with them. Thanks!

sphinxcw at aol dot com

December 12, 2009 at 6:09 PM  
Anonymous Deborah H. said...

I would probably buy something BIG like maybe a Sonic Toothbrush!

December 12, 2009 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I already have a BJ's membership. I would use this gift card to stock up on some bulk foods for the kids. We love Bj's but don't get to shop there too often!

December 13, 2009 at 1:06 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Already a fan on FB!

December 13, 2009 at 1:06 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

A subscriber!

December 13, 2009 at 1:07 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I added your button to my blog. (And finally figured out how to enable access to my profile!)

December 13, 2009 at 1:27 AM  

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