11 Holiday Gifts to Buy at Costco, Sam's, or BJ's
Holiday gifts can be bought almost anywhere these days, but Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's Wholesale Club are some of the best places to stock up. They offer Black Friday sales, but shoppers don't have to wait for "door buster" events to find good deals. Cheapism.com visited several warehouse clubs to scope out gift-buying opportunities.
Warehouse stores sell gift cards at a discount. BJ's for example, offers two $25 gift cards from businesses such as Fuddruckers, Uno Chicago Grill, Steak 'n Shake, and Cold Stone Creamery -- a $50 value -- for $40. And two $50 Buca di Beppo cards go for $80. Recipients see only the face value. Spilt them between two people on your gift list, or give one and keep one for yourself.
Selling for $20 at Costco, a movie-style popcorn bowl loaded with seven different flavors of individually wrapped popcorn cones can be paired with a DVD or movie tickets to make a themed gift. The warehouse club sells packs of movie passes to theater chains such as Regal and Cinemark for a few dollars less per person than moviegoers would pay at the ticket window (recipients can choose the movie and when to go).
A tin of cookies or a gourmet chocolate basket makes a budget-friendly host gift for the next holiday party. Think truffles, Belgian chocolates, butter cookies, and tea cookies, all nicely packaged (some like gift boxes) at prices between $7 and $20 from Costco and Sam's Club.
There is no shortage of toys at warehouse clubs around the holidays. We saw six-packs of Kid Galaxy Mini Go Go Vehicles, a Lego Star Wars collector's pack, rocking horses, musical instruments, Paw Patrol figures, and more for prices that beat non-member retail stores. At Costco, a Marvel Super Hero Mashers five-pack is listed online for $30 (with a manufacturer's discount through Nov. 29), about $10 less than at other retailers such as Toys R Us, and may be even cheaper in-store. When comparing prices, note that warehouse club merchandise is often slightly different; a toy set may include extra accessories.
For kids with a creative side, Costco carries huge art buckets (starting at $16) with books of ideas and enough supplies to keep children occupied through the winter months. For a special holiday project, a gingerbread house kit would make a fun Christmas Day activity.
Sam's Club and Costco are big on supporting local teams with the merchandise at their warehouses. Look for deals on team-logo attire -- hats, sweatshirts, windbreaker pants, and the like -- for sports fanatics on your gift-giving list.
Sam's Club sells plenty of discounted gear for an athlete or workout partner, including fitness trackers. The Fitbit Flex activity tracker comes in a starter kit with bonus accessories: an extra charger and a second wristband color option. A $130 Fitbit Charge bundle will be just $90 as part of the club's Black Friday sale, starting Thanksgiving Day online.
Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's have bundles that typically include a digital SLR camera, carrying case, extra lens, and memory card -- together costing less than buying each piece on its own. The Black Friday sales at Sam's and Costco include Canon EOS Rebel T5 bundles for about $400.