If you haven’t shelled out for a Costco membership, which starts at $60/year, you may think all those warehouses teeming with low-price TVs, patio sets, and groceries are out of reach (and yes, in most cases you won’t be able to get past the card checkers at the entrance). But we found a few ways to get around those membership program requirements to buy Costco goods, sometimes even at Costco membership prices. Ready to dive in? Check out Groupon Coupons’ tips for shopping at Costco without a membership.
We’ll start with the obvious option, which is tagging along with a friend who has a Costco membership. The only hiccup is that your friend will need to pay for your items, but the orders can be rung up separately so you’ll know exactly how much you owe them.
While you won’t be able to buy a Costco Shop Card yourself, you can have a member friend purchase and load one for you (just be sure to pay them back). The reloadable gift cards, available in denominations of $25–$2,000, allow you to shop at any Costco warehouse or gas station yourself and take advantage of the low member prices—even without a membership.
One back-door way to get popular Kirkland-brand products, like wine and rotisserie chicken, without a Costco membership is to shop through Instacart. Your order will even be delivered directly to your doorstep for added convenience. One important note: you might end up paying higher prices than you would at a Costco warehouse. The famed $4.99 Costco rotisserie chicken, for example, was $6.21 in our Instacart search.
You don't have to be a Costco member to shop online at Costco.com. Anyone is eligible to shop for most items, though non-members will pay a 5% surcharge at checkout. Even still, the warehouse's low prices often beat out competitors like Amazon. There are some rules: certain items have an additional delivery fee unless a $75 minimum order threshold is reached and some select items can only be purchased by Costco members. It's still worth it to comparison shop at Costco.com, especially for household paper goods and health and beauty items.
A handful of states make it illegal for stores to require membership in order to buy alcohol. At the time of this article’s posting, you could purchase wine, beer, and spirits without a Costco membership in the below states (though best to check with your local Costco first):
No need for a Costco membership to have your prescription filled at any Costco pharmacy. You’ll also be able to get your flu shots and free health screenings without paying any member fees.
But if you’re looking to refill your pet’s prescription meds, you may want to consider just getting a Costco membership. You’ll have access to the Costco Member Prescription Program Discount Card (CMPP), which will give you huge savings on popular medications like Heartgard Plus (heartworm prevention) and Nexgard (flea and tick prevention).
Check out our collection of Costco coupons for deals on a Costco membership.