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This Clever Trick Will Let You Shop at Costco Without a Membership

Here's how to dip your toes into the world of Costco commitment-free.

Even if you've never been to Costco, chances are you've heard of it. Being the go-to wholesaler for millions of Americans, Costco's prices and products are unbeatable. However, shopping at the retail giant requires a membership. With membership costs starting at $60 annually, it's often not worth it if you're only going to Costco a handful of times a year to stock up. But there's a life hack you'll wish you had known sooner to shop at Costco without a membership.

There's a reason Costco's prices are so low. According to the retailer, the "membership fee allows us to offset many of our operating costs and price our merchandise lower." The idea behind a membership is that you'll save more on products over time. However, if you thought Costco was for members only, think again. Whether you're a loyal Costco shopper or simply curious about what the hype is about, you'll want to consider using this hack for all your Costco needs.

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The trick is to use Instacart. The delivery app and website partners with Costco to bring its products to non-members and deliver them to your doorstep. The platform gained popularity throughout the pandemic as a no-contact delivery service, and it now offers delivery for hundreds of major retailers, including Kroger, Aldi, CVS, and more.

Instacart is game-changing for Costco's members-only policy because it's free to use. Depending on your order, same-day delivery on Instacart starts at $3.99 for orders over $35. If you're an Instacart+ member, delivery is free for orders over $35.

If you're already a Costco member but want to get in on the delivery action, Instacart+ is free for two months as a Costco member. Plus, a reduced Instacart+ membership if you decide to continue after the free trial.

The caveat to this otherwise flawless deal is that prices on Instacart might be slightly higher than in Costco's locations. "If you're not a member, you can shop directly from, but you'll pay a higher price than members shopping on Costco Same-Day Delivery," the chain says on its website. However, it might be worth it to dip your toes into the world of Costco commitment-free.

Annie Lin
Annie is a New York-based lifestyle writer. She has written for Elite Daily, Time Out, CNBC, OpenTable, Resy, and more. Read more about Annie