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According to BJ's complete tips on "How to Shop a Wholesale Club", advance planning and a sound savings strategy can help savvy shoppers save hundreds of dollars each year, and even earn cash back, in just a few visits to a warehouse club.
"In recent months, prices on the everyday goods needed to power our lives have swelled," said Laura Sen, President and Chief Operating Officer of BJ's Wholesale Club. "In these tough times, we believe it's vital for consumers to understand the value of shopping at a wholesale club and that BJ's can help them save money on their total grocery bill. We have jumpstarted 2008 by focusing on enhancing value for our members and helping them save money on the highest quality food and merchandise without sacrificing quality."
To help provide consumers with expert know-how that can assist them in maximizing their overall savings, BJ's offers these Eight Helpful Tips for 2008 when shopping at a wholesale club:
Tip #1 - Compare Apples to ApplesCompare apples to apples (or, in BJ's case, shoppers can also compare LCD TVs, New York Times Bestsellers and brand name apparel). When you are comparison shopping make sure you are looking at the same item and taking into consideration differences in size or amount. Check the unit pricing - it's the easiest way to make a comparison. Multi-packs and larger sizes are designed to offer valuable savings. The key difference between BJ's Wholesale Club and traditional grocers is that BJ's offers daily savings of up to 30 percent off retail pricing without sacrificing quality. Consider your storage options for every day items like toilet paper and napkins where it pays off to store the larger packs.
Tip #2 - Saving Money Doesn't Mean Sacrificing QualityAs warehouse clubs offer top brands and the highest quality, families do not need to sacrifice their high standards to receive lower prices. Shoppers should seek a shopping environment in which they receive both quantity (bulk pricing) and quality (leading brands). Enjoying high quality selections such as USDA choice meats and organic items at BJ's Wholesale Club at low prices means taste is not sacrificed either.
Tip #3 - Be a Type "A" Shopper and Carry a ListThe most important strategy for saving is to plan family dinners and party menus before arriving at the club. If shoppers develop a list in advance, they should be able to focus more on their needs and less on impulse buys.
Tip #4 - Everything Under One Roof Saves MoneyIn today's economy, having to travel to several locations to shop can cost a small fortune in gas and lengthen the time of errands. BJ's solves this problem by offering everything under one roof, including groceries, gifts, and seasonal products, providing the convenience of one-stop shopping. Now shoppers will have no need to drive to several stores to find what they want.
Tip #5 - Bring Restaurant Favorites to Your Kitchen TableAs families choose to dine out less frequently, a convenient alternative is to serve your restaurant favorites at home. At BJ's Wholesale Club, for example, members can choose from many restaurant branded items including Legal Seafood Clam Chowder, Panera Bread Company Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Chili's Chicken Fajita Kit, Romano's Macaroni Grill Pasta Milano and Uno's Southwestern Chicken Specialty Pizza. With the convenience of heating and serving, these alternatives are less expensive than eating out and allow consumers to enjoy some of their favorite restaurants in the privacy of their own home.
Tip #6 - The Three B's: Bulk, Babies and BudgetsBulk buying can save consumers thousands of dollars each year. Non- perishable items can often be found at unbeatable prices in warehouse clubs. Parents of newborns and infants should also look to warehouse clubs for savings salvation, especially considering how much formula, baby food, diapers, baby wipes, paper towels and other paper goods a family will quickly go through in any given month. Look for retailers that offer a full assortment of diaper brands and sizes, right down to infant diapers, and who stock other baby products such as detergents, formulas, and accessories.
Tip #7 - House Brands -- Another Way To SaveWhether it's shrimp, fresh-baked cookies, prepared foods, frozen organic fruits and vegetables, shampoo, vitamins, juice, paper goods or linens for your home, a good wholesale club offers high-quality house brand items at savings comparable to brand-name items. For example, one of BJ's house brand labels is Berkley & Jensen, and the quality of these products meets or beats that of comparable national brand products, at a savings of 15-60 percent.
Tip #8 - Redeem Your Time, Rebates and CouponsShoppers tired of saving receipts and searching for stamps should seek a warehouse club that takes the extra work out of rebate redemption. For example, BJ's Rebate Center makes rebates fast and easy. Shoppers can log onto BJs.com, and, in just a few clicks, view available manufacturers' rebates, submit a manufacturer rebate for redemption or inquire about a previously submitted rebate. In addition, knowing your choices in clubs, BJ's provides unique advantages for consumers, such as being the only club that accepts all manufacturers' coupons, including those in the Sunday paper and exclusive coupons redeemable only at BJ's that are mailed to members as an insert in the club's quarterly journal to members. BJ's is also the only club that accepts all major credit cards, in addition to checks, cash and debit cards while offering the largest variety of discounted goods with more than 7,000 items, compared to competitors who offer 4,000 items.
"By offering consumers so many different avenues to save money in addition to these eight tips, we believe consumers will begin to better understand the savings and value they can receive when shopping at a wholesale club," said Sen. "In tough economic times, finding ways to trim spending without sacrificing quality is something all consumers can identify with."
For Club locations, membership information or to shop online for a broad selection of items, visit www.bjs.com.
About BJ's Wholesale ClubBJ's Wholesale Club is dedicated to providing its members with high- quality, brand name food and merchandise at prices that are significantly lower than the prices found at supermarkets, supercenters, department stores, drug stores and specialty retail stores. BJ's offers low BJ's Member Pricing on a huge selection of top-brand apparel and accessories, small appliances, consumer electronics, fine jewelry, groceries and other quality merchandise.
Headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. is a leading operator of warehouse clubs in the eastern United States. The Company currently operates 177 clubs and 100 gas stations in 16 eastern states. Shop online or learn more about BJ's Wholesale Club at www.bjs.com.
* Savings were up to 30 percent off supermarket prices based on the per unit price of a market basket of items and may vary based upon market area. Research conducted by Warehouse Club Focus, October 2007.
SOURCE BJ's Wholesale Club