Author Topic: Save $2,000+ year by vulturing at work. Yes, there is such a thing as free lunch  (Read 9982 times)

meatgrinder

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Here is a tactic that I've used that has resulted in free lunch at work on a regular basis. YMMV. Here goes...

1. Work at alarge mega corp. The bigger the better. I work at a Fortune 50 company.

2. Locate the building(s) and floor(s) that regularly host trainings, conferences, etc. Attendees are almost always provided lunch and they almost always order too much.

3. Arrive at training/conference location ~1:00PM. Usually everyone is done eating by this time.

4. If room is empty and/or the event is over, feast! If the training is still active, ask an admin if its ok to vulture some left over food. Don't take any food that has not had an opportunity to be eaten by the group and don't pretend to be a part of the group unless you want to feel like a mouth breather.

Obviously this isn't feasible for people who work at places with free lunch (i.e.Google) or work for smaller companies. I eat with co-workers approx. once per week and the other 4 days I have a success rate of about 90%...sometimes even boxing up food to go and storing it in the fridge so it doesn't go to waste.

WootWoot

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Could also work on a college campus. There's always something going on, and very often, I'm sorry to say, the food gets tossed.

PlainsWalker

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I had a similar plan while in college.

There were a couple of religious organizations that would serve lunch for students every week, so those were part of the rotation.

A couple of the faculty meetings would be catered. I had the schedule memorized and would swing through to help "clean up". I would also get pulled in to run the AV equipment for some of the meetings since I worked for the IT department as a work study. I considered that a win/win. I got paid to run the projector and was dangerously close to the catered meal.

My crowning achievement in free food scavenging was picking up some part time work for the company that ran the cafeteria and catered events on campus. That was good for a few bucks and regular access to left overs.

hops

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I know someone who did this with great success. Depending on the day of the week he was either in a large hospital or academic setting, where there was bountiful free food. Sometimes that meant eating cake or donuts for lunch, but he was fine with it. Then he started working another angle for dinner, attending free dinners and cocktail hours hosted by financial product salespeople. Usually those are targeted to older, high-net-worth individuals, but he was about to start earning a lot of money and was an attractive mark. He had very little free time, so his colleagues thought he was nuts for spending it that way, but he was single and hungry and very deeply in debt.

Curmudgeon

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I had a co-worker who wrote a script (little piece of software) to go into the company calendar each day, look for scheduled lunch meetings in large conference rooms, and send him an alert when it found one.   Any day he got the alert, he knew he had a good chance of stopping by the conference room at a little after 1:00 and grabbing a free lunch.

meatgrinder

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I had a co-worker who wrote a script (little piece of software) to go into the company calendar each day, look for scheduled lunch meetings in large conference rooms, and send him an alert when it found one.   Any day he got the alert, he knew he had a good chance of stopping by the conference room at a little after 1:00 and grabbing a free lunch.

Nice. That is definitely more badass than me. If my success rate starts to drop, I may consider the same and learn some script writing skills at the same time (I'm not a software dev.)

gaja

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One of my FIRE plans is to start a consultancy firm and attend free seminars and conferences. A lot of European cities are full of them, especially Brussels, and there are always  some that have interesting speakers or debates.

11ducks

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When I read your title I expected it to be the story of the office asshole who sneaks into the fridge and steals coworkers lunches daily.....

There's a lady at a desk near mine, her bottom drawer is filled to the brim with all types of delicious snacks. I tell you, on days when I've forgotten lunch I've been tempted! (never would of course)

SnackDog

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It can work, but you must be shameless.  There was one guy in our building who was famous for this.  He appeared, as if from nowhere, at exactly the right time for any lunch meeting anywhere in a giant building. Everyone knew and joked.  As soon as he appeared on your floor, loitering aimlessly, you knew there was food somewhere.  People wondered how much of his day he spent stalking catering and looking for food. He was eventually laid off.

lucylu

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My company has an app you can use to see where leftover food has been posted rather than hitting every floor's kitchen at 1:00pm. As a meeting owner, you are expected to move leftovers to the kitchen and post. There is food almost every day.

Slee_stack

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Our company alerts folks to leftover food.

We do have some vultures here who feel they should always have first dibs though.  These folks are not generally thought highly of.

I agree with the above about needing to be shameless. 

Basically they are always taking what should be equally available to everybody.   Just wait for the announcement, then get your food...


Also, how is this [saving] $2000/year?   I bag lunch everyday and I average less than $3 per day.  I don't doubt many here are far below that.  Would we go out and BUY lunches if we weren't vulturing?  Doubtful.

IMO, being shameless might really 'save' you $500/yr...all the while ticking off your co-workers who should have the same opportunity for an occasional lunch.


NV Teacher

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We have one person on staff that is known for always taking extra food home from the monthly pot luck lunch.  My issue is that she loads up her take home containers well before everyone else gets a chance to eat.

Paul der Krake

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Which buildings do you typically roam? Asking for a friend.

kpd905

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I just did this on Thursday at work (hospital).  The conference room had multiple full boxes of leftover pizza, so that was my dinner.  I could have been a pig and grabbed it all, but one free meal was enough.

MrThatsDifferent

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Iíve run a number of groups and I would always say, have food, people will come. Now, I run a company that has a lot events with lots of catering, we always make the food available to everyone else in our break room and we also donate what we can to the charities that pick up extra food. The problem is event food is often very carby and you get sick of that so a lot gets rejected. Vulturing food doesnít mean eating healthy.

meatgrinder

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Also, how is this [saving] $2000/year?   I bag lunch everyday and I average less than $3 per day.  I don't doubt many here are far below that.  Would we go out and BUY lunches if we weren't vulturing?  Doubtful.

IMO, being shameless might really 'save' you $500/yr...all the while ticking off your co-workers who should have the same opportunity for an occasional lunch.

Yes, $2K/year is based on going out for lunch which could be ~$8/day.  I've seen folks that are super aggressive and box up more food than they need before others. 

No loitering, I do one swoop and if its there then I descend on my prey. If not, I go back to the hole from which I came.

meatgrinder

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Iíve run a number of groups and I would always say, have food, people will come. Now, I run a company that has a lot events with lots of catering, we always make the food available to everyone else in our break room and we also donate what we can to the charities that pick up extra food. The problem is event food is often very carby and you get sick of that so a lot gets rejected. Vulturing food doesnít mean eating healthy.

True, beggars can't be choosers. I try to eat healthy but tend to be at the mercy of admins and other corporate folks who order food.

Sometimes I feel sorry for folks in training/conferences that have pasta/bread for lunch then are expected to be alert and contribute for the next 5 hours.

I'm a red panda

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We have one person on staff that is known for always taking extra food home from the monthly pot luck lunch.  My issue is that she loads up her take home containers well before everyone else gets a chance to eat.

That's not OK.

Personally, I'm annoyed at the people who eat at every single pot luck but never bring a single thing.  I'm happy my company has gone to a system where we sign up for a quarters worth of shared meals, and then distribute out who brings at which one, so you don't have to bring to all of them. But if you aren't contributing to ANY of the meals over the year, you shouldn't be eating at them either.

reverend

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I've been oddly lucky in that I've worked at food product companies for a while.   Celestial Seasonings (free teas, soaps and shampoos), Coors Brewing Company (free beer, though I'm not a big beer drinker), Butterball (I don't eat turkey, but we got chicken and other stuff too) and the last company made foods like Pizza hut dough and McDonald's buns etc, so our test kitchen always had all sorts of soups, breads, pizzas, steaks and stuff.

The COST of the food I didn't have to pay for far exceeds $2K/year, but the replacement value of the lunches I would have made myself wouldn't be more than a few dollars/day.

Of course, the real dollar savings from my last company was the box seats at the local theater. I've seen damn near every Broadway musical and lots of concerts for free with teh company box seats.

I should have kept that job. :D

mm1970

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This is funny.  It's pretty rare for us to have catered lunches at work, and when they happen, they are for the big wigs.  But sometimes, we get lucky.

Sadly, I cannot eat gluten anymore.  So leftover sandwiches?  I look at them longingly, but let others benefit.  We have 2 buildings but the meetings are usually in our building.  If there are a lot of leftovers, they will take some to the other building, but it's rare.

So funny though -  most of the people here are highly paid (engineers, directors, etc.), but we all love a free lunch.  People can get testy though. We actually have an anniversary lunch yearly at the other building.  Leftovers go into the lunch room in that building, sometimes they will make it to my building.  My habit at any company event like this (or lunch) is to first, take a small plate.  Because you don't actually know how many people are coming and how much food their in.  In the case of pizza, sandwiches - one slice or 1/2 a sandwich.  (Of course, now I just bring my own lunch, because, gluten).  However, I exercise regularly and can eat quite a lot.  So, if I'm still hungry, I'll go back through the line when everyone else has gone through.

Most recent lunch ... one of my coworkers actually said to me "you are getting SECONDS??"  Out loud.  Um, WTF dude?  Okay, whatever, I ignored it.  What does he care?  I mean, I took a small plate first round with a little rice and chicken and curried spinach and tofu.  Then, there was cake for dessert.  I can't eat cake.  I was chatting with our admin director, who asked "hey, have you tried the lentils? They are delicious!"  A huge pan of lentils, barely touched.  So why not.  Got a small bowl, had a 1/4 cup of rice with lentils on top.  Same guy "you're having THIRDS??"   Like dude, really?  I could see if we were running out, but there was a massive pan of lentils, a bunch of rice, and a fair bit of the spinach leftover.  All of which went into the lunch room (in the past, I would have TOTALLY gone over before quitting time to take some home, because otherwise it gets thrown out, and that's a waste.)

That's my "free lunch" story of the day.  If it makes it any weirder, I'm female, and nearing 50.  What can I say, I can eat!  And I'm not fat!

My husband's "free lunch" story of the week is funnier.  Someone left cookies and onions in their lunchroom.  Yep, a bowl of onions.  Turns out they got sandwiches, and asked for the onions on the side.  He almost brought them home because we love onions, and cook them into everything.  But didn't.

the_fixer

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I work in a building that hosts the majority of the training for our company and they always provide lunch for the students and always order about 25% more than they need.

Other than the students / teachers there is only a handful of employees and I would always see the food sit out in the lunchroom and it would still be there hours later and sitting in trash on my way out of the building at ~5 pm.

I am not talking crappy food, top quality BBQ with all of the fixings, lasagna, pasta and stuff from high-end Italian restaurants.

Got tired of watching all of it go to waste so I wait until the classes are back in session for a 1/2 to an hour and I will go in and make a to-go box :)

There have been times when I have went home with 5 pounds of BBQ meat with all of the fixings or an entire pan of lasagna with salad.

First few times it felt weird but hell with it if they are just going to let it go to waste someone might as well make use of it.

Oh and then there is the breakfast burritos every day but I skip them too many calories for breakfast every day.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 06:33:44 PM by the_fixer »

Zikoris

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You can also make friends with the people in charge of catering. I was the sole hospitality person at my last (very large) company, and we did TONS of catered events. We had a policy against sending company-wide emails for stuff like that, but I'll admit that people I liked would often get phone calls when there was good stuff.

FIREby35

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I 100% food scavenged through law school. It was awesome. I was a single guy so I could actually scavenge almost all of my personal food needs and spent approximately $60 per month on all other food. This went on for three full years.

That was ten years ago, and now I am reaping the rewards. It all really does add up :)


AnnaGrowsAMustache

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I've got a friend who is a bit of an elderly bastard - 93, with bad attitude. In short, I want to grow up to be just like him! He lives 2 doors down from a large funeral home in an upmarket suburb. Not only does the old shyte attend random funerals and invite himself for subsequent coffee and nibbles afterwards, he considers the gardens his own personal park in which he can cut flowers and practice his tai chi any old time. Pretty sure the funeral home have got his number but he's great at pretending to be deaf and addled when required. I think dressing up for funerals and eating sandwiches and cakes after is his main hobby.

sequoia

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My favorite temp job back in college was being a helper at the admin office during the first few weeks before school starts. It was chaotic time as everyone and their parents would come in, register, moving into the dorms etc.

The office have food catered in. It was minimum wage pay and long hours, but easy work and free lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks. At the end of each day, there were plenty of food left and we were encourage to take a box home (or more) - that would be my breakfast in the morning. I remember I had so much food, I was sharing some food to my roommate :)

I'm a red panda

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There is a person on our local buy nothing group who is posting office leftovers most days. She apparently works in a catering office, and she collects it all and then sees if anyone wants it.  We got a lasagna yesterday :)

Mississippi Mudstache

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I used to be a regular grazer after lunch meetings at my previous employer. The secretary was a friend (and also an avid grazer) so she always let me know when the goods were available. My present employer is tiny (6 of us), so no more lunch leftover, but they keep a cupboard stocked with all kinds of free snack food, from nuts and dried fruit to crackers and granola bars. I almost always get my breakfast for free, and some weeks I eat lunch from the snacks as well. It's a nice perk.

GuitarStv

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I have to admit to doing this regularly (at least once a week) at my previous mega corp company.  Unfortunately, the quality of food was not very good.

acroy

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I've got a friend who is a bit of an elderly bastard - 93, with bad attitude. In short, I want to grow up to be just like him! He lives 2 doors down from a large funeral home in an upmarket suburb. Not only does the old shyte attend random funerals and invite himself for subsequent coffee and nibbles afterwards, he considers the gardens his own personal park in which he can cut flowers and practice his tai chi any old time. Pretty sure the funeral home have got his number but he's great at pretending to be deaf and addled when required. I think dressing up for funerals and eating sandwiches and cakes after is his main hobby.
That is awesome, I want to be that guy when the kids are old and my wife is dead. but with a good attitude of course.

Through college: I'd go to student events & on-site company presentations with food, and score big. companies like Microsoft would come in to present to 100kids and have 50 pizzas. I'd stick around and take like 20 leftover pizzas, they were glad to get rid of them.

At work I am with customers most of the time and get free (nice!) catered lunch almost every day. Great perk. the few days w/o customers I often just skip; good for the stoicism/denial muscles ;)

MonkeyJenga

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I will point out that this is not really a "free lunch" in the sense that there are no strings or obligations. You need to have a job to take advantage of it. I was a notorious vulture at my old job, but when I FIRE'd I lost access to the free food. I'd rather be FIRE.

Dicey

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I will point out that this is not really a "free lunch" in the sense that there are no strings or obligations. You need to have a job to take advantage of it. I was a notorious vulture at my old job, but when I FIRE'd I lost access to the free food. I'd rather be FIRE.
You and me both.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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I've got a friend who is a bit of an elderly bastard - 93, with bad attitude. In short, I want to grow up to be just like him! He lives 2 doors down from a large funeral home in an upmarket suburb. Not only does the old shyte attend random funerals and invite himself for subsequent coffee and nibbles afterwards, he considers the gardens his own personal park in which he can cut flowers and practice his tai chi any old time. Pretty sure the funeral home have got his number but he's great at pretending to be deaf and addled when required. I think dressing up for funerals and eating sandwiches and cakes after is his main hobby.
That is awesome, I want to be that guy when the kids are old and my wife is dead. but with a good attitude of course.



At least he dresses up for the funerals - three piece suit, pocket hankie, pomaded hair, freshly polished shoes etc etc. He goes all out for his free lunch. I've been to two legit funerals at the same place, and I must admit that they put on a good spread. Even the little sandwiches are just so fresh and lovely. Maybe I'll become a funeral goer when I'm his age!

Reynolds531

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I used to tell new hires "get in that potluck line, you must establish your dominance". I bet I created a whole generation of vultures.

I'm now teaching my son the same lesson with Costco samples.

I'm a red panda

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I've got a friend who is a bit of an elderly bastard - 93, with bad attitude. In short, I want to grow up to be just like him! He lives 2 doors down from a large funeral home in an upmarket suburb. Not only does the old shyte attend random funerals and invite himself for subsequent coffee and nibbles afterwards, he considers the gardens his own personal park in which he can cut flowers and practice his tai chi any old time. Pretty sure the funeral home have got his number but he's great at pretending to be deaf and addled when required. I think dressing up for funerals and eating sandwiches and cakes after is his main hobby.
That is awesome, I want to be that guy when the kids are old and my wife is dead. but with a good attitude of course.



At least he dresses up for the funerals - three piece suit, pocket hankie, pomaded hair, freshly polished shoes etc etc. He goes all out for his free lunch. I've been to two legit funerals at the same place, and I must admit that they put on a good spread. Even the little sandwiches are just so fresh and lovely. Maybe I'll become a funeral goer when I'm his age!

I've heard of professional mourners before. Maybe in addition to your lunch you can figure out how to get paid for your attendance.

sequoia

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I've got a friend who is a bit of an elderly bastard - 93, with bad attitude. In short, I want to grow up to be just like him! He lives 2 doors down from a large funeral home in an upmarket suburb. Not only does the old shyte attend random funerals and invite himself for subsequent coffee and nibbles afterwards, he considers the gardens his own personal park in which he can cut flowers and practice his tai chi any old time. Pretty sure the funeral home have got his number but he's great at pretending to be deaf and addled when required. I think dressing up for funerals and eating sandwiches and cakes after is his main hobby.
That is awesome, I want to be that guy when the kids are old and my wife is dead. but with a good attitude of course.



At least he dresses up for the funerals - three piece suit, pocket hankie, pomaded hair, freshly polished shoes etc etc. He goes all out for his free lunch. I've been to two legit funerals at the same place, and I must admit that they put on a good spread. Even the little sandwiches are just so fresh and lovely. Maybe I'll become a funeral goer when I'm his age!

I've heard of professional mourners before. Maybe in addition to your lunch you can figure out how to get paid for your attendance.

I read it somewhere, I believe in certain part of Asia, you can hire professional mourners. Apparently  it does not look good when someone died and not enough people in attendance (or something like that), so the family hire these professional mourners. What a weird job, but I remember that thinking I can do it part time (or can I be a full time pro?) when I retire.

ice_beard

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I work at a large hospital and on a semi regular basis there will be very large amounts of leftover food in our break room.  One week I brought home probably 7 lbs of indian rice and probably a dozen curry drumsticks and the week before I probably brought home 10 lbs of chinese food, white rice and some spicy seafood/veg concoction.  I froze bags and bags of food that I will be able to pull out over the next few months.  The food coes in those huge aluminum catering tray things and they are usually loaded with food.  I can't pass it up.  It's literally maybe $100 worth of carry out just sitting there getting old.  The food has always been out for awhile and anyone else who wants some has had plenty of time to eat/take some.  Some people even raise eyebrows when they see me calling dibs on the food because they are sure it's gone bad because it's been out too long.  I have a strong stomach and haven't gotten sick yet.  It might help that I do work in an emergency dept as an RN ;-)

There is only one other co-worker who partakes in the vulturing of the leftover food.  We give each other heads ups when there are edible leftovers.   

Davids

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My cube is near the kitchen in our office so anytime I hear a cart rolling I know that means there is leftover food from some meeting that occurred. As I usually bring lunch and this would occur after lunch I take the sandwiches and other leftovers as my lunch for the next day.

Rytrik

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I'm unsure of why this is classified as 'badass'. MMM addresses this exact 'habit' in this blog post: Mr Money Mustache: Frugal vs. Cheap
https://gj837.app.goo.gl/w4fze4BStx9CcbV83

How is vulturing a 'badass' trait? That's a Cheap trait. Not frugal.
Seriously. Either stop, or never tell anyone that you're being 'Mustachian', as vulturing is a cheap & disgusting trait and will make Mustachianism look really bad.

SwitchActiveDWG

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For those that bill time hourly, a lunch finding adventure could be a bit counterproductive.

If itís working for you though itís certainly better than going out to eat everyday.

meatgrinder

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I'm unsure of why this is classified as 'badass'. MMM addresses this exact 'habit' in this blog post: Mr Money Mustache: Frugal vs. Cheap
https://gj837.app.goo.gl/w4fze4BStx9CcbV83

How is vulturing a 'badass' trait? That's a Cheap trait. Not frugal.
Seriously. Either stop, or never tell anyone that you're being 'Mustachian', as vulturing is a cheap & disgusting trait and will make Mustachianism look really bad.

Sorry, I'm not seeing the specific example "eating leftovers from group work lunch meetings" in the article.  Can you please help me out?   What about this article where MM mentioned scoring free leftover pizza from a group that ordered too much?  https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/20/money-mustache-vs-tourist-trap/

But regardless, we should give zero fucks on what MM says is badass, cheap, rude, ninja-like etc and develop and live by your own principles of badassness.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2018, 10:34:58 PM by meatgrinder »

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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I'm unsure of why this is classified as 'badass'. MMM addresses this exact 'habit' in this blog post: Mr Money Mustache: Frugal vs. Cheap
https://gj837.app.goo.gl/w4fze4BStx9CcbV83

How is vulturing a 'badass' trait? That's a Cheap trait. Not frugal.
Seriously. Either stop, or never tell anyone that you're being 'Mustachian', as vulturing is a cheap & disgusting trait and will make Mustachianism look really bad.

One man's cheap is another man's frugal. Besides which, MMM isn't a cultish leader who demands absolute obedience. He's just a smart bloke with good ideas, and I'll take what applies to me and run with it. Even if he thinks I'm cheap!

living small

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I work at a company that caters in lunch EVERY DAY! ( I know, I know, crazy right?)

I usually bring home whatever leftovers there are. This week, a ton of people are on vacation....but the catering order will still be for the normal size working crew!! There are several of us that work together to split the leftovers! I am bringing some pyrex dishes from home today!

We save about $20 per month!

Linda_Norway

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My department has a fruit bowl, now one bowl every day. Often there is leftover fruit on Friday afternoon. When I'm there at 4 pm, I don't feel guilty taking home some apples and pears, as they will become less attractive during the weekend and will be thrown away on Monday morning. My boss and some colleagues heard about it and approved of it.

When we have leftover sandwiches at work, they are put somewhere where everyone can grab one/some.

Many years ago I worked at the local cinema, in a catering position. We could get free tickets to the personnel chairs at the shows and also for the local cinema which was owned by the same company. I have used that a lot, including my DH who was my BF at that time.

gaja

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I'm unsure of why this is classified as 'badass'. MMM addresses this exact 'habit' in this blog post: Mr Money Mustache: Frugal vs. Cheap
https://gj837.app.goo.gl/w4fze4BStx9CcbV83

How is vulturing a 'badass' trait? That's a Cheap trait. Not frugal.
Seriously. Either stop, or never tell anyone that you're being 'Mustachian', as vulturing is a cheap & disgusting trait and will make Mustachianism look really bad.

Food waste is a serious problem. We produce enough food on Earth to easily feed 10 billion people, but we waste between 1/3 and 1/2 of it. In Europe and North America, every person throws away ~100 kg food every year (in the production phase, another ~150 kg/person is wasted). Yes, some of that is spoiled, but test samples have shown that up to 1/2 of the food we throw in the bin is completely safe to eat.

This is a crazy waste of resources, and I will applaud each and every person that does something to address this issue. Eating leftovers at work is a great way to save resources from being wasted.

I'm a red panda

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I'm unsure of why this is classified as 'badass'. MMM addresses this exact 'habit' in this blog post: Mr Money Mustache: Frugal vs. Cheap
https://gj837.app.goo.gl/w4fze4BStx9CcbV83

How is vulturing a 'badass' trait? That's a Cheap trait. Not frugal.
Seriously. Either stop, or never tell anyone that you're being 'Mustachian', as vulturing is a cheap & disgusting trait and will make Mustachianism look really bad.

Taking food that would otherwise be trashed is badass IMO.
Taking food you shouldn't is cheap (and wrong....) 

(For example- if catering is set out but the meeting hasn't broken for lunch yet- it's not OK to grab a sandwich off the tray.  If the tray was put in the shared kitchen after lunch, where the office puts all shared food, grabbing one for dinner is a great idea.)

mm1970

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I'm unsure of why this is classified as 'badass'. MMM addresses this exact 'habit' in this blog post: Mr Money Mustache: Frugal vs. Cheap
https://gj837.app.goo.gl/w4fze4BStx9CcbV83

How is vulturing a 'badass' trait? That's a Cheap trait. Not frugal.
Seriously. Either stop, or never tell anyone that you're being 'Mustachian', as vulturing is a cheap & disgusting trait and will make Mustachianism look really bad.

Food waste is a serious problem. We produce enough food on Earth to easily feed 10 billion people, but we waste between 1/3 and 1/2 of it. In Europe and North America, every person throws away ~100 kg food every year (in the production phase, another ~150 kg/person is wasted). Yes, some of that is spoiled, but test samples have shown that up to 1/2 of the food we throw in the bin is completely safe to eat.

This is a crazy waste of resources, and I will applaud each and every person that does something to address this issue. Eating leftovers at work is a great way to save resources from being wasted.

Yes!

And what iowajes says too.

If the meeting hasn't started yet (or is still going on) and you aren't invited - hands off!!  And sadly, at one point in time we had to tell people that.  I actually started offering the organizer that she could put the sodas in my own personal mini-fridge (instead of the lunchroom fridge), so they wouldn't disappear.

But when it's over?  All bets are off.  Yes, it's good to share - meaning, if there are 15 sandwiches left, don't take one for yourself and three more for later - let other people at it.  But, if it's been an hour or so (depends because some stuff you don't want to leave at room temp for long!), wrap it up!  I hate food waste.

ice_beard

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Here is an example of what I brought home last night from work....
This is a catering tray that still had probably 75% of the brown rice left in it.  I added in some of the other dishes that were left, curry chicken, some fried wings (yeah not exactly healthy) and some beef with noodles.  This was sitting out in our break room when I arrived at work.  I know it had been there long enough for those who wanted some to take what they wanted.  I put this tray together and put it in the fridge.  There was still a fair amount of food left out for those who wanted it, I did not take it all.  This tray weighed over 17 lbs.  Since I eat a lot of brown rice, this is a great score.  This food was literally rescued from going in the garbage because the rest of the food was thrown out.


This isn't vulturing food IMHO, this is maximizing a situation with a logical solution.

I'm a red panda

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That's awesome. Friday I took home 3 bags of shredded cheddar cheese from last Mondays pot luck. I asked the office manager if there was a plan for them (sometimes we save them for other events) and she said they were being trashed and gave them to me. Unopened and expire in July.

I also got a bag of chips and 2 half containers of sour cream.

living small

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ice_beard

17 lbs of food!

holy cow!

I took home 10 veggie burgers and all of the fixings yesterday, and I thought that was good!

BuffaloStache

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Agreed, ice_beard, that was an amazing haul!

I do this often, but free food isn't as common as it seems to be at some of your companies. I also agree that as long as you aren't taking food away from the people it was intended to feed (e.g. all meeting/training/seminar attendees have had their fill), then this is actually a good thing as it reduces waste.