It's a necessary trip.
Americans spend around $478 billion dollars every year on groceries.
But there's a group of people right here in central Illinois who hardly ever step foot inside a store, and hardly spend any money on groceries.
How they're feeding themselves and who's doing it may shock you.
We're taking you inside a growing movement that could be happening in your own backyard.
Renee Costanzo, Kelby Cumpston, and Torii More, are educated people.
They go to college and have jobs.
They spend about $30 a month on groceries, because they survive mainly off what they find... in the trash.
"I would say a freegan is someone who makes use of abundance in any way they can, whether it's food or things. You know, just trying to make do with what's available and put it to its fullest use," says More.
In the dark of night, these scavengers are finding a new way of sustaining themselves.
Every week, it's a trip into the unknown.
Pulling all kind of things, like produce, some prepackaged, out of grocery store dumpsters.
Careful not to be seen... just as quickly as they came...they're gone.
In the kitchen a whole new adventure begins...
Figuring out what can be scrubbed and salvaged
Most of the time, their finds are more than enough.
But while they're saving money, they're gambling with their health.
A lot of their bounty can be cleaned...
But there's no way to know exactly why all of the food ended up in the dumpster.
Like spinach they found, tossed a week before it even hit its "use by" date.
"None of us have ever gotten sick from anything that we've eaten. I've been doing this for three years. Renee's been doing it for four or five," adds More.
These freegans aren't saying everyone should dumpster dive, but they are trying to make a point.
"It's still wasted," explains Costanzo.
Cumpston adds, "All of this food could've went to people that actually needed more out of necessity than ourselves."
All of them can afford food. "But we wouldn't be eating as healthy," adds More. "Nor would we be nearly as educated on what we eat and how to prepare it."
"We really want a solution to this problem. If we could get a refrigerated truck, and some volunteers to get the store's permission to take this food that would otherwise go into the dumpster, and take it to a kitchen that would prepare it into food for people," More explains.
The local grocery stores we contacted tell us, they donate most of the food they can't sell to local charities. But the guidelines they've established prevent them from donating everything.
"We're not blaming the grocery stores entirely, it's also the consumers who are really picky about their food," adds More.
And until an answer is found, they say they'll keep diving into trash. Taking only what they need. And sharing what they don't.
"We've educated people at ISU, on the quad, yea, we're not shy about it," says More. "And we encourage other people to do it. Be safe. Make use of all this food. The point is, is that it needs to be eaten."
Food's not the only thing these freegans strive to get for free.
They've started the Really, Really, Free Market...where people trade or pick up items they need, without spending a dime.