Once upon a time, we were in a relationship where one of our weekly dates was going to Costco to fill up on free food samples. Pick the right day of the week and you leave feeling fulfilled right up until dinner time! 

Today? We live in a dual income, no kid household so we find it really hard to justify paying $60 a year for a Costco membership. According to GoBankingRates, the most commonly purchased items at the membership warehouse are groceries. For larger families, buying in bulk makes sense. Not only can you stock up for a week or two at a time, the savings you score by shopping at Costco add up to that $60 you shelled out for your membership card. We don't have a lot of mouths to feed and we’re rarely home, so our biggest fear is that most of those groceries would go bad before we had the opportunity to eat them. 

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That said, when friends with memberships show us their cool finds like winter coats, stand-up paddleboards, cute workout clothes and an almost five pound cheesecake, we feel left out. If you’re in a similar boat and would want to shop Costco at least once to satisfy your FOMO, it turns out there are a couple of ways to do that WITHOUT a membership. 

Enlist a Friend With a Membership

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We don’t mean tagging along with them. They may love spending time with you, but watching you do a full week’s worth of shopping probably isn’t much fun for them! We mean Venmo-ing them how much you’ll think you’ll spend during your Costco adventure. As a member, they can purchase you a Costco Cash Card which is what the warehouse calls their standard gift cards. 

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With that card in your purse, you can enter any of the seven Idaho Costco warehouses and do your shopping WITHOUT a membership. It’s not quite as sneaky as it sounds. If you look at the fine print on the card, it explains that in the terms and conditions. 

This is one of those hacks you should only use once to kick that case of FOMO. If you discovered that your savings totaled more than $60 during your trip, just bite the bullet and enroll in your own membership. 

Bonus Tip? The Costco Cash Card can also be used at Costco fuel stations. Most of the time, the Costco on Cole Road has the lowest gas prices in the Boise area!

Have it Delivered

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This option might not give you access to every department in the store, but shoppers without a membership can still shop at Costco through Instacart. You can browse groceries, baby items, electronic, automotive supplies, apparel, toys and more. When you checkout, you can bypass the part of the order screen that asks if you want to save with a Costco membership. 

There are a few drawbacks to this one. The items may be listed at prices higher than they are in the warehouse. You’ll also need to take care of your personal shopper, pay delivery fees and oh yeah…no free samples. 

Shop Online

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This one isn’t super obvious because you DO have to create a Costco.com account to place an offer through Costco’s website BUT you don’t have to have a membership. Just beware, you won’t get the savings that a member would. There’s a non-member surcharge when you shop this way. You WILL however have access to some of their disturbingly unique offerings like caskets. Non-members will also have longer shipping times than members...and no free samples.

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