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No Membership Needed. Anyone Can Get Costco Delivered With This Easy Trick

Normally, you'd have to pay a $60 membership fee to shop at Costco. Here's how to avoid that.

Instacart logo on phone in front of food
If you don't want to sign up for a Costco membership right now, Instacart is a great way to still shop there.
Angela Lang/CNET

People either love Costco or they just don't seem to understand the appeal of it. There's not a whole lot of in between, and it's reflected in the fact that you either pay for an annual membership or opt to not shop there at all. Wouldn't it be cool if you could still shop there sometimes but without needing to enroll in a membership? It's possible, but there are some things to know about the process.

shopping tips logo

Odds are you've heard of or even used Instacart to have something delivered to you at some point. But did you know that you could order from Costco via Instacart and have it delivered without needing a membership? Costco does have some items that are specifically member-only, but shopping through the Instacart app opens you up to a whole new variety of products, and best of all you can do it from anywhere.

Savvy shoppers should also know about Amazon's great subscribe and save program, these tips that will help you unlock more value in your next Target trip and even how to pick the best seat for your next flight.

How to shop at Costco with Instacart

Getting started with this is super easy, but let's break down the process for you.

1. Download the Instacart app or go to Instacart.com from your browser

2. Create an account or sign in to your existing account

3. Navigate to the Costco Storefront in Instacart

4. Load up your cart with items that you wish to purchase

5. Select your delivery time and checkout 

That's it. Really. It's just that easy to buy from Costco and have it delivered to you, all without ever needing to pay for an annual membership. As previously noted, there are a few things worth knowing about this, so let's break them down.

costco cereal on shelves

Shelf-stable items including cereal, sauces and coffee represent some of the biggest savings when buying in bulk. 

VIEW press/Getty

Prices will be higher than in a warehouse

The prices that are charged through Instacart are often more expensive than the prices you'd see if you were to go into a Costco location and do your shopping there. That's because you need a membership to shop in person and because Instacart is providing the service of picking and delivering your order. 

None of the items or pages indicate directly how much more expensive it is to use Instacart than to shop at Costco in person, which is a good and bad thing at the same time. The convenience factor makes it worth paying a little extra for the items in most cases.

In some cases, Instacart could have coupon savings that will make items more affordable as well. These are clearly marked on Instacart, so be sure to look out for items that indicate coupon savings when purchasing.

You need to order via Instacart

This is one of the most confusing parts. Costco.com has an experience that offers same-day delivery for members that's powered by Instacart (which is called Costco Same-Day) and Instacart offers same-day delivery from Costco for non-members. See how that can be confusing? If you don't have a Costco membership right now, you will want to make sure you are doing your ordering via the Instacart app or site, and not exploring directly from Costco's own site. 

Keep in mind that Instacart does add a delivery fee for every same-day order, which starts at $3.99. All orders must be $10 or more and deliveries under $35 are charged more. Costco also charges for its same-day orders and has a strict $35 order minimum.

There are some exclusions

While a lot of what Costco sells is available both online and in its warehouse locations, not everything is sold in both places. You won't be able to place orders through Instacart for items that are online only. In addition, Costco does have some items that are exclusively available to its warehouse members so you won't be able to buy those. Some examples of that include the Bose Quiet Comfort 45 headphones, Nest Hub two-pack, a Samsung 65-inch TV with extended warranty and much more. 

At some point, it pays to be a member

Using this trick is great if you only need something from Costco once and a while. It's a great way to test the water with Costco, to see if you like the products and if it could provide value in the end for you and your family. Online, and in the warehouse, Costco showcases the price per item or per weight which allows you to easily compare what you're buying to the competition. 

As you are looking around and ordering, make note of where the better prices are and see how long it would take you to get your money back if you paid the annual membership. The results for your situation may surprise you. Some of my personal Costco favorites are Kirkland toilet paper, paper towels, Just Bare chicken nuggets, pulled pork and of course the Liquid I.V. packs.

If you enjoyed this money-saving tip, we've got more where that came from. Did you know Amazon has a whole secret area of the site that will help you save money on your next purchase? Or that Amazon Prime includes so much more than just free fast shipping? We're always on the hunt for more shopping tips, so be sure to stick around for new ones.