6 Things You Can Do at Costco Without a Membership
You can still get great deals without paying $60 for a Costco membership.
If you’re a big fan of Costco but can’t swing a membership right now, have no fear. There are actually plenty of things you can get away with at Costco without laying your money on the line. Get everything you need out of Costco without shelling out by taking advantage of these great non-member perks.
These Costco buys can’t be found anywhere else—trust us, they’re worth the investment.
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Check your vision
The opticians work independently of Costco Optical. Because your bill goes to them and not the store, you can get an eye exam without paying for a membership. But the glasses and contacts are owned by Costco, so you’ll need a membership to buy any of those. Though, you might just be tempted to sign up for one when you read these Costco shopping perks only members know about.
Pick up a prescription
According to Costco’s FAQ, some state laws require Costco to allow non-members to use the pharmacy. Call ahead to see if your local Costco pharmacy is open to the public, then enjoy some of the cheapest prices on medication. If your store won’t let you in, you can still fill prescriptions online without paying any non-member fees.
Save money during your grocery haul with these smart Costco shopping tips.
Shop with a member
Anyone with a Costco membership is allowed to take up to two guests with them into the store. As long as your friend is willing to pay for your items (you can always cover the costs afterward!), you can do your shopping by that member’s side. Keep your eye out for this price tag symbol on your favorite Costco item. It has a secret.
Use a gift card
Even if your schedule doesn’t line up with your friend’s, a Costco member can still set you up to shop there on your own time. Anyone with a Costco Cash Card loaded with Costco money can use that card to get in and shop. Only members can buy the card, though, so you’ll need to have a friend pick it up for you.
Is it worth it to sign up for a Costco membership? That’s up to you—here’s why.
Certain state laws, such as California’s, don’t allow clubs to refuse to sell alcohol to anyone without a membership—and yes, that includes Costco and other wholesale store memberships. Check your state laws to see if that rule applies. Then let an employee know you’re only going to buy beer, wine or liquor, and you should be allowed in to buy your drinks (though you can’t grab anything else while you’re there). Just don’t be surprised if you end up needing to get special permission from a manager. Before you head over, learn the Costco secrets employees won’t tell you.
Buying from costco.com means the store’s cheap items will be delivered straight to your door. You don’t need to be a member to add items to your cart, but you will need to pay a 5 percent non-member fee. Do a little price comparison to make before confirming your order to make sure the price is still worth it.