Maybe you’re already convinced Costco is worth the membership fee.
If so, more power to you!
But if you’re still unsure about whether you want to take the plunge, here’s a quick list of things you can do at Costco without being a member.
You might be surprised to find some of the best Costco perks are available to non-members!
1. Buy alcohol.
In some states it’s illegal to require a membership for alcohol purchases, so you can buy alcohol even if you don’t have a Costco membership.
Booze at Costco is super cheap. We even did a breakdown of how many bottles of wine it would take to pay for your Costco membership! Plus, the Kirkland brand alcohol is high quality, tastes good and it’s about half the price of most brand-name spirits.
These states allow you to legally buy alcohol from Costco without a membership:
- New York
TIP: Most employees don’t even realize you can buy alcohol without a membership, so expect that they’ll need to check with a manager before you’ll be allowed to buy.
2. Buy gas.
You need a Costco shop card for this, but Costco’s website states that Costco members and non-members using the Costco shop card can purchase gas at the gas station.
3. Shop Costco online.
Go ahead and do it.
You can buy most household items but realize you’ll pay more than you’d pay in-store because there’s a 5% surcharge to non-member orders. So this works best if you’re the kind of person who only likes to buy a couple things a year at Costco. Otherwise, paying for a membership might save you the most money.
4. Get an eye exam.
You can get the famous $60 Costco eye exam yourself, no membership required.
Costco optometrists will let you make an appointment even if you don’t have a membership, but you will still need to be a member or have a Costco shop card to buy contacts or eyeglasses.
5. Eat at the food court.
It’s a little-known secret that the cafeteria is open to members and non-members alike.
Want a kid’s meal cheaper than a happy meal? Costco’s $1.50 hot dog can’t be beat.
You can also pick up a huge, loaded cooked pizza from the cafeteria for only $10 (which is a steal), and you can do it all without a membership. (Just be sure to have cash!)
Note: You must enter Costco through the exit in order to access the food court.
6. Fill prescriptions at the pharmacy.
You can use the Costco pharmacy (and get its low prices) without being a member.
Whenever you need a prescription filled, just have your doctor call the pharmacy, and then you’ll pick it up like you would any pharmacy. And you don’t need to be a member to buy your medication either!
7. Shop at Costco.
No really! You can shop at Costco without a membership.
There are two ways to do this: Have someone you know with a membership buy you a Costco shop card in whatever amount you need, and you can shop membership-free.
The second way is to have someone purchase you a Costco shop card with a minimum amount on it (usually $25) and pay for the first part of your purchase with the card, and the rest you can pay for with your debit card.
8. Get Costco’s low prices at Kohl’s, Target and more.
It’s true. Who needs a Costco membership when you can get Costco’s lower price on exact items?
These 10 retailers will price match Costco, and all you need to do is show proof of price — the Costco flyer from the mail or the website works.
- Best Buy
- Fry’s Electronics