I’m first in line when it comes to people who love Costco.
But that doesn’t mean Costco always has the best prices.
For some people, paying $60 per year to shop there doesn’t add up. If you ever wonder whether your Costco membership is worth it, here are some perks you can get without spending $60 on the membership:
1. You can get Costco groceries delivered to your house without a membership. (Thanks, Instacart!)
If you live in an area with Instacart, you can shop Costco and get your items delivered without a membership. You must spend at least $10, but if you spend $35, delivery is free.
Delivery fees are calculated based on your order and address. Prices start at $5.99, so use this option when you’re going to spend at least $35!
2. You can find Kirkland items on Amazon.
So you just can’t break up with Kirkland (we get it). Did you know you can get Kirkland items on Amazon? Many even qualify for Amazon Prime free shipping.
Always double-check prices, though, because Kirkland brands on Amazon can cost more than they would in-store at Costco. If you need Kirkland items on a regular basis, try the other tips first!
Here are some examples of Kirkland-brand items on Amazon:
- Kirkland maple syrup
- Kirkland diapers
- Kirkland almond butter
- Kirkland baby wipes
- Kirkland toilet paper
4. You can shop Costco online even if you’re not a member.
You can buy most items such as discounted gift cards or diapers and wipes from Costco.com even if you’re not a member. Costco will charge you a 5% non-member fee. But a $5 fee may still end up being cheaper for you than $60 a year.
Pay close attention to the math so you don’t end up spending more while trying to avoid the cost of a membership.
5. You can use the pharmacy, buy alcohol and get an eye exam without a membership.
You can’t purchase items in-store without showing your membership card. But it’s illegal in many states for Costco to require you to be a member to purchase alcohol. And you can get eye and ear exams without a membership. You do have to be a member to purchase glasses or hearing aids, though.
6. Huggies are cheaper than Kirkland diapers when you shop Target with coupons.
If you’re looking at straight cost comparisons, sure Kirkland brand is cheaper than Huggies. But when you stack manufacturer and store coupons with a sale at Target, you can get Huggies for much cheaper than Kirkland diapers — I’m talking up to 75% off.
If you have even one baby at the beginning stages of wearing diapers, you must use diaper coupons and build a stockpile. It’ll save you so much money you might be able to afford a Costco membership. (wink, wink.)
7. You can use a Costco gift card to shop Costco in-store without a membership.
Members have to buy one for you, and members must refill it for you. But this is a foolproof way to shop Costco if you just want the pumpkin pie every Thanksgiving or you only want to make a single big purchase.
Just show the gift card at the entrance, and use it to check out.
8. Odds are there’s a Walmart closer to you.
There are over 5,000 Walmarts in the U.S. alone compared to Costco’s 500 or so warehouses.
In fact, 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart. Considering most of Walmart’s deals are comparable to Costco’s, it might be worth it to save the gas and go to Walmart instead.
9. You can get unlimited returns at 18 other stores besides Costco.
Costco’s return policy might be legendary, but they’re not the only store with a shimmering return policy. Other stores such as Trader Joe’s, Nordstrom and REI also offer unlimited returns comparable to Costco. See the full list of retailers that let you return used items.