Oh, Costco. How we have a love hate relationship with you. We love the high quality selection, the savings, and of course the free samples throughout the warehouse. We hate the crowded parking lots, long lines, and the fact we can’t leave there without spending at least $100, and entering another small line to have you highlight our receipts.

While these are things we know about Costco, today we will share some fairly unknowns about the big box retailer including ways to shop at Costco without having a membership. Yes, you can still shop at Costco without a membership under certain conditions. 

Use a Gift Card

You can shop with a Costco gift card. According to Costco.com  “Members and non-members may use the Costco Cash Cards to shop at any Costco location in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and online at Costco.com.”

Fill a Prescription at the Pharmacy

Like many products and services, Costco frequently has the lowest prices on medications and you don’t have to be a member to use the pharmacy.

Test Your Hearing or Vision 

No membership is required to use Costco’s hearing and optical services for screenings or examinations. Actually purchasing the hearing aids or glasses, however would require a membership. Find a friend who has a membership and they can purchase them for you, or use the costco gift card.

Even frequent Costco shoppers may not be aware of some other fairly unknowns, such as pricing structure and coupons. Costco coupons come out every Thursday. And you might not be aware that while most regular priced items are priced ending in .99, if a product ends in .97 you know it’s most likely been marked down. Other prices ending in .49, or .79 is sometimes a signal that it was a special buy for Costco and might be the lowest price you can find for that item.

At themoneybeat.com we love our red wine, and recently found a bottle that is priced the same as wine club members get for that particular winery from Paso Robles, CA.

Sometimes you may also see  “” in the upper right-hand corner of the price tag. Most likely, this is an item that is limited and you may not see again as it isn’t going to be reordered.

Have a Costco secret you would like to share? We would love to hear it!