Like most college students, two adjectives that describe me very well are cheap and lazy. And that’s exactly why I love buying in bulk at warehouse stores like Costco – not only do you save money buy buying wholesale, but you can also be super lazy by just buying food and supplies to last the entire month! Unfortunately, Costco requires a membership just to get in, let alone to buy anything. Fortunately, I’ve figured out a clever way to shop at Costco without a membership! If you know that you’re not going to shop at Costco that often (maybe once a month or less), save yourself $55 with this trick.

First, find a friend or relative who owns a Costco membership, and have them buy you a Costco gift card – any denomination will do. When you walk into Costco, flash your gift card to gain entry. Then when you checkout, your gift card will also function like membership. The cashier will have to pull over a supervisor for special authorization, but it’s worked every single time I’ve done this. If you have a remaining balance left over, remember that Costco only accepts cash and American Express cards, so if you don’t have an AmEx, stop at an ATM before you go.

If possible, ask the cashier to only charge a penny off your gift card so you can use it again. As long as you have a balance remaining on your gift card, you can enter Costco again and buy whatever you want – just pay off the remaining bill with cash or your AmEx. Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, you can go out and buy that four-pound bag of chips you’ve always wanted!

Do you know of any other hacks like this for other wholesale clubs? Let us know in the comments!

[Photo courtesy of Flickr user greenwenvy08. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.]