The Time-Saving Way To Grocery Shop At Costco That Doesn't Require a Membership

Bulk deals will be yours.

As a member of a two-person household, a Costco membership feels like an unnecessary expense. We don't regularly shop in bulk, and it's pretty challenging for my partner and I to eat, say, 10 pounds of oranges before they go bad. Because of this, we've never really shopped at Costco, until recently, when we learned about a new way to shop the bulk discounts we do want without paying for a membership (or even leaving our house). That's right, Costco delivers on Instacart.

Costco storefront

This is the perfect solution for people who, like me, don't want to pay for a membership but want to take advantage of deals every few months to stock up on necessities. It's also ideal for folks who don't have a car and want to avoid schlepping on the subway or bus systems with a gigantic pack of toilet paper. Whatever your reason for wanting to avoid in-person shopping, this trick is sure to save you time and money. Here are the items that always make it into my cart, in case you need a little inspiration.

Olive oil

We go through a lot of olive oil in my household – we use it for salad dressings and roasting vegetables and drizzling on pastas. The list goes on and on. Buying quality oil can be expensive, so it's one of my number one bulk purchases. Kirkland Signature, Costco's house brand, is an excellent option – they have a handful of varieties, including Spanish and California grown olives, but I tend to go for whatever is on sale. Prices, of course, fluctuate, but on my most recent order I scored 2 liters for less than $15. Now that is a deal.

Buy It: Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (2 L)

Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

American-made Parmesan cheese is different from the Italian stuff, labelled Parmigiano-Reggiano and heavily regulated in terms of how and where it's made. The difference is stark, but the price can also be shocking. Luckily, Costco carries the good stuff, sold in bulk so it's perfect for stocking up without breaking the bank. Don't worry, because Parmigiano cheese is a dry, aged cheese, it will stay fresh in your fridge for a long time. Once it's open, the best way to store the cheese is to tightly wrap it in plastic wrap, which brings me to my next product recommendation…

Buy It: Kirkland Signature Italian Parmesan Parmigiano Reggiano

Plastic Wrap

This may seem like a weird recommendation, but the plastic wrap they sell at Costco is much closer to the industrial stuff that restaurants use than what you would normally find in an average grocery store. For one, the rolls are much larger, so you don't have to change them out so often. The Costco version is also packaged with a sharp blade and cutting mechanism that helps you cleanly slice the plastic, rather than struggling with it as you get it stuck to everything except what you're actually trying to wrap.

Buy It: Kirkland Signature Plastic Food Wrap (2 x 750 sq ft)

Frozen Treats

As a child I was fascinated by the size and variety of frozen desserts at Costco, and by the gigantic, walk-in freezers where they're kept. Nowadays when I order delivery, I usually treat myself to one frozen dessert to keep around for when the craving strikes. For summer, I've been enjoying Island Way sorbet, which are delicious, refreshing, and come served in little fruit halves that are totally charming.


If you have certain cuts of meat that you turn to over and over, Costco is the place to stock up. I always buy chicken thighs, which can be as affordable as $1.15 a pound for close to 15 pounds. I also typically buy several pounds of flank steak, at around $14 a pound. The ticket price for 4 or 5 pounds can seem high, but it's a good by-the-pound price, and the steaks freeze well for those nights when I just need some red meat.

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