Monday, October 19, 2009

Free Food Comes With A Price

Before Sam’s Club we would have never thought that buying 24 rolls of TP, a gallon of dish detergent or more muffins than you could eat in a month was a good idea. But the market gurus at Wal-mart changed all that when Sam’s Club was born in 1983. The concept of a warehouse club selling a wide variety of merchandise, in which customers were required to buy large, wholesale quantities of the store's products, made these clubs attractive to both bargain hunters and small business owners.

It’s No Frills Shopping AND we have to pay an annual membership in order to shop. But there are perks…inside these walls there are smiling ladies behind sample tables offering to hungry shoppers all manner of "Vittles."

FREE SAMPLES could be the two sweetest words in the English language! If you are brave enough to go to Sam’s Club on a weekend, then you know that Free Food comes with a price…shoppers and free food can be a dangerous combination. Here are some tips to consider if you are planning a shopping/dining experience at Sam’s.

1. Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Even though most of the samples are situated by the freezers, there may be a sample table wedged into another section of the store. Keep your eyes peeled for a sample of M&M‘s, a stick of gum or a squirt of hand sanitizer. You have to be willing to partake food in the order that it’s offered.

2. Circle

If you go up to the first sample station and it’s all gone, just go to the next one. If the food isn’t ready there, go to the third. Keep going until you hit pay dirt. Make a circle and double back to the stations that were on the cooking phase and keep surveying until the food is ready. Remind yourself that this is “Hunting Mode!”

3. Don’t Be Shy

You have to be assertive when you reach for a sample or you might lose out on a chance for chicken chunks or a sliver of pie. But you can't be too aggressive either. Never underestimate the little old lady and make a beeline towards the cheesecake, don't stand in her way. She can and will hurt you if you try to jump in line!

4. Visit More Than Once

Sample etiquette says that you should not take more than one piece or cup or toothpick at a time. It makes you look like a pig! But there's nothing wrong with re-visiting the station after you've visited all the other ones. It's the only way you're going to be able to eat enough food to stave off your hunger. Those poor attendants are too busy cooking, cutting and stiff-arming the herd to remember how many times you've stepped up to the trough. So just step up, grab the goods and walk away nonchalantly.

5. Don't Think About What You're Eating

Most of what's being put out there is in one of four food groups: Fried, Creamed, Sweet or Greasy. Be adventuresome, try out whatever concoction they made in the Vita-Mix. It could be a delicious berry smoothie or a vitamin laced prune juice…either way, just say "Thank You" and partake!
If you happen to fail at Sam’s Club Sampling, just step over to the snack bar for a slice of pizza or a Nathan's Hot Dog.

For Heaven's Sake, don't go home HUNGRY!


  1. Oh my....funny. I get it completely. We're Sam's Club shoppers too!

  2. Very funny! I love Sam's club..used to take the kids there for lunch and then spend way too much!
    Come say hi :D

  3. I hate it when I end up at Sam's after going out to eat....when will I learn that you go to Sam's first......

  4. I loved this post! But then I'm an addict:-). Have a great day.

  5. Okay, I must say that I used to be a Demo/Free Sample lady back in the days that I was first married. I must clarify item 4 though:

    We may be busy cooking, giving away samples, talking, etc but we ARE aware of how many samples you've taken and how many times you've come to our demo station. However, a lot of us don't care because the quicker we get rid of our samples, the quicker we get to go home! LOL

    PS: My husband and I now make it a weekend effort to go grocery shopping during sample/give away time...for the kids...okay us too.

  6. Publix has the best free food. They'll cook a whole meal, give you enough to tide you over until lunch and then have all the ingredients right there so you can make it for dinner.

  7. We've always had Costco here (same type of shopping) and about 2 years ago a town close by got a Sam's Club. Which one do you choose?? ha ha

    They both have yummy samples and large sizes of everything.

    I love shopping in the warehouse stores!

  8. Wow, this posting is so so soooo familiar! Yeah, I used to bring my kids to supermarkets when they're little and let them tried all the testing food. By the end of the shopping trip everyone is full.... ha ha.... NOT anymore now! They all grown up and too shy to get too near to those counters.


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