There's more than one way to shop at Costco without a membership - yes, beyond specifically befriending someone who already belongs or clinging to a stranger like a shadow to sneak in. Instacart offers one option, but if the service isn't available in your city (and right now, the cities offered are pretty limited), you're SOL.
Turns out that mystical guru that contains all of the answers to the universe - ahem, Google - also has a workaround, using its shopping service, Google Express. If you shop using the site, you can order items from Costco (as well as Target, Walmart, and other major stores), and if you spend over the stated minimum, your shipping's free, too. So that pallet of triple-thick toilet paper and small mountain of Doritos you bought you won't even have to worry about cramming, Tetris-style, into your car. They'll bring it right to you in one to three days.
Like all great things in life, there is a catch: There's a small "access" fee for buying Costco items - 10 percent - which can be waived if you have a membership. If you live in nine states, you can't order without a membership at all. Sorry, residents of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming.
If you'd only make a few Costco trips a year - how much TP can one family go through in 12 months, honestly?! - the access fee is worth it, as long as your total stays under $60. Otherwise, it's a wash.
But, if the biggest draw is not having to deal with the lines, the time spent searching for frozen mini quiches, and having to haul it all home, there's another benefit of this service: It's connected to Google Home and Google Assistant, so you can just use a voice command to have Google order everything you need. (It can also keep track of frequent buys, so you can set up commands like, "Hey Google, order mini quiches" and boom! Those frozen treats will be on their way. Or whatever you're hopelessly addicted to from the buy-in-bulk store.)
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