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BJ's Shares Tips on Club Shopping

NATICK, Mass. -- In the face of rising food and energy costs, BJ's Wholesale Club here said it is offering advice on how to shop for food at a warehouse club, which its said can save consumers an average of 30 percent compared to supermarket prices.

"In recent months, prices on the everyday goods needed to power our lives have swelled," acknowledged BJ's president and c.o.o. Laura Sen in a statement. "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 jump-started 2008 by focusing on enhancing value for our members and helping them save money on the highest-quality food and merchandise without sacrificing quality."

BJ's "Eight Helpful Tips for 2008" are:
-- When comparison shopping, shoppers should make sure to look at the same item and take into consideration differences in size or amount. They need to check the unit pricing, as it's the easiest way to make a comparison. Multipacks and larger sizes are designed to offer savings. Consumers should consider their storage options for everyday items such as toilet paper and napkins, where it pays off to store the larger packs.
-- Shoppers should seek a shopping environment in which they receive both quantity (bulk pricing) and quality (leading brands).
-- Consumers should plan family dinners and party menus before arriving at the club. If shoppers make a list in advance, they should be able to focus more on their needs and less on impulse buys.
--Since having to travel to several locations to shop can cost a small fortune in gas and lengthen the time of errands, going to a warehouse club allows consumers to experience one-stop shopping, as everything is under one roof, including groceries, gifts, and seasonal products.
--A convenient, less expensive alternative do dining out frequently is to serve restaurant selections at home. At BJ's Wholesale Club, for instance, members can choose from such restaurant branded items as Legal Seafood Clam Chowder, Panera Bread Co. Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Chili's Chicken Fajita Kit, Romano's Macaroni Grill Pasta Milano, and Uno's Southwestern Chicken Specialty Pizza.
--Bulk buying can save consumers thousands of dollars each year. Parents of newborns and infants should especially look to warehouse clubs, where they can save on such items as formula, baby food, diapers, baby wipes, and paper towels and other paper goods. Look for retailers that offer a full assortment of diaper brands and sizes, and that stock other baby products such as detergents, formulas, and accessories.
--A good wholesale club offers high-quality private label items at savings comparable to national brand items.
--Shoppers tired of saving receipts and searching for stamps should go to a warehouse club that takes the extra work out of rebate redemption.

BJ's Wholesale Club operates 177 clubs and 100 gas stations in 16 eastern states.
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