As a family of two, we really can't justify paying for a Costco membership because we're short on toilet paper. There's not much we need to buy in bulk.

Pet food is another insanely popular bulk item to buy at Costco, but thanks to Dakota's health challenges we can't buy our cat food there.  Our little stinker is on a special diet for the rest of his life and the food he eats is only available through vet offices. Even our pet isn't a good excuse to pay for a membership.

However, my friends that have memberships are constantly finding cool things at Costco that might not be a bulk item...winter coats, stand-up paddleboards, their HUGE pumpkin pie. Plus some of the discounts on groceries there are out of this world. I feel left out.

Does anyone else have extreme fear of missing out when it comes to shopping at Costco? If you're with me on this one, it's time to turn that frown upside down and get your shop on! Thanks to some helpful tips from CNBC, I found out there are ways to shop there WITHOUT having a membership! Check out these tips to shop the existing Boise area Costcos or keep them in your back pocket for when the new Meridian location opens.

Enlist a Friend With a Membership

No, I don't mean you have to do your shopping at the same time as your friend. Simply Venmo them some cash and ask them to grab you a Cosco Cash Card. With that gift card in your hand, you'll be allowed to enter warehouse to use it even if you're not a member. It's not exactly a super sneaky trick because it's listed in the terms and conditions of the card.

Have it Delivered

So this one doesn't give you access to every department in the store but it most definitely covers food and other items you may want to buy in bulk for a large family. Instacart, a service offering on-demand grocery delivery by personal shoppers, launched in Boise in 2017. Costco is one of the retailers you can send your shopper to. In addition to grocery items, Instacart also allows you to chose items from Boise Costco's floral, auto accessories, personal products, cleaning, laundry, office and baby departments.

The drawback to using Instacart? Items online can be pricier than in store and you'll need to take care of your personal shopper through the website's service and delivery fees.

Shop Online

It may not be so obvious that you can shop without having to enter a member number upon checkout. You won't get as good as a price as members because of a non-member surcharge and items are often cheaper at the actual warehouse...but you still get some of Costco's more unique offerings like their caskets. Yes. Costco sells caskets. Or you could shop something less morbid like name-brand clothing and shoes and over the counter medicines like Advil. Non-members do, however, have to wait a few days longer for shipping than members.

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