Shop at Costco without membership? Yes!

Those of us who haven’t decided to commit to the $60-a-year membership at Costco can still take advantage of the unbeatable low prices.

One thing you can do is go with a friend. Costco lets members take up to two guests into the warehouse club. Just be aware that if you’re the non-member going in with a friend, they’ll have to foot the bill and you’ll have to settle up with them after the trip.

If you have a very tight schedule and you don´t have time to plan to go with another person, just ask a friend to pick up a cash card for you, using your money, of course, and you can get anywhere from $25 to $1,000 in store credit to spend at Costco.

According to a Shared report, with your Costco Cash Card in hand, you can get into the store and do your shopping just like any other shopper, without tagging along with another member.

The tricky part is that Costco only allows members to buy and refill the cash cards, but getting your hands on one, gives you the flexibility to shop on your own time.

If you plan on shopping there often, the cost of a membership is probably worth it. But if you just need to stock up for a one-time event, a cash card could save some major money.

Prescription drug sales, like alcohol, are highly regulated. And Costco and other membership stores must offer equal access and pricing for prescriptions to all consumers, regardless of membership status.

A Consumer Reports survey of generic drug prices found Costco to be the cheapest among more than 200 pharmacies, and prescription medications can be filled at the Costco pharmacy without a membership.

So, you could let the door attendant know that you are a non-member who is picking up a prescription. That should get you in the door.

Non-members can use Costco’s hearing and optical services for exams and screenings. But if you need to buy glasses, contacts or hearing aids, you’re going to need a membership or a friend who can get you inside the store to purchase what you need on your behalf.

Of course, you could always use a gift card as we described before. Non-members can also shop on Costco’s website to take advantage of the warehouse club’s bargain prices on certain items.

Gift cards, for example, can be purchased at a discount online without a membership. The disadvantage is that non-members may be hit with a 5 percent surcharge on some orders.

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