Let’s be honest. The samples are the only reason we accompanied our mom to Costco when we were younger. Heck they may be the reason half the adults still go there. The whole excitement in what tasty treasures today’s selection will bring. One lap around the perimeter of the warehouse can practically yield a meal: quarter of a chicken sandwich, some Ghiradelli chocolate, a trail mix cup of nuts and dried fruits, some Hawaiian rolls and even chips and guacamole! Other days though, prunes, vitamins, lunch meat, and applesauce lead to a disappointing turn out.
Yesterday on outing with my parents, we stopped at Costco & I was curious to see how many calories a shopper could rack up in “free samples” (not to be confused with “free calories”). The Saturday’s crowd had a pretty good fare: warm cinnamon bread, cheese cubes, ice cream bars, corn dogs, animal crackers, pancakes with syrup, pulled pork with BBQ sauce, granola bars, cereals, almonds and a croissant with turkey. Now someone could make a lunch out of all this! Except one thing: NO FRUITS AND VEGGIES! It’s all carbs, fat and sugar and that just isn’t a meal.
These tiny portions or fractions of a serving seem harmless in the way of diet. “It’s only a bite,” “It’s just a little sample,” “That couldn’t have been enough calories worth counting.” “Cheesecake?! SCORE!” Calories add up, especially when most of these samples averaged between 40-75 calories each. 10 samples later and you’ve had a third of you daily caloric intake! So just pick one or two samples if you must. (I had a nature valley peanut granola bar piece) and skip the empty calories like that croissant. Pack a bag of sliced fruit to snack on too! :) We brought apples and pears and had no problem by-passing this man handing out samples of MAYONAISSE: