It is only very recently that I started looking for food in the dumpsters. However, with only ten dollars to make it through the month of January, I made the transition. Most grocery stores where we live have large compacting dumpsters that are not only dangerous but also impossible to enter.
I have not done this yet, but plan to dive dumpsters along a strip (ie main drag) in town that is dotted with restaurants, pizza parlors and the like. I got this idea when I was at a drive-through at a fast food place (an excellent place to find loose change by the way) and the clerk offered me an extra meal that someone had driven off and left. “It’s just going into the dumpster anyway,” she said. And that was all she needed to say.
Meanwhile I have located two dumpsters that deliver excellent, unexpired food. One is behind a small discount grocery. From that one I have retrieved several packages of celery, potatoes, bags of citrus, onions, and loaves of bread and hamburger buns that were a full week prior to expiration. The bread is in the freezer. I am able to pretty reliably get crock pot ingredients and fresh fruit from this particular dumpster.
Another dumpster is closely associated with a food wagon or trailer, if you will, that sells barbecue. They do not have a dumpster, so they discard things into one nearby. From that dumpster I retrieved a large and delicious barbecued ham leg that was almost to big to fit into the crock pot for our subsequent, tasty stew. The ham lasted several days. Fortunately the dumpsters this time of year are outdoor refrigerators, so that items are properly preserved. When we finished the ham we took the foil that it had been wrapped in to recycle, along with our other aluminum. We also enjoyed pumpkin pie from the same dumpster, and our birds loved the pumpkin pie crust; the pie pan made it to recycle.
For spices I visit a large dumpster in the back lot of a surplus store. This dumpster, while it does not deliver consistently, when it does, it is a gold mine akin to the Pirates of the Caribbean sound stage. All of our spices, and many of our hygiene items come from the surplus store dumpster, and this has saved us a bundle.
In my next post I will talk about cardboard, books and cans.
If you make it to this site and you dive dumpsters for food, could you kindly share your tips?