Woman talking(l+r), Costco membership cards

Sadi-Santos/Shutterstock @tiffjessup/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Costco employee here, she’s 100% right’: Woman calls Costco membership ‘waste of money,’ shares how to get groceries from there without one

‘Life hack.’


Jack Alban


If the thought of paying money in order to shop at a place, where you’re inevitably going to spend money on goods there, irks you, then this hack is for you.

Tiff (@tiffjessup) shared it to TikTok on Monday. The video was viewed 416,000 times.

She says you don’t actually need a membership to get goods from Costco and Sam’s Club. All that the hack requires is that there’s an Instacart shopper in your area who has access to one of these clubs.

She begins her video by stating, “Life hack: use Instacart if you want stuff from Costco.” She records herself sitting outdoors on a patch of grass, eating a coconut-flavored Island Way sorbet. She got the sorbet from Costco.

Tiff says that while she has a Sam’s Club membership, she’s reluctant about purchasing one from Costco.

“That’s just dumb and a waste of money,” she says. “So I use Instacart.”

“I am addicted to these things,” she says, showing the sorbet off to the camera.

“Especially the coconut one. This [expletive] in a coconut shell, bro. And it’s so creamy and so good,” she says, intoning she is exceedingly happy with the purchase she made at the end of her clip.

@tiffjessup instacart/costco life hack lol #instacarthacks #lifehack ♬ original sound – tiff bish

Is this hack worth the extra Instacart fees?

There were conflicting reactions to her post. Some people confirmed that her method works. Others said that it would ultimately be more cost effective to buy your own membership and shop there yourself.

But one customer said that they didn’t mind paying a little extra money as long as it meant they didn’t need to get a membership or shop for it themselves. “It’s a 5% surcharge. That’s ok with me,” they wrote.

A Costco worker and Instacart shopper chimed in. “She’s 100% right!” the Costco worker exclaimed.

One Instacart shopper also confirmed that this “hack” is the real deal. “Same! And I am a shopper and sometimes I’ll place an order when I’m working so I can shop my own order and add all the things I want to while I’m shopping,” they wrote.

There are some downsides

CNET also looked into this method of membership-less Costco shopping.

The outlet notes that “you’ll spend a little more for the convenience,” like viewers referenced in the comments section of the clip. CNET also reports that Instacart tacks on an additional $4 fee for every single same-day order made, with additional fees for any item order that comes out to less than $10.

It’s also worth mentioning that there are some products that are still members-only. Things also start to get murky when it comes to ordering specific items from Costco, as there are products the retailer only offers online or in particular locations.

Other ways to shop at Costco without a membership

Of course there are other ways to shop at Costco that doesn’t require paying Instacart fees and that’s by getting your hands on a gift card to the chain. They almost function as membership cards themselves: You don’t need an annual plan to use gift cards at the store. “You can also have someone buy you a Costco gift card and it’ll get you in without a membership!” a viewer shared.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Costco and Instacart via email as well as to Tiff via TikTok comment for further information.

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