I'm of the opinion that you should feed something that you can afford and that your dog does well on. If you can free feed or not depends on the individual dog. I don't think I've ever seen a free fed dog that was truly at the ideal weight, although they weren't necessarily morbidly obese. They wouldn't eat all the food in the bowl right away, but they were certainly eating more than they needed! They just had a few extra pounds that they really didn't need.