Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Another swing through BJ's Wholesale Club

180/365 BJ's and a Proud MemberImage by ~Twon~ via Flickr


I made a second visit to BJ's Wholesale Club in Paramus on Monday afternoon and got a better sense of how its fresh, prepared and frozen food compares to Costco's.

I have tried to compare prices, but each club store carries its own brand, as well as different outside brands for ravioli, chicken, yogurt and many other items. Package sizes also vary, but it appears BJ's has less variety than Costco's.

BJ's had five or six kinds of fresh fish fillets -- all but one of them farmed -- and frozen, wild-caught shrimp from Mexico and the United States at $11.99 a pound, but the latter did not indicate the state, and I wondered if they could have come from the BP-tainted Gulf of Mexico. 

Costco has more wild fish available, but no wild-caught shrimp. Both stores sell frozen farmed shrimp and prawns from Vietnam.

On my first visit, I saw Phillips Maryland-style crab cakes for $1.69 less than they are sold at Costco, but on Monday, there was only another brand, Mama Belle's Maryland-style crab cakes (made in Florida). 

Mama Belle's, like Phillips, lists crab as the first ingredient, but uses bread crumbs as a binder.  Mama Belle's is a better buy: 24 ounces for $9.99 compared with 18 ounces for $13.69.

I also picked up Fresh Express organic spring mix, 50 cents more than Costco's Earthbound Farm brand; three pounds of Sunset-brand, herbicide-free plum tomatoes, cheaper per pound than the two-pound package at Costco, but they don't taste as good for some reason. Maybe they need to ripen more.

BJ's also sells salmon burgers made from wild-caught, Pacific Ocean fish, 10 for $11.99 v. Costco's 12 for $12.99. Finally, I picked up an 80-ounce jar of Rosoff new half-sour pickles for $5.99.

BJ's has a good selection of gourmet ravioli, including those from Chef Mario Batali, but I didn't see any lobster ravioli, which are available at Costco.

BJ's also can't match Costco's smoked wild sockeye salmon.

Both Costco and BJ's issue their own coupons, but BJ's coupons are not available to me during my trial membership.


Checking out the food at B.J.'s Wholesale Club


  1. Phillip's makes a MUCH better crab cake. They are a packager and they also make crab cakes. Mama Bell's have a bit of crab taste but, they are watery and bready.

  2. I agree. The Phillips crab cake is bigger and has more crab. I baked both brands together. The Mama Bell's tasted OK and wasn't watery.

    I baked both for longer than the package says, don't turn them and use the broiler to crisp the tops for a few minutes at the end. The extra time in the oven didn't dry them out.

    I've also found the Costco wild-salmon burger is superior to the BJ's brand. Again, the BJ salmon burger tastes OK, but the Costco burger just tastes better, and the package says it is made from fillets.

  3. I live in a state where there is no BJ's. Their salmon burgers were 'on the money.' What is the brand name so I can try to locate here in los angeles.

  4. Personally, I preferred the salmon burgers sold at Costco Wholesale.
    Costco's Trident Seafoods-brand salmon burgers weigh a total of 3 pounds ($12.99), and BJ's World Catch-brand salmon burgers weigh 2.5 pounds ($11.99).


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