When it comes to die-hard Costco shoppers, we understand the draw. From the deals to the free samples to the giant bears, we totally get why a little girl (and our personal hero) chose to have a Costco-themed birthday party. But there's just one problem: to enjoy the promised land, you have to have a membership.
That is, until recently. Depending on where you live, there's a hack for shopping at the store and it doesn't involve tagging along with a friend who happens to be a member. (Though, that works, too). Grocery delivery service Instacart offers delivery from Costco, no membership required. That means that you can load up on everything from some of our favorite deli buys to giant tubs of shampoo and conditioner that will keep your hair shiny for months, for around a $5.99 delivery fee.
There are a few things to keep in mind: Instacart adds a 15% up-charge on store prices. Since a Costco membership is $55 a year, if you're spending over $366 a year at Costco, you should just pony up for the membership fee. So if you are someone who needs to shop at Costco monthly, Instacart is probably not the best option for you — in half a year, you'll pay enough in delivery fees to cover a membership. However, if you enjoy the convenience of delivery or want to splurge on an Express membership, it is definitely worth it. (If you're an Instacart Express member, you get free delivery at all participating Instacart stores for $149/year.)
This new-found Costco shopping hack could be a good option for people who might live alone, with a roommate or two, or in a city with limited space. At the very least, it's way to load up on non-perishables like paper towels, dry goods, and cleaning supplies three or four times a year without worrying about paying for a membership.