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These Are the Absolute Best Times to Shop at Costco

Customers can avoid heavy crowds by following wisdom from Costco members.

Walking into a popular grocery store during a busy time of day can almost be like charging into battle. A Gallup poll conducted in July 2022 found that 97% of U.S. adults say they grocery shop in person at least monthly, including 82% who do so at least once a week. If shoppers happen to go grocery shopping at a time when traffic is especially high, typically on the weekends and weekday evenings when people stop by stores after work, they may have to deal with picked-over grocery selections, crowded aisles, shopping cart fender benders, and long checkout lines.

No chain, especially one as beloved as Costco, can escape especially busy retail periods. But customers may be able to avoid some of the heaviest traffic if they're selective with when they head to the popular warehouse club.

Costco fans recently took to Reddit to discuss some of the best times to shop at Costco. According to Reddit user u/Cheesetorian, the "best time" to shop at Costco is during Super Bowl.

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Nearly 193 million U.S. adults planned to watch the Super Bowl LVII, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics' 2023 Super Bowl survey. So while grocery stores across the U.S. may have seen higher-than-usual traffic in the lead-up to the big game, the roughly 193 million who planned to watch would have theoretically vacated stores before or by the time the Super Bowl commenced on Sunday evening. In turn, that would leave it emptier for others who weren't at football watch parties or bars.

Like u/Cheesetorian, several Reddit users attested that the big game is an ideal time to shop. However, this may not be the case for every Super Bowl Sunday or Costco location, and others on Reddit noted that Costco warehouses in later time zones close by the time the game starts each year.

While the Super Bowl and its prime shopping opportunity have now passed until 2024, this is not the only chance for customers to have a more laid back Costco visit. Reddit user u/HuaMana said that Valentine's Day evening, when many are busy with dates and romantic outings, is best for a trip to the warehouse club.

"I know this from experience," they added.

Multiple users suggested going to Costco on Halloween evening, when trick-or-treating and parties often take priority over grocery trips. And luckily for Costco members, favorable shopping times can be found on typical weekdays rather than holidays that roll around once a year, according to customers. Reddit user u/zinky30 wrote that late morning on a weekday is ideal for a Costco trip, while others pointed specifically to Tuesday mornings.

"Tuesday at 10am. No shoppers, no samples, no salesmen…easy peasy," u/Fearless747 wrote.

For those who don't have a Costco membership or prefer other chains, Google Maps released data in 2020 that can help pinpoint the best and worst times to head to grocery stores in general. The busiest time for grocery stores is between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturdays, while the least busy time is 8 a.m. on Mondays.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe