The White House said Biden was greeted by Costco Chief Executive Officer Craig Jelinek and co-founder Jim Sinegal when he arrived at the store, and he stopped to chat and pose for photos with customers.
He drew some applause when he flashed a Costco memberships card but then confessed the card belonged to his wife, Jill Biden.
"In all honesty, I didn't have my own card, Jill wouldn't let me have one," he said. "I went to get my wife's card, and she said, 'No, No, get your own card.'"
Biden's cart was filled with items including children's books for donation to his wife's charity, fire logs, a 32-inch TV and an apple pie.
"Now you know why my wife doesn't let me shop alone," Biden joked while gesturing to his cart.
Biden spoke during his shopping trip about his desire for Congress to extend middle class income tax rate cuts enacted during the administration of former President George W. Bush.
"I think it's important Congress acts now, I mean right now," he said. "All it has to do is take a single vote to extend the middle class tax cut."