How to Score Great Deals at Costco -- Without a Membership

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  • A basic Costco membership costs $60 a year.
  • If you don't want to pay that fee, you still have some options.

You don't necessarily need to pay a membership fee to get some awesome savings.

Many people shop at Costco regularly, and can easily justify the cost of a membership. But in some cases, paying the $60 annual membership fee (the cost of a basic membership) may not make sense for you.

If you don't have a Costco nearby, for example, then you may not get that much use out of a membership. And if you don't have a lot of storage space in your home, loading up on various bulk goods at Costco may not be feasible.

The good news, though, is that you don't necessarily have to pay for a Costco membership to take advantage of the club's great prices. Here are a few ways you can benefit from Costco without joining as a member.

1. Use the pharmacy

Many people spend a lot of money on medications. Costco's pharmacies offer some great deals in that regard, and you don't have to be a member of the warehouse club to fill a prescription.

Often, you will have to show proof of membership to enter a Costco warehouse. But generally, all you need to do is tell the door attendant that you're a non-member who's filling or picking up a prescription, and you shouldn't have a problem getting in.

2. Get a low-cost eye exam

Many Costco locations have an optical center, where you can get your vision checked and fill prescriptions for glasses or contact lenses. If you don't have a Costco membership, you can't get glasses or contacts. But you can still get your eyes checked at an optical center at an affordable price.

3. Shop online

Costco's great deals on bulk items aren't just available at its various warehouse locations. You can also shop at Costco online and have items shipped to your door. Best of all, you don't have to be a Costco member to shop at Anyone can use the website and have goods delivered.

Now the one catch here is that if you're not a member, you'll generally face a 5% surcharge on the items you buy. But even with that extra charge, you might still snag some savings on bulk items compared to your other choices, like Amazon.

Plus, if you don't have access to a vehicle, or if you live in a remote part of the country where your closest big-box store is 30 or 40 miles away, paying a little extra on could still be worth it if it means not having to fill your car's tank for a longer drive. This especially holds true right now given how high gas prices have climbed.

Reap the benefits

You may decide that Costco's $60 annual membership fee is worth paying. But if you don't, you can still use these options to enjoy your share of savings. The less you spend on essentials like food, household supplies, and prescriptions, the more money you'll have left over to put in the bank, so it's worth seeing how Costco can benefit you as a non-member.

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