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10 Things You Need to Know Before Buying Booze at Costco

Shopping for alcohol at Costco can be an adventure! Here are some secrets to keep in mind when buying spirits from the warehouse retailer.

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costco alcohol Crowds Flock To Costco Store In ShanghaiChina News Service/Getty Images

You don’t have to be a member to buy alcohol

Need to restock the home bar, but don’t have a Costco membership? No problem, in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Texas and Vermont. If you’re a resident, you’re welcome to purchase wine, beer and spirits from Costco without a club card.

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costco alcohol Jim Beam, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Seen DisplayedSOPA Images/Getty Images

World-famous distillers produce Kirkland spirits

You may be surprised to learn that famous distillers actually produce Costco’s store brand spirits. For example, Kirkland bourbon and rum are produced by Jim Beam in Kentucky. Grey Goose makes Kirkland vodka with the same water source as its name brand. And Kirkland tequila is made in the same distillery as the Cielo brand. It’s a small world, indeed!

Use Costco alcohol to make famous American cocktails.

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Kirkland brand offers just about every type of booze

You can fully stock your bar with Kirkland products. That’s right! Costco’s store brand includes all kinds of spirits: vodka, scotch, whiskey, bourbon, rum, tequila and gin. You can even find Kirkland 100-calorie boozy ice pops that are perfect for pool parties.

By the way, this is what Kirkland brand was almost called.

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The empty wine crates can be used as home decor

If you’re ever shopping for vino at Costco and noticed that one of the wooden wine crates is empty, you can take it home with you for the affordable price of $0.00.

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Economic Downturn Causes Drop In Champagne SalesJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

Costco is the largest wine retailer in the nation

It’s no doubt that Costco shoppers love to stock up on the good stuff! In 2019, the company recorded a whopping $4.4 billion in alcohol sales, with wine making up about that—more than $2 billion. That officially makes Costco the largest wine seller in the U.S.

Here’s what happens if you drink a glass of wine every night.

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Costco Announces Raising Minimum Wage to $16 An HourMario Tama/Getty Images

The alcohol is nonrefundable

When it comes time to shop for Costco alcohol, shop wisely. Costco is well-known for its lenient return and exchange policy. However, in some states, alcohol is not included in this company-wide convention.

Warning: There are some consequences for returning products too often at Costco.

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Economic Downturn Causes Drop In Champagne SalesJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

High-quality wine is sold at a bargain

According to many happy shoppers and The Daily Meal, most of the wine brands sold at Costco are typically priced anywhere between 10 and 20% less than other retailers! If you’re planning a fancy wine tasting and want to get the biggest bang for your buck, see what deals you can score at Costco.

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U.s. Big Box Retailers Face Rice ShortagesJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

Look for the discount symbol

While shopping for Costco alcohol, keep an eye out for an asterisk (*) in the upper right-hand corner of the sign on the shelf. The star symbol indicates that the product is on clearance. It may also mean that what’s on the floor is the last stock.

Learn more about the asterisk on Costco price tags.

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The beer Advent calendars make wonderful stocking stuffers

Need a holiday gift for the beer enthusiast in your life? Costco sells beer Advent calendars that are absolutely perfect. Each day up until Christmas, beer lovers can enjoy a can of craft beer to brighten up the season.

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Food delivering at home addresssvetikd/Getty Images

Alcohol home delivery is legal in 11 states

Need a drink—but don’t want to leave your house? You may be in luck! More than 200 Costco locations in California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina and Ohio and Washington, D.C. offer same-day delivery through Instacart.

Ceara Milligan
Ceara “Kiwi” Milligan is a professional marketing strategist and copywriter who is proud to call Milwaukee home. She loves baking, cooking, writing, listening to music, dancing, playing and hosting trivia, watching college basketball (Go Marquette!), telling lame jokes, and petting every dog that crosses her path.

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