I walked into my local Costco and talked to 8 incredibly helpful employees about the best day and time to shop and they DID NOT disappoint with the insider knowledge they gave me. My goal was to talk to a couple cashiers, someone in the bakery and meat department, someone in the tire center, and even try to grab the attention of a manager on the floor if they weren’t busy. I’m proud to say I accomplished ALL of this and I think the information they gave me will be helpful to all Costco members looking to save some time. Let’s get to it.
What’s the Best Day to Shop at Costco?
From talking to 8 different Costco employees, the consensus was Tuesday is the single best day to shop at Costco.
What Makes Tuesdays SO Great?
Several reasons actually.
Perhaps the easiest way to break this down is to tell you why the other days of the week are less than ideal for getting your Costco shopping done.
Let’s start with Wednesday and work our way through the week.
Wednesday – Surprisingly, 2 cashiers that I chatted with both pointed out that it’s smart to AVOID Wednesday if possible.
They told me Wednesday is the day of the week when the Costco coupon book starts and they get busy, especially in the first few hours after they open.
Thursday – I was told Thursday isn’t terrible but can be a bit busy. Probably the 2nd best day of the week to shop.
An employee in the Costco meat department also told me that they have to restock Thursday afternoons because of all the shoppers snatching up meat for their weekend BBQs.
Friday – A couple employees said Friday afternoons can be VERY crowded, often as busy as Saturday.
Saturday – 5 of the employees that I talked to said Saturday is their busiest day of the week. Stay away if AT ALL possible.
If you have to shop on a Saturday, do it right when they open (usually 9 a.m.) or show up at 6 p.m. which is one hour before they close.
Expect a line at the door when they open on Saturdays, but you’ll get in quickly and the aisles won’t be very crowded.
Sunday – 2 employees said that Sunday is their busiest day.
Three employees said if you’re going to shop on Sunday, come during the time of the local NFL team’s game and it’ll be way less crowded or right when they open as many people are at church.
Monday – Surprisingly, I was told Mondays can get busy as local businesses and restaurants tend to stock up for the week.
WINNER – This leaves TUESDAY as the single BEST day to do your Costco shopping, you’ll avoid the crowds -AND- the coupon users and get in-and-out quickly.
OK…So What Time on Tuesday Should I Shop?
Early if possible.
When I asked this question to a friendly cashier at 9:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, she looked around the empty store, and the 2 empty checkout lines near us, and said with a laugh, “Right now is good!”
After a bit more probing, she also said that the store tends to get a little less busy during the middle of the week about an hour or two after they open.
She said “the morning rush dies down and people are off at work.”
What About Using Other Services, is Tuesday Also Good?
Entering Costco on a Tuesday is also good when using the following:
Pharmacy – I was told by the gal working the counter at the Costco Pharmacy that there’s rarely a line on Tuesdays and the wait to get your prescription filled is often short.
Optometrist – Tuesday is also a good day to schedule an eye appointment as well as shop for new glasses and contacts.
Tire Center – According to the tire center tech that I briefly spoke with, try to schedule a visit to for a new set of tires on a Tuesday or Wednesday if your schedule permits it.
I was told it’ll be way less crowded and your car will be ready to roll fairly quickly.
Does the Same Apply to Getting Costco Gas?
No, well sorta.
On my way out of the Costco parking lot I stopped and filled up my tank and asked the station attendant when it was the least busiest.
He minced no words and immediately said, “Tuesday through Thursday between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.”
I was like, “Wow, okay, why do you think that is?”
He said, “Because everyone is at work and nobody is on their lunch break yet.”
Makes perfect sense to me.
What Day is the WORST to Shop at Costco?
As mentioned above, and to no surprise, Saturday is the worst day to shop at Costco, especially in the early afternoon.
I’ve driven past my Costco on a Saturday and it looked like the parking lot was completely full and cars were waiting for a spot to open up.
Now I realize some of you have no choice but to shop on Saturday due to work and family obligations, so try to go early when they open -OR- show up a hour before they close.
Will I Still Find Yummy Samples on a Tuesday?
Yes, unless you’re early.
If you show up when the store open on a Tuesday, you’ll find that sample stations are still being setup so you might have to hang out a for a bit before you can grab some free treats.
Otherwise, yes, Costco hands out free samples every day of the week.
Ask the Reader: When do you think is the best day and time to shop at Costco? Let me know if you’re a Tuesday fan as well?
By Kyle James