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It’s no secret that buying in bulk at Costco, especially if you have a big family, is a timesaver and results in plenty of savings. While nothing beats free in-store samples and browsing the endless discounts on the shelves, there’s an often overlooked service that members shouldn’t miss.
You see, tons of retailers are hopping on the grocery delivery trend and Costco is no different. Between social distancing during the pandemic and people preferring to shop online, CostpcoGrocery, the brand’s online grocery delivery service, makes stocking up your refrigerator a total breeze.
Ahead, we’re breaking down all the details on how to opt in for the service — and all the reasons why you should make it part of your daily routine.
Where Does Costco Deliver Groceries?
First things first, does Costco deliver groceries everywhere? While the retailer offers two-day delivery throughout the U.S. (excluding Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico), certain delivery services are limited by location. Before you get ahead of yourself, check to see what’s available in your area. Click over to the CostcoGrocery webpage, input your zip code and you’ll be able to see what’s possible where you are. For the most part, same-day delivery is available in most metropolitan areas, but it all depends on your zip code.
One thing to note is that CostcoGrocery has a partnership with Instacart, which is how items get to customers in as quick as one hour. Given the added fees that normally deter bargain hunters from the rapid grocery delivery platform, going through Costco can be a simple way to access the convenience of not having to shop at a store.
How Does Costco Delivery Work?
For those ready to give CostcoGrocery a try, know that you will need a Costco membership. Gold Star and Business memberships cost $60 annually. But if you want to earn greater rewards, the Executive Gold Star and Business Executive options are available for $120 per year.
Once you have your membership figured out, it’s time to shop. Costco has two grocery delivery options including same-day and two-day delivery. As mentioned, same-day deliveries are made possible via Instacart, but you’ll have to spend a minimum of $35 to successfully process your order for free.
While same-day delivery may not be the move if all you’re missing is toothpaste, it certainly helps for larger orders. It also means your veggies, fruits, meat and other similar items arrive as fresh as possible. And really, when was the last time you spent as little as $35 on groceries? Plus, considering Costco’s bulk prices, things will quickly add up and you’ll definitely hit that amount faster than you think. Just be aware that Costco members have to be present to receive their CostcoGrocery Instacart delivery, so don’t schedule it for when you’re not home.
On the other end of things is the two-day turnaround. Unless you set it up for faster delivery, the default for snacks, pet supplies, laundry detergent and all other non-perishable items is a two-day delivery window. Unlike the Instacart route, you’ll have to place an order of $75 or more to avoid a delivery and handling fee. The good thing is that you don’t have to be around to accept your order. This makes things easier for members who have odd schedules or who are back in the office.
How Much Does Costco Same-day Delivery Cost?
Kirkland Signature Rotisserie Chicken
Regular Price: $6.29
While there is no additional fee for Costco same-day grocery delivery, that’s because items are priced higher to cover service and delivery costs. You will also have to hit that $35 minimum order. Costco doesn’t hide that the brand’s grocery delivery service costs more than shopping in-person. A common example is the retailer’s beloved rotisserie chicken. While it’s typically priced at $4.99, it’s over $1 more when you snag it for same-day delivery.
Coupons are the other piece of the grocery puzzle. The discounts you’re seeing in Costco’s monthly ad book may not be what you come across online, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you won’t find any promotions and offers at all. It’s just that there may be slight differences and certain deals might not be available. However, if there’s something you really want, just add a special note in the order and your designated shopper may be able to accommodate it. You can also filter through the grocery selection online and single out the items that have an additional coupon attached to them.
When it comes to competitors like Walmart, their online product prices may not be increased, but the company hits customers hard with delivery fees. There’s a delivery fee of up to $9.95 for same-day grocery delivery. Alternatively, you can pay $98 annually or $12.95 a month for Walmart+ to get free grocery delivery with a $35 minimum. As for Amazon Fresh, while Amazon only recently dropped additional costs to access their grocery delivery service, you’ll still need a $119 Prime membership, which is twice the cost of a basic Costco Gold Star membership. Plus, there’s a markup on product prices similar to what you’d find shopping at Costco online.
How Much Does Costco 2-day Delivery Cost?
Colgate Total Advanced Whitening Toothpaste
Regular Price: $17.49 | Sale Price: $11.99
Similar to fresh groceries, there’s a markup on Costco’s non-perishable items available for two-day delivery. According to the wholesale giant’s FAQs, the rationale behind this is to “cover the pick and pack fulfillment cost” from your local Costco warehouse.
To offset these costs, we recommend checking out Costco’s “Sponsored Products” section on the site. That’s the place to look online for the biggest discounts. For example, a five-pack of Colgate Total Advanced Whitening Toothpaste is regularly priced at $17.49, but with the online coupon worth $5.50, the final price ends up being just $11.99. Just know that sale prices are only available while supplies last and there’s usually a five-item limit per customer. So in the same way you sometimes have to act fast in stores, don’t lose that energy when shopping online.
For shoppers prioritizing the two-day deliver time, remember that you must place your order by a certain time. If you scroll through the fine print for each item, it normally suggests finalizing your cart by noon. Another thing to note is that this delivery window is for business days only, so don’t start that two-day window countdown just yet if you’re shopping on a weekend. In addition, CostcoGrocery doesn’t deliver over the weekends or during holidays. Knowing all this information ahead of time is important to manage your expectations for the service.
Slick Tip: If you haven’t done so already, make sure to sign up for Costco’s newsletter. As a subscriber, you’ll be the first to know about the latest promotions and special offers that could drive the cost of your household needs down.
Fresh Tips on Frozen Food
Foster Farms Take Out Crispy Chicken Wings (4 lbs.)
Regular Price: $19.99 or $5 per pound
Costco doesn’t mess around with savings. And as mentioned, the retailer lets customers know right away that they’ll have to pay premium prices to shop online. “May be available In-Warehouse at a lower non-delivered price” is the note that’s written in the description of a variety of items, especially frozen foods. Anything that has to stay freezing cold during transport has a price increase on the site. This makes sense given how expensive it can be to make sure your order doesn’t go bad during transport.
To help make these high prices worth it, CostcoGrocery waives all delivery fees on cold and frozen food orders of $100 or more. It follows the same timeline as two-day delivery orders, so that means you’ll have to place your order by the retailer’s standard cutoff time, otherwise you’ll get it later than expected.
If you’re not a fan of lugging around pounds of meat or you don’t have a break in your busy schedule to walk up and down aisles for an upcoming gathering, having major items delivered is the way to go. Plus, the selection couldn’t be better with crispy chicken wings, cheese, cold cuts and much more available for purchase online.
Keep the Rewards Coming
Rewards are a huge benefit of a Costco membership and they don’t end with just same-day grocery delivery. Executive Gold Star and Business Executive members are eligible to receive a 2% reward on all purchases. And if you have a Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi, you’ll get an extra 2% cash back on your online purchases.
However, the benefits don’t just stop there. The same 2% reward for Executive members and 2% cash back for Costco Anywhere Visa Card cardholders are applied to two-day delivery and frozen food orders. You’ll likely need groceries multiple times a month, so don’t be surprised if you see your rewards quickly skyrocket.
Download the Costco App
Downloading another app is probably the last thing you want to do. But if Costco is your go-to grocer, you’ll be surprised at how helpful it can be to have it around. The Costco App is a fountain of convenience, information and savings. It keeps a digital copy of your membership card, so you’ll more easily have it on hand.
You’ll also be able to shop Costco’s online inventory right from your phone, making things even more efficient. Being able to create shopping lists is another standout feature of the app, alongside being able to refill your prescriptions, get alerts for special promotions and much more.
Of course, there’s a separate CostcoGrocery tab where you can place all your online grocery orders and track them. This also helps give you an estimated timeframe of when orders will arrive.
Here’s the Bottom Line: When Is it Worth It?
You know what they say, time is money. A good way to know whether or not online shopping is worth it is to focus on the amount of savings you got during a trip to a Costco warehouse. If you saved $30 via in-store promotions and coupons, but it took you an hour or more to complete the trip, then was your time equivalent to that amount of savings?
For those with a busy work schedule, you’re likely more comfortable with shopping faster than snagging a small amount of savings. Parents with multiple kids are another group that could benefit from CostcoGrocery. Think about it, there’s nothing worse than having children running around Costco making it take twice as long for you to check out. Having groceries delivered takes the stress and headache out of shopping, ultimately allowing you to enjoy more time with your family.
All in all, a trip to Costco is no walk in the park. The aisles are usually crowded. It’s not always easy reaching for the products you want, and the lines to checkout can take extra long, especially if you’re there on the weekends. Raise your hand if you’re also that shopper who tends to put things in your cart you don’t need. Not having those Costco sales people to give you samples definitely helps to limit what you actually end up purchasing, which puts money back in your pocket.
Finally, let’s not forget the enticing Costco shop by the checkout counters serving up pizza, hot dogs, churros and other snacks. While the prices are unbeatable, it’s an added cost that’s hard to walk away from. And depending on how big your family is, you likely end up spending more than you’d expect. When clicking checkout online, there’s no fast food to get through before finalizing your order.
Overall, the advantages of CostcoGrocery are certainly worth checking out. If you need extra time to plan a party or you’re swamped with work one week, these are the perfect opportunities to give the grocery delivery service a try. There are savings to be had if you look for them, and you never know, you could instantly fall for the convenience behind it all. There’s a reason why these delivery options are popping up, so give it a chance and see where it takes you.
Whether you’re looking to save on Costco delivery groceries or simply don’t want to miss a good deal, set up a custom Deal Alert. We’ll notify you the moment a new discount hits our forums so you never miss a sale.