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How to shop @Costco without a membership.


Extreme Member
Like some of you, there's no Costo store nearby...but there's one near our relatives..so if you're in a similar situation
(or you don't want to shell out the 60 bucks & be an infrequent buyer)   here's a remedy that may help quell your occasional
need to shop @Costco.

A Costco membership sure has its benefits (like these hidden Costco perks, just to name a few). But those of us who haven’t decided to commit to the $60-a-year membership yet can still take advantage of those unbeatable deals. And the store totally condones it..+++

Sure, you could stock up on items costco.com, but non-members pay an extra 5 percent and don’t have access to the members-only sales. You also probably already know Costco members can bring up to two guests into the store to take advantage of the big-box deal. Of course, that leaves the obvious problem of relying on that friend to get you in. If you do your shopping Monday mornings but your friend can only go on the weekends—when you’re totally booked—you’re out of luck. Thankfully, there’s another sneaky way to get into the store without a membership and without being a guest.

Like most stores, Costco offers gift certificates in the form of its Costco Cash Cards. The thing is, it can’t control who those cards go to,thank goodness.
The superstore touts the cards as a 'convenient way for members to pay,' but the small print allows non-members to use them, too. Just ask a friend to pick up a card for you (using your money, of course) and you can get anywhere from $25 to $1,000 in store credit to spend at Costco. With your Costco Cash Card in hand, you can get into the store and do your shopping just like any other shopper, without tagging along with another member.  While you’re there, keep an eye out for this Costco price tag symbol that signals you to stock up.

The tricky part is that Costco only allows members to buy and refill the cash cards, getting your hands on one gives you the flexibility to shop on your own time. If you plan on shopping there often, the cost of a membership is probably worth it. But if you just need to stock up for a one-time event, a cash card could save some major moolah—especially if you pair it with these tips for saving money at Costco.

Keep in mind, too, that even without a cash card, non-members can fill prescriptions, get their hearing and vision checked, and eat at the food court. Score!
When you need to refill your you cash card,treat your friend to  anything in the food court without batting an eye on cost.. :shocked:
Ha ..there's always a way around...well not always,but most times. :D
does this mean i can finally shop at costco and tell the receipt checker goons at the exit to fuϲk off without even breaking my (non-existent) member agreement? my kind of loophole
Very solid info Ms.S
It has been a long long time since we shopped at Costco since it is liek 4 hours away to the closest one where we live now, but if I remember right, they used to check your silly card at the door upon entry, and send you to customer service to get a "day pass" or buy the full if you did not have one.
It's literally been at least 11-12 years since my last visit but does anyone else recall them doing something like that at all??
access control (membership check) essentially happens at the checkout register. not at the entrance, not at the food court register, etc.
those goons where you walk in are basically just greeters. you can tell them you're going to the food court or just want to have a 'look around' or whatever, and they should let you in no prob.


Extreme Member
Should you get a CCC??? .bear in mind that when you checkout they will ask for the phone # of the person WHO bought  the card not yours.
So if your"friend or whomever" buys a card and hands it to you  ask them & jot down their  phone # or else fuhgeddaboudit.
Also when the so called card/paperwork comes in the mail,do not discard,its  needed it to register
Your card MUST be registered before you enter or you're in for for a big disappointing experience...IOW...you can't shop..fuhgeddaboudit.
Read the fine print aka the hassles/spell out.. their   gotcha in print no less? ...someone gifted me a card ,fine.   if you go once or 2xs a a month then do the right thing and........
buy a membership.the gas prices alone,along with the other perks pays that back..With no Costco nearby,driving a long
 distance to save money is counter productive when one's savings is eaten up with time & gas money+small household
means you're not buying the bulk,which is how these warehouses make their moolah+ of course the membership fees.
IMO,they can offer a one day pass & jot down your drivers  license # & so you can't misuse the privilege..one & done.adios!
So is a  membership worth it you...depends onyour situation& you have one nearby fine.otherwise..fuhgeddaboudit. :hi:
Truth be told .if I had Costco ~10mls from my home, I'd be there in a NY minute (2/3xs a mth@that..with membership/Visa CC in hand.
Aye before we moved up here, we shopped at Costco almost weekly and not even just for the bulk saving but you can often find products that are not easy to find elsewhere's. Its just not worth it now even with our once a month average trips to Winnipeg or Thunderbay, finding the time to sneak into store is an issue as well.
I do miss it though, can't lie aboot that eh

The Hot Pepper

Is this a store in the suburbs? 


Extreme Member
Our savings on parm alone in a year more than pay for our membership. Lol

They don't sell alcohol at the Costco's in Ontario, which sucks because I hear about all the good deals available other places.
The membership for a family of 4 (2 kids) will pay for itself just with the savings on eggs, milk, toilet paper and gasoline. The difference in the price of gas around here hovers around 20 cents a gallon and more if you use the Costco Visa credit card. Take off another 4% on gas purchases. My last CCC rebate check was around $50 more than the membership fee.
The savings soars if you look for sales on items you really like. A bag of Mex cheese shreds (without any damn cellulose) is several dollars cheaper than a similar item at Walmart. They are the only place locally i can find Grade AA eggs and they cost less than Grade As at other places. A large jar of my favorite olives cost about the same as a jar half the size at Schnucks or even Walmart.
Just one good deal on a LCD/LED TV is enough to more than repay the membership cost.