What Are the Best Times to Shop at Costco?

Costco, home of affordable pallet-size boxes of toilet paper and land of the one-year emergency food supply packages, is as extraordinary as it is vast. But if you venture into one of the company's wholesale warehouses with a game plan and savvy shopping intel, the place -- and owning all the TP you'll ever need -- can be life-changing. Your timing, it turns out, might be the key to your success.

Sure, there probably aren't many bad times to shop at Costco. But if you really want to avoid lines and traffic jams of carts overloaded with 18-pack boxes of toothpaste and oversized high-end meat products, the sage savers at The Krazy Koupon Lady point to the hours of 3pm and 5pm on weekdays, according to a video detailing several helpful tips to shopping at the warehouse chain. The late afternoon sweet spot, they say, is when lines are shorter and the stores are generally less crowded. 

In addition to the video's advice, a report by Lifehacker includes additional tips on the optimal times to hit up your local Costco, thanks to a Quora post from a longtime Costco store manager, Jon Van Guilder. He also recommends making your Costco run in the mid-to-late afternoon from 2:30pm to 5pm, as well as in the morning right after the store opens and, perhaps even better, the last 45 minutes before the store closes. Here's Guilder's full post:

Read Jon Van Guilder's answer to What is the best, least busy time to shop at Costco? on Quora
This is all to say that you've got another good reason to run out of work early. 

h/t Lifehacker

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and it's been far too long since he's been to Costco. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.