Forget free groceries coupons, instead master the art of the “Fresh or Free” program provided by our friends, HEB. In this post I am going to detail the method we use to get the most out of the program. The basic overview of the program is provided in my Groceries for Free post.

The basic principle we use to maximize our gain is the law of large numbers. My wife and several lady friends assemble, usually in a group of about 6 or 7 ladies, and go out at night. They usually go out around 9 or 10 PM, with the goal being to collect items that are already expired, as well as targeting the midnight hour, to get items that have just expired.

When they arrive at the store, they fan out into singles or pairs, and hit the different major areas of the store. This way, if the employees catch on, it is near impossible for them to cover the 5 or more areas of the store that the ladies are hitting. They spend as much time as necessary, and collect several baskets full of food. Then they get together, and sort out the food into pairs (one old, one fresh), and if they have multiples of the same item, they will distribute one pair to each lady. This group concept allows for us to obtain multiples of the same item.

After they have the pairs of items split out among the group, they line up at the check out stand together, and process one basket of food per lady, on one ticket per lady. You still have to adhere to the one item per person rule, so they separate the tickets among the group, with each group member getting one of the multiple items. The cashier checks them out and zeros the bill, and they leave the store.

After they leave store they meet and separate the food among the different families represented. Not difficult, huh? It really is that simple, with the best method being to group together to help each other, and maximize the process. So go try it out and let me know what you discover.

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