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Penny-wise Wednesday: Dumpster Diving

Photo byRomuald Bokej / Stockholm, Sweden
The best way to save money is to get things for free. That is why some people have started dumpster diving. Dumpster diving is basically looking through commercial trash cans for any item of value or expired food that has been thrown away. The  picture to the left shows a lot of something that had been thrown away in its packaging. This type of find, as well as expired-but still good- produce seems to be somewhat common among dumpster diving discoveries.

I first heard about this concept on T.V years ago. It was fascinating to me to see these people who lived in a big city go around at night and pick through the garbage that businesses put by the curbs. These people were getting all kind of things, even doughnuts. Dumpster diving in a smaller city would be much different, since businesses tend to use dumpsters rather than curbs, and trash is probably not collected every night.

I personally find dumpster diving rather intriguing. I don't really have the time to do it and I don't feel that I live in a very good location for it, but if you want to give it a try I do suggest to find a buddy or a group to go with. Meetup.com has dumpster diving groups, or you can create your own group. Not only is it safer to go with others, but by collaborating with others you may find out about locations and times in your area that are best for dumpster diving.

Dumpster diving has pros and cons. If you have decided that you want to live as simply and on as low a budget as possible, the cons probably won't faze you. But do make sure it is legal in your area and/or get permission from business owners.

Pros- getting things for free, making use of what would otherwise be trash, can be entertaining, can stretch your budget, can make a profit (if you sell items)

Cons- don't know if produce is organic (unless labeled as such), may get dirty and items may be smelly until you clean them up, may get in trouble with the police.

Curb Shopping
Curb shopping can be done alone or with a buddy. It is simply riding around seeing if anything on the curbside put out as trash strikes your fancy. Craigslist.com sometimes has curb alerts for curb shoppers. Not only can this be an entertaining activity, but you can get something you can really use for free, or you can spruce it up or make art out of it and sell it for a profit.

Dumpster Diving Resources: 

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What do you think about dumpster diving? Do you dumpster dive and want to share some tips? Leave a comment below! :)

Source: http://www.suite101.com/content/dumpster-diving-for-recreation-profit-and-sustainable-living-a233604

Until next time.... God bless!

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