H-E-B is lifting all purchase limits for shoppers in Austin and across the state for the first time in nearly a year. On March 1, the San Antonio-based chain removed all limits on popular items, including meat, paper products, dairy, and bread.
H-E-B first announced the limits in March 2020 during the onset of the pandemic. Spurred by concerns about COVID-19, shoppers famously began stocking up on items such as a toilet paper and cleaning supplies, leaving empty shelves for other customers.
"To help protect the supply chain in Texas, we’ve implemented temporary purchase limits on certain items," the grocer said at the time. "Limiting product purchases is a proven way to ensure the best service and product availability for all customers. Our stores are in strong supply and we continue to restock products daily."
That supply chain was tested again last month when Winter Storm Uri crippled infrastructure, leaving millions without power and water, and creating icy roads rendered impassable for delivery trucks. In the days after, H-E-B once again added additional limits, this time on things like tortillas, meat, and, of course, bottled water.
Though Texas is still bumbling through its slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout, H-E-B's news does feel like a return to pre-pandemic normalcy. Just remember, most grocery store workers are still not vaccinated, so wear a mask.