Walking into a Costco can be overwhelming to say the least. There are high shelves fully stocked with jumbo-size packages of your favorite products, not to mention their famous food court if you need some fuel for your shopping trip (that is, if the free samples don’t suffice).
This warehouse store already has a good reputation for filling up families’ shopping carts for less money, but there’s even more to your Costco membership than meets the eye. Specifically, there are plenty of health and wellness perks that a lot of people don’t even know about. Sure, there are the obvious ones — like the in-store optometrist and economy-size bottles of pain reliever — but there are others that take a little digging to find. For example, bet you didn’t know Costco offers free health screenings, gym memberships and well-priced wheelchairs. (Heck, there are even caskets on sale there!) That’s why we’re here: to help you navigate the best health benefits both in and out of the store’s wide aisles and alert you to ones you might not even realize exist!
Read on to find 13 little-known health benefits that come along with your Costco membership, along with tips and insider hints to help you get the most out of your annual fee — and maybe even help you get healthier in the process.
You've probably seen the optical department in Costco, but did you know that in addition to reasonably priced glasses and contacts, you can also get a vision exam from an onsite optician?
Costco's pharmacy doesn't just feature low prices, but it also comes with other perks, like a home-delivery service.
Costco members can get free screenings for diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis at specific locations on certain dates throughout the year. Interesting in partaking? Here’s the schedule.
Looking for a gym? Costco offers discounted memberships to 24-Hour Fitness, which has more than 280 locations nationwide.
If you're not lucky enough to get dental insurance through your job, never fear: Costco is there for you. They offer Delta Dental plans for members in Arizona, California, Florida, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.
If you’re traveling somewhere where extra vaccinations are recommended, Costco offers a full-service travel medicine consultation program. Right now, it’s only available in California, Washington, Idaho and Oregon — but may expand at a later date.
If you or someone you know needs a wheelchair, look no further than Costco — they have several affordable models.
If you're someone who deals with allergies, you know how expensive those little pills can be. Thankfully, Costco offers their Kirkland brand at a fraction of the price of what you'd pay in a drugstore for a name brand.
If for whatever reason you need to drink bottled water, Costco offers a water-delivery service to make that process easier (and more eco-friendly than individual bottles of water.)
Health Insurance Advising
While Costco no longer offers individual and family health insurance plans, they do have a service from which members can get expert advice on how to choose the right plan for them on the marketplace.
Walking the Aisles for Exercise
This one might not feel like it belongs on this list, but hear us out. A trip to Costco is actually pretty decent exercise. The stores are huge, so you're going to be doing a lot of walking, and chances are, you'll be pushing a heavy cart (hello, weight training).
This can be especially helpful for people who live in colder climates and can't get outside to walk during winter months. Others who have trouble moving may find it easier to walk while pushing a cart (like a walker but smoother).
Also, if you've ever gone to Costco with a small child who gets excited about the free samples, chasing them around the food department is also a good workout.
Vegan Food Court Options
Yes, the beloved Costco food court is best known for its hot dogs, but there are a few pretty healthy options there too, including their acai bowl and vegan al pastor salad.
OK, so the fact that Costco carries caskets (try saying that three times fast) isn’t exactly a health benefit, per se, but it is something you or a loved one may need. But think of it this way: When someone dies, time and money can be tight, so having this option may save you some stress and mental duress, ergo, a roundabout health benefit.
Not only that, but you can get an array of models, ranging from The Mother Casket ($999.99 at Costco) and the Richmond Solid Wood Casket by Universal ($1,799.99 at Costco) to The President Casket ($899.99 at Costco), which is the cheapest, strangely.
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