TikTok Is Making Full Meals Out Of Costco Free Sample Courses

If you have a Costco membership (or know someone who does), you probably know the glorious feeling of making your way around the store for the free food samples at the ends of the aisles. You can often sample such a wide variety of foods that by the time you check out, you feel like you've just traveled the globe and eaten a full meal, too.

Although Costco briefly suspended its free samples due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, free samples have been back for a while now. And TikTokers are rejoicing every chance they get. 

TikTok users have been posting videos of themselves trying all of the samples featured on their latest Costco shopping trips — and even using the countless samples as "mini-courses" of full meals (per Insider). If you've ever felt stuffed after trying the samples at Costco, you can probably relate to this food trend.

What TikTok has shared about Costco meals

Eating free Costco samples and counting them as a full meal makes sense — after all, all of those snacks add up over time. According to many of the TikTok users who've jumped on this trend, while not every sample can be a hit, visiting the free sample stations at Costco can make for a tasty, memorable meal (via Insider).

Many of the most popular Costco sample TikTok videos feature individuals — and sometimes their friends — stopping in at each sample station on a single Costco visit. They typically either caption their videos with their reactions ("Frozen pineapple: We got brain freeze.") or rate or react to the sample offerings live ("Mini pancake! It's so cute!"). The ratings, which are usually on a scale of one to 10, offer quick commentary about how good the food was or how it could be improved. 

Some TikToks even break the samples into "courses," including hors-d'oeuvres, entrées, and dessert. The TikTok trend is fun to watch, and if you're a Costco aficionado, it might give you some new Kirkland Signature products to try, too.

What to know if you try the Costco TikTok trend

The first thing that might pop into your mind when you hear about TikTok's Costco meals is whether or not video creators actually purchase anything. Some users have panned to their carts full of items and reassured us that yes, they bought products, too (via TikTok). Others have shared that they wished they had bought some of the snacks they sampled. So it looks like people aren't just headed to Costco for a free "sample meal."

Of course, Costco's free samples come with a whole bunch of extra "dos" and "don'ts" that you might not have to deal with at your local supermarket. Costco encourages you to take samples so that you'll buy its products, so eat away — but remember that samples are a "one-time-only" kind of thing (per Kitchn). Don't grab more than one sample from the same station — yes, even if it's the best thing you've ever tasted — and try not to hang out around the sample stations too long. (If you want another taste, buy the product.)

And, of course, if you choose to film yourself eating samples, be respectful of other shoppers' privacy — not everyone wants to co-star in your TikTok video (per Beverly Boy). With that in mind, it turns out Costco samples can make a pretty great meal.