Why, Yes, You Can Shop at Costco Without a Membership — Here's How

Oct 27, 2017 at 12:45 p.m. ET
Image: Getty Images

Waaaaay back in the '90s and early aughts, going to Costco with our parents seemed, well, almost fun. However, the population seems to have multiplied times a million since then — causing millennials like myself to have an anxiety attack just thinking about navigating busy aisles or (*gasp!*) waiting in line to pay for our goods. While the idea of scoring some major deals on bulk items does have some appeal, dealing with crowds does not, and with holiday shopping on our current to-do list, we're all about shopping online. Not waiting in line.

Luckily, Costco seems to realize that if it has any hope of holding onto the younger generation, it has to become more accessible, and it's doing so by partnering with Instacart to offer online ordering and delivery. The best part is that you don't even need a membership card to start shopping. Finally!

More: Secrets to Getting In & Out of Costco Fast

While Costco has paired with other delivery services in the past, unlike those, Instacart doesn't require a membership fee. You can simply sit in bed, pants-free, and order bulk La Croix, Nutella and toilet paper, all while lifting nothing more than a finger (or a few).

Instacart does charge a delivery fee, and similar to Uber's surge pricing, the cost can fluctuate depending on the time of day and the availability of the drivers.

More: Costco's Finally Caught On to the Delivery Trend — & We're Into It

Still, if you only drag yourself to Costco twice a year because you can't stand elbowing your way through families unraveling from the stress of bulk shopping just to get your hands on a free sausage pizza sample, chances are you'll still end up spending less on Instacart delivery than you do on your membership. And honestly, holding onto your sanity is priceless no matter what you eventually rack up in delivery fees.

Now, time to go clear out my pantry. Hey, that industrial-size vat of cookie butter isn't going to make space for itself!

Originally published June 2017. Updated October 2017.

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