How to get Girl Scout Cookies

Getting your cookie fix has never been this easy.

One Girl Scout was named "Cookie CEO" after selling 5,155 boxes.
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It's an obsession that sweeps the nation every year. It destroys diets, breaks New Year's resolutions and wreaks havoc on wallets everywhere. That time has come once more: It's Girl Scout Cookie season.

Getting your hands on a box of Thin Mints or Samoas has never been that difficult -- but the Girl Scouts Cookie program has come a long way in the last few decades. The days of waiting for the season to start and searching your local grocery stores for an active Girl Scout troop are over. Now you can find sale dates, and cookie sales locations and even buy cookies on your phone.

Here are the easiest ways to find and buy Girl Scout Cookies.

Find out if cookies are available in your area yet

Screenshot by Sean Buckley/CNET

The Girl Scout Cookie Program isn't just a fundraiser, it's a season -- and it starts at a different time depending on where you live. According to the organization's website, most cookie sales take place between January and April, but the exact time they become available in your area is decided by the local Girl Scout council.

You could call up the local council to find out when cookie season starts in your area, but there's an easier way: Just drop your zip code into the Girl Scout Cookies website, and you'll see a tidy list of Cookie Booth locations and availability dates.

Use the Girl Scout Cookie Finder app

Screenshot by Sean Buckley/CNET

Yes, there really is an app for that. The Girl Scout Cookie Finder app is available on both the App Store and Google Play, and it does exactly what it sounds like: It tells you where to buy cookies. Using your phone's GPS, the app will give you a list of the nearest Girl Scout Cookie booths and the dates they'll be selling. It'll even let you add them to your calendar for you.

Buy Girl Scout Cookies online with the Digital Cookie Program

You want cookies, but you don't want to go outside. We get it. So do the Girl Scouts -- and while it's not quite as easy as ordering snacks from Amazon Prime Pantry or DoorDash, you can absolutely order cookies over the internet. The only catch is that you have to actually know a Girl Scout.

In 2014, the Girl Scout Digital Cookie Program launched as a way to help Scouts bring their cookie sales in to the modern age. It basically gives each girl the ability to set up a personalized cookie website or app that allows you to order cookies directly from local Scouts. If you don't personally know a Girl Scout and there aren't any nearby booths, try looking up your local Girl Scout council.

A huge step forward

Girl Scouts sell cookies
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The Girl Scouts aren't strangers to technology -- the organization has badges for video game development, space science and computer science -- but cookie sales haven't always been so modern.

In 2009, the Girl Scouts banned a girl from North Carolina from selling cookies on her YouTube channel (but not until after she sold 700 boxes). In 2013 the organization fought back against girls taking payment over PayPal, saying on Twitter that payment had to happen in person to help build "people skills." These days, online sales and digital payment methods are just a natural part of the Girl Scout cookie season, and are as commonplace at cookie booths as a cash box.

That's hardly a surprise, either -- innovative girls have been finding ways to sell Girl Scout Cookies online since 1998. Here's to the future. And cookies.