Maximize Your Costco Trip: Discover the Best Time to Go to Costco for Hassle-Free Shopping!

Wondering the best times to shop at Costco for a stress-free experience? We've got you covered. Learn insider tips on avoiding crowds, the optimal hours for fresh finds, and how to navigate holiday rushes.

best time to go to costco

Finding the sweet spot in Costco’s shopping hours could transform your experience. The best day to go to Costco? It’s not just about avoiding the weekends. In this article, we’ll divulge all the best Costco Warehouse savings tips on the specific hours and best days that can turn your routine shopping trip into a delightfully smooth sail, complete with quick checkouts, the best selections, and even things Costco members can get for free.


For Smaller Crowds and Better Parking Spots

Curious about the best time to go shopping at Costco? The store is notably quieter in the mornings from Tuesday to Thursday, just as they open their doors. This not only helps you steer clear of heavy shopper traffic, but also ensures that you get first dibs on fresh produce and high-demand products.

Plus, here’s a secret: some Costco stores might let shoppers in 15 minutes before the official opening time, offering an advantage to those early birds.

If rising with the dawn isn’t your thing, no worries! A trip to Costco around 11 a.m. could still be quite pleasant. By then, the initial morning crowds will have thinned out, and the lunchtime shoppers won’t have descended yet. You’ll also likely find an ample selection of fresh food and can take advantage of product samples before they run out.

For the Freshest Food Selections

If you're aiming for the absolute freshest food and groceries at Costco, timing is key. The best time to head to Costco for fresh produce, bakery items, and other perishables is early in the morning, particularly right after the store opens. This is when the day's fresh stock has just been put out, and you'll have access to the best of what's available.

Weekdays, like a Wednesday morning especially, see the arrival of fresh shipments and restocking of shelves. Costco associates work diligently in the early hours to ensure that the freshest items are available to customers as the doors open. This can include everything from fruits and vegetables to meats and seafood.

For Snacks and Samples

Costco is renowned for its complimentary tastings, samples, and snacks, which are most often available during peak shopping times, such as weekends and early afternoon on weekdays. This is when foot traffic is higher, and Costco aims to entice shoppers with these delightful perks.

So, if you like to dilly dally and indulge in the free samples and snacks is part of the experience for you, aim to shop from late morning to early evening, between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Just note that these times can vary by location and day, so it's always a good idea to check with your local Costco for the most accurate information.

For That Last-Minute, Late Night Shopping

Did you know that shoppers often decrease in the hour leading up to Costco’s closing time, making both the store and parking lot less congested? This offers a serene environment for shopping, particularly appealing right as the store opens. Such advice was first shared in an article intended to assist Costco customers.

Taking advantage of shopping at Costco during its final operational hour could result in expedited checkout times and less obstructed walkways, enabling a more efficient trip. Why not experience this convenience by scheduling your next shopping trip close to late evening hours?

The Worst Times to Shop at Costco

It’s advisable to avoid weekends due to their status as the most hectic days of the week. Shopping on a Friday can be particularly busy with individuals stocking up for weekend necessities and long lines everywhere.

Most shoppers also visit Costco on Mondays. This is because families often replenish goods after the weekend, while businesses gear up for their needs throughout the coming week. The lunch rush also draws crowds, potentially complicating any attempts at executing an expedient shopping trip during these peak periods.

The Best Time to Shop During the Holidays

Throughout the festive period, particularly in the lead-up to Christmas and New Year’s, Costco witnesses the busiest days as everyone scrambles to make their last-minute purchases. This often results in high-demand items selling out quickly, aggravating those on the hunt for particular merchandise.

Deal-seeking customers typically monitor promotional events vigilantly, adjusting their visits to coincide with times when discounts and coupons become available. If you plan to visit Costco during these celebratory months, it’s wise to strategize your shopping excursion beforehand.


How To Get a Costco Membership

Not a Costco account member yet? No problem. The steps to becoming one are quite simple!

To become a member of the Costco community and take advantage of the wholesale prices and exclusive deals, simply follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose Your Membership Type: Costco offers two main types of membership: Gold Star Membership for individuals and households and Business Membership for business owners. Each has its own benefits and annual fees, so consider which option best suits your needs.
  2. Visit a Costco Warehouse or Sign Up Online: You can sign up for a Costco membership either in person at any Costco warehouse or online through the Costco website. If you prefer to sign up in person, a Costco representative can assist you on the spot.
  3. Provide Required Information: When signing up, you must provide a valid government-issued photo ID and complete a membership application form. For a Business Membership, additional documentation such as a business license or three pieces of business identification may be required.
  4. Make the Payment: Pay the annual membership fee. The fee varies depending on the type of membership you choose. Payment can be made via various methods, including credit card, debit card, or cash.
  5. Receive Your Membership Card: After processing your application and payment, you'll receive your Costco membership card. This card is your gateway to all things Costco and must be presented at the door and at the checkout.
  6. Activate Your Account: If you signed up online, you might need to activate your account by creating a login on the Costco website. This will allow you to shop online and manage your membership details.
  7. Enjoy the Benefits: With your membership card in hand, you can now shop at any Costco location worldwide and enjoy the benefits of bulk buying and exclusive member services.

Be sure to also check out our article on Costco vs. Sam's Club vs. BJ's to discover their fees, prices, and membership perks!


- Vanessa