It's not that they don't feed me at home, or that I'm some sort of glamorous starving artist. But my addiction to free samples at

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Best Place to Shamelessly Pig Out on Free Food

Trader Joe's

It's not that they don't feed me at home, or that I'm some sort of glamorous starving artist. But my addiction to free samples at Trader Joe's is based on the roulette wheel of potential tastes; the uncertainty keeps me hooked. On the best days, the sample is something I would never buy, make, or order in a restaurant, like a recent juicy chunk of chicken piccata. On bad days, when the sample is something boring like yogurt parfait, I console myself with two or three thimblefuls of coffee and a few cookies. Of course, I always buy something when I'm there (my thought process: As long as I've parked, I may as well stock up on cheap wine/artichoke hearts/frozen tamales/bags of walnuts), so even though I go back for seconds, and sometimes even thirds when the clerk's back is turned, I console myself with the thought that TJ's is clearly getting the better end of the deal.—Anna Roth

 
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