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Costco: No Money? No Shame? NO Worries

Many young people, particularly uni students, know all too well how hard it can be to afford and source a decent meal these days. After moving away from home it can be a struggle to provide for yourself without mum and dad paying and cooking for you.  For those who don’t have chef skills and are financially inept, the best way to source food is for free. Costco supply many samples of free food and I set out to see how many free samples I could gather and if these samples would provide me with an adequate meal. On Friday I went to Canberra’s Costco at Majura Park where they provide samples everyday… but most on Fridays and Saturdays.

Over the space of an hour I sourced twelve different types of food and categorised them into breakfast, dinner and dessert.Each sample came in a small plastic sauce container and I tried to get multiple samples of each to increase the serving sizes. I also made sure not to have eaten prior to the experiment as I wanted to have an empty stomach.


For breakfast Costco served me:

Breakfast was lacking but I was able to get a small taste of cereal and nuts to start my experiment off.

Entree and Main

There was a large stand of Indian food samples and this is where I sourced most of my dinner. I was also able to find an entree sample to help increase my meal serving.


  • 3 capsicum tuna on corn chip


Although each sample of curry was quite small, by combining them all together and adding the bread and chicken bits it made for quite a substantial meal. Not only did dinner fill me up, I got so many different samples I was able to taste many different flavours. The quiches at the end of dinner did a great job of filling my stomach as they had the most considerable serving size.


There was area that was devoted to handing out treats and sweets is where I got my dessert.

For dessert I found:

  • 3 Madeliene
  • 3 Jam puff

The Madelienes were quite dense which helped me fill up even more. This combined with the sweet jam puffs left me feeling satisfied and full. As a bonus the dessert was quite tasty.


After I had collected all the samples the meal didn’t look very substantial. However, as I progressed through my courses I started to feel myself filling up quite quickly. By the end it was a struggle for me to finish the last jam puff.

As I was taking a wide range of different foods I got to taste many different flavours. This is a great treat for a uni student and it was also nice to be able to enjoy ‘proper cooking’.

As a whole, I was able to find a meal that satisfied me for the time I was there. However, the meal itself wasn’t nutritious and large enough to sustain a health living. Even though the samples are free all year long, a Costco membership costs $55 per year. With this membership you can bring two other people into the store with you, so if you are planning on getting a free meal it is best to bring a few friends. Despite the free samples not being a great meal, you can definitely concoct a decent enough meal out of the free samples to get you through a day or two.



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