During our last visit to Costco, my wife asked me if I ever thought free food samples would return. I told her I sure hoped so. After 14 months of no sampling, that hope will soon turn into reality.

According to CNN, Costco is "beginning a phased return to full sampling early next month." Hey, next month starts Tuesday!

Beginning next week, approximately 170 Costco stores in the United States will be serving up food samples again and nearly all stores are expected to be handing out the freebies by the time July begins.

On an earnings call Thursday, Costco CFO Richard Galanti said there will be "increased safety protocols." Those who prepare samples will be behind plexiglass. Samples will be passed out individually, and fewer will be made at a time. That might mean a little waiting, but considering Costco halted samples due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, a little waiting isn't going to hurt us.

CNN says food courts will also be reopening at Costco locations around the U.S. starting in June. Capacity will be sliced in half to allow for social distancing.

Costco is my favorite store to spend the day in. That might be a bit of a stretch, but it's huge! If I haven't been to the Coralville location for a while I just know I'm missing out on something. I look forward to it every time we stop by. My bank account doesn't share the same sentiment. However, it won't be long before those free samples return. Maybe that will mean we won't have to stop at a restaurant on the way home... with a couple hundred dollars worth of groceries in tow. Maybe.

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