Dumpster Food Divers: Watch the Perishables

Warmer weather puts perishable food, and you, at risk. If you are diving for food, I would suggest close monitoring of one to three dumpsters that have delivered for you in the past. Know the dumpster pick-up day and make note of  the empty container or the new trash. This will be your baseline. This way, when you return to the dumpster, you will know the time frame for perishable food arrival.

We picked up five packages of uncooked meat from a favorite dumpster a couple of days ago: two large packages of chicken, a package of hamburger, and two packages of pork chops. We did not know when they had arrived. Unfortunately, only the pork chops survived the smell test; the rest had begun to ‘turn.’ We enjoyed the pork chops, and made a decision, with the changing weather, to keep a very close eye on timing.

We retrieved some delicious barbecue using the timing technique.

That said, we also picked up five heads of lettuce, broccoli, red and green grapes, three heads of cauliflower, eight pears, several pounds of oranges, two dozen eggs, and more tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. We have begun to limit the amount of food we bring home because there is so much of it. Fruit and vegetable-wise, this is the healthiest diet I have ever eaten.

A trend we have noticed is that people dump their personal household trash into public dumpsters, presumably because people cannot afford roll off service, an indicator of the struggling economy.

I saw so much clothing in a dumpster today that I only retrieved a blanket and left the rest. We are hoping to yard sale our many finds. But we know that many people cannot even afford yard sale prices, so we are considering yard-trading. This is a type of bartering. People bring us junk. We give them merchandise. Then we take the junk to recycle. Any thoughts? Has anyone done something similar?

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