The 2 Ways To Buy Costco Groceries Without A Membership

Giant wholesale retailers like Costco continue to increase in popularity, especially at a time when consumers deal with ongoing inflation. These types of stores allow shoppers to buy an abundance of food and home goods to last an extended period of time, all for more affordable prices when compared to other retailers. Shoppers can get practically anything they desire at Costco since the warehouse really does have almost everything you could possibly need.

But, not just anyone can go inside and buy whatever they'd like — you need a Costco membership card to even get into the store. This is part of Costco's business model: Price items at cheaper costs and recoup by requiring annual memberships. However, you can put a stop to trying to find ways to sneak in with friends and family who have memberships as there are a couple of tricks allowing you to shop without being a member, and they're relatively easy. Simply buy products online or have a Costco card-carrying friend purchase a gift card on your behalf.

Ask a card-carrying member to buy you Costco Shop Cards

To get your hands on some Costco products without having a membership with this method, you are still going to have to know someone who is in the club. But, you won't have to go to the store when they do. Just ask them to buy a Costco Shop Card for you to use; it's essentially Costco's version of a gift card. Only members can buy Costco Shop Cards, of course, but the payment method can be used by anyone — even non-members.

After your friend buys the gift card for you, you can head to the store and use it however you'd like (after paying them back, that is). Costco's own policies affirm you don't have to be a member in order to buy goods when you have the Shop Card, though you might initially get some pushback at the door when you aren't able to produce a membership card. Still, it's a legitimate loophole — one that has become viral in TikTok hack videos, though some users on the social media platform have pointed out that this method of shopping won't let you spend beyond the amount loaded onto the Shop Card and you won't be able to make returns.

Stock up on Costco products by shopping online

There is still another way to tap into all of those Costco deals without being or even knowing a member — simply do your shopping online at Here you can buy much of the same foods, household goods, apparel, and other options the warehouse carries in stock. However, if you go this route, it's important to note that you will be charged a 5% surcharge when you check out, to compensate for not paying the annual member fee.

Some items online are still only available for members, but Costco's online shop has plenty of items to splurge on — you just might have to wait a couple days to get them. Same-day delivery for perishable, fresh, and frozen foods is available via Instacart, but it will lead to an extra fee and can only be applied when you spend a minimum of $35. For non-perishables, you can opt for standard two-day delivery for no extra fee when you buy a minimum of $75 worth of goods; though, a charge will be applied for orders under $75.