- TikTok foodie Tasmin Dhaliwal concocts full-fledged meals all from her local Costco’s generous samples.
- From strawberry shortcake to gyros to pizza washed down with iced tea, it’s enough to make her “pretty full,” she told Insider.
- Dhaliwal is showing fans how you can hack free meals by strategically circling Costco’s aisles.
In TikToker Tasmin Dhaliwal’s perfect world, her favorite meal would start out with a cheese appetizer — preferably white cheddar paired with salami. For her main course, a soup dumpling. And then a chocolate cookie chip for dessert.
The ruse is that all of these items can be culled from the 26-year-old Toronto native’s local Costco. And Dhaliwal is nabbing millions of views by telling people how they can concoct full-fledged meals all from the retailer’s infamously generous food samples.
“It feels like you’re on another planet when you’re in Costco,” Dhaliwal told Insider.
The creator launched her food-centric TikTok five months ago, where she’s amassed nearly 300,000 fans. The idea for her TikToks hatched accidentally one day when she was shopping at Costco with her parents. She intended to vlog a meal at the chain’s food court, but by the time she was finished shopping and sampling, she realized she was already full.
“After the pandemic, I assumed that maybe there’ll be one sample if anything. There was like 15 samples,” she said. “By the time I got to the food court, I was genuinely pretty full.”
Dhaliwal’s first Costco meal she documented — a generous honk of strawberry shortcake, a slice of a gyro, and a caramel brownie washed down with orange pekoe tea — was posted in November, set to the boppy “Super Mario” theme music that’s become synonymous with “what I eat in a day” videos. It accrued four million views.
She’s now making these kinds of vlogs every two weeks, she said, and even framing them as three-course meals. Subsequent follow-ups, including eating Costco samples for lunch and dinner, are among the most-viewed videos on her channel, with 8 million and 4 million views, respectively.
Some viewers, however, have questioned how socially appropriate it all is. “I feel awkward eating samples and then not buying them,” one person wrote.
But Dhaliwal told Insider she does not film Costco employees without their consent, and that the videos are solely for her personal use. She also makes purchases at Costco and isn’t showing up in stores to mooch entirely.
She’s at her local store so often that employees there are both baffled and entertained by her presence.
“They’re kind of like, ‘Who is this stranger? Is she with Costco? Is she with corporate?'” she said. “One of them was actually like, ‘Hey, can I be in your video?’…So we just did a little smiley video thing.”
Insider has reached out to the wholesale giant for comment — and whether they’re as amused by Dhaliwal’s TikTok channel (eyes emoji).