While most of us want the option to shop at Costco for massive quantities of our favorite snacks or most essential toiletries, the truth is some just aren’t willing to shell out an annual fee for a Costco membership. Luckily, there are a few simple loopholes that can help solve this problem, and let even non-members indulge in deals like the $1.50 hot dog combo (via CNBC).
You probably already know that you can tag along with a member you know, or use a Costco cash card bought and loaded by a member in order to get inside the massive wholesale store, but what you might not know is that there are even easier ways to skirt the rules. For example, in about 12 states it’s illegal to prohibit the sale of alcohol through a club or membership. That means you can walk right in by simply stating that you’re buying “non-member goods,” and they’ll have to let you stock up on low-priced or even Kirkland-brand booze for your holiday party (via Cheapism).
Other non-member perks include health services like optical exams and hearing tests, but if you want to buy a pair of glasses or a hearing aid, then you’re going to need to be a member or know one who’s willing to pay for you and then be reimbursed.
Even more ways to shop at Costco without a membership
One of the best things about Costco is its pharmacy, which is the cheapest in-person pharmacy out there if you don’t have insurance, according to Consumer Reports. Luckily, you likely don’t need a membership to fill a prescription at Costco, or even to get a flu vaccine. This policy does depend on state law, however, so it’s worth googling beforehand to make sure it applies where you live (via Money Talks News). Also, make sure the store you’re going to has a pharmacy, because not all of them do.
Finally, if you’re tired of hearing how good and cheap the hot dogs and pizzas of the Costco food court are, you don’t need a membership to try them. If the food court is outside of the store, you can walk right up and pay cash for their cheap-yet-tasty food without a membership. Even if the food court is located inside, you can enter the store to buy any of the above-mentioned, non-member products and make a pit stop at the food court, as long as you can pay cash (via The Kitchn).
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