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Sampling Promotional Products at Costco (or other Establishments) Instead of Dining Out

I know some people who go to Costco during lunch time so they can sample all the free promotional food; that way, they get a "free meal" of sorts. Just curious: How many of you engage in this practice?

In another thread, someone suggested to another poster to go to Costco's during the weekends. Incidently, Costco seems to have a lot of free samples during the lunch hour and especially on weekends, when it is most crowded. In my opinion, the endless crowds, crying children, general chaos and noise, and ramming of the oversized Costco grocery carts are all disincentives for me to visit Costco on weekends, even if they have free food.

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  1. It's a good way to sample some of their stuff before investing in it. I also like to nibble at Trader Joe's. They have coffee samples and samples of their food, too. Yesterday, I was at a local grocery store and bought a rather pricey container of hummus with some sort of hot stuff on the top because they had a sample there. It was really good, something I'd never have known without trying it. Our brand new Kroger has so much stuff to sample on Saturdays, that you could easily make an entire meal out of what they offer. Last Saturday, they had quarters of ham or turkey sandwiches, pizza, cookies, 3 kinds of mexican dips, small bites of pumpkin pie, several cheeses. I don't like shopping on Saturdays, as a rule, so I don't generally get there.

    1. I'd never go to Costco on a Saturday. Tuesdays are the least crowded day. I go at 11 when they open and still find plenty of samples. What I like about Costco is that the employees generally seem happy. Last time I was there, though, one of them told me that she'd gained a ton of weight since she started. So I guess they eat the samples too!

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        1. I'll sample something if it looks particulary good but it cetainly isn't a meal for me. That said, Costco had to start carding all people entering their store (making sure they were members) because people kept coming in for lunch for those great hot dogs, etc.

          1. I wish they would offer samples in every dept. I don't believe the majority of people go to Costco for a "free lunch" but if I'm going to buy a large qty of something for my family or for a party I'd like to be sure it's tasty.

            The Costco Cafe is another situation altogether. The prices are way below typical lunch expenses and it doesn't surprise me in the least that non-members have tried to save $$ on their weekday lunch budget.

            I'd love to see Costco offer a level membership for people who only need to shop there occasionally or for lunch! Membership is up to 55.00 in my area and I absolutely get value from my card but who would go there for a few items a year?