: spider1204 has started a thread for sharing unique finds and help selling them http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/share-your-badassity/the-dumpster-diving-finds-thread/
I am wondering how many people that visit this website go dumpster diving. My wife and I started doing this about a month ago and we have seen huge benefits from doing so. Almost immediately we saw our food expenditures drop by half (this money has gone directly in to our savings account) and there is a selection of items that we will probably never need to buy again. The items that we find far in excess of what we would ever need include: all kinds of fresh veggies and fruit, juice, dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese, sour cream, etc.) bread, and an assortment of other random items.
We decided to buy a deep freezer to store all of our findings. We had to buy it new because there was nothing on Craigslist, but after two days of gathering food we had it full to the brim with food that was worth almost the cost of the freezer itself. We live close to Indianapolis so we made a trip one Sunday morning and came home with our car full of free food after hitting about a dozen stores. We had so much that we had to give some away to our friends.
In two days of gathering here is what we found
~20 lbs. of fresh tomatoes that we peeled and froze
~30 lbs. of apples that we peeled, sliced, and froze
~5 dozen bagels and about 6 baguettes from Trader Joe's
7 - half gallon cartons of Organic 1% milk, we froze 6 of them
~15 lbs. of fresh broccoli
~5 lbs. of frozen berries
A bag of frozen corn
2 packages of whole wheat tortillas
~7 lbs. of various kinds of cheese (Swiss, Colby, shredded Mexican, cheddar)
5 lbs. bag of potatoes (We made mashed potatoes and froze individual portions for ourselves)
A LOT of yogurt, some we froze
4 half gallon containers of orange juice
4 Styrofoam containers of mushrooms
~ A dozen assorted bell peppers that we either diced or sliced and froze (Green, Yellow, Orange)
8 packages of organic salad mix that was slightly wilted on top
6 assorted 2 liter bottles of juice
4 dozen organic brown eggs
1 promotional, can storage rack still in the box (We found 2, but only had room for one. It is so handy I wish we had tried to make room for the other.)
And a few other random items
The majority of this went straight in to the freezer, and with the food we have in our apartment right now we could last about 2 months. The thing that blows my mind the most is how much we pass up on. I mean, we only spend a total of about 6 hours on two separate days and we gathered over $200 worth of food. One store we went to in particular could have completely stocked our fridge and deep freezer alone.
Of course, there are risks with doing this, but if you educate yourself on how to identify spoiled food and you either freeze or cook all of the produce, you have very little to worry about. Plus, if you focus on gathering fresh produce, this could be a way for you to eat incredibly healthy and well rounded meals all of the time. It amazes me how quickly these stores throw away produce, if one apple in the bag has a bruise the entire lot gets thrown away.
This could be a great way for many of you to not only live more frugal but also to help clean up after the most wasteful society in the world. If there are any other dumpster divers out there I would love to hear about your great finds.