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Extreme Frugality - The other people think I'm crazy thread! - Page 8

post #141 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redifer View Post
Anywhere that doesn't have a compacter. Around here, that's smaller, non-big-box stores. Typically we hit up Big Lots, Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Borders.

As for furniture/electronics, Office Max, Rent-A-Center, Aaron's Rental, small local electronic repair stores..

Then FOOD! Haha yes, I have no problem eating from a dumpster. Dunkin Donuts, Manhattan Bagel.. they tend to double bag their products.. bagels with bagels, donuts with donuts. Good for a treat to share with friends. Aldi's, Jubilee... they throw out perfectly good produce! Trader Joe's I hear is always an amazing dumpster to hit, but alas, we don't have any in my neck of the woods.

Health food stores, GNC... basically, anywhere there's an unlocked dumpster, we give it a peek. It's 50/50 right now, slow season after the holidays runs about January-March. Then it picks up big time and you won't have too many "slow nights"!
Sounds very tempting (and I have a Trader Joe's nearby)... But I kind of remember hearing dumpster diving is illegal, is that true???
post #142 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Girlo View Post
I have loved reading all 7 pages of this thread!

One thing I noticed that hadn't been mentioned yet is gift wrap/bags. A PP did mention using paper shopping bags (the brown kind) to wrap gifts....which we do. Another thing is reusing gift bags and tissue paper. It's been years (as in easily over 10) since I've bought either a gift bag or tissue paper. I saved every bag that held a gift from our wedding, all my baby showers for both kids, and every birthday/Xmas gift any of us has ever received. I've got them stored in a HUGE shopping bag and it'll be years before they're all gone...even if we never receive another gift again.
The tissue paper, I just smooth out and fold it nicely and put it all away together. Yeah, I think people think I'm crazy for doing this....but that's their problem.

There are other things that I'd like to do more of, like composting and saving rain water. I'd also love for our gardens to be bigger and more productive. We do have apple and plum trees that we make good use of....as well as TONS of blackberries on our property. Can you believe that people will pay $5 for a pint of blackberries??? Around here, you can stop on the side of literally any road and pick a gallon of them for free (in August)....and people still pay for them in the summer. I think that's crazy......
When we got married 13 years ago, we must have gotten 25-30 gift bags from our wedding and even more from our shower. We saved them all and it took a good 3 years before we used them all. I did the same thing with baby shower gift bags. My best friend even said she herself had received the gift bag at her shower and used it at mine. I in turn did the same to someone else. I still do that.

We compost all year. I just put a big heap in the veggie garden and let nature do its work. We bring out the compost pail about every day and a half. I keep saying I am going to start a worm one, but this works really well. We have one barrel for rain and will get another one when its warmer. That one we will attach a hose to and water the lawn. The barrel now is for watering the garden. I notice a difference using rain water in the veggies. I also notice how over the last 2 years since we moved in and I have been getting the soil ready how its evolved into a wonderful soil from composting.
post #143 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
Sounds very tempting (and I have a Trader Joe's nearby)... But I kind of remember hearing dumpster diving is illegal, is that true???
You'd have to check your local statutes. In most places, it surprisingly isn't illegal! Breaking into a locked dumpster is illegal, going into one with a No Trespassing sign is illegal, dumping your own garbage into a dumpster is illegal, but in most instances, taking things OUT of a dumpster isn't!

Biggest reason why is that things in a dumpster or at a curb, things clearly meant for garbage pick up, are considered "abandoned property". It isn't until the dumpster is physically picked up by the waste management company that possession of the items in it transfer over to belong to someone.

Granted, it isn't looked upon well by many store employees, and while I've never been confronted by law enforcement, I know people who have, and no one (even on a hundreds+ forum devoted to it) has ever been ticketed or arrested.


Update on my own finds: last night we went to a grocery store and hit the jackpot. Over $600 worth of meat. Cases and cases of beef, pork, and ham. Still frozen, thanks to the weather! (The "best if used by" isn't until the end of March. Unbelievable that people are going hungry and this mass amount of food was going to end up at the dump).

Knew before we got home there was no way we could fit all of it in our freezer, so we called a couple friends who also have a hard time making ends meet to meet us at our place and divied it up. Even after splitting it 4 ways and LOADING our friends up, my freezer is still full. We have enough meat to literally last 2 months for a family of four.
post #144 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redifer View Post


Update on my own finds: last night we went to a grocery store and hit the jackpot. Over $600 worth of meat. Cases and cases of beef, pork, and ham. Still frozen, thanks to the weather! (The "best if used by" isn't until the end of March. Unbelievable that people are going hungry and this mass amount of food was going to end up at the dump).

Knew before we got home there was no way we could fit all of it in our freezer, so we called a couple friends who also have a hard time making ends meet to meet us at our place and divied it up. Even after splitting it 4 ways and LOADING our friends up, my freezer is still full. We have enough meat to literally last 2 months for a family of four.
That's amazing!!
post #145 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redifer View Post
Update on my own finds: last night we went to a grocery store and hit the jackpot. Over $600 worth of meat. Cases and cases of beef, pork, and ham. Still frozen, thanks to the weather! (The "best if used by" isn't until the end of March. Unbelievable that people are going hungry and this mass amount of food was going to end up at the dump).
I'm just curious, really not knocking dumpster diving, I know amazing things can be found there, but I'm trying to figure out why a store would throw away meat that wasn't past the expiration date? Could it be that it sat out and wasn't refrigerated/frozen for a period of time?
post #146 of 156
Asked friends of mine who work in grocery stores. They said it's probably just a storage issue in a smaller chain store like that. They got their new shipments in, which are fresher and brand new, and had to chuck the "older" stuff.

I'm fairly cautious with meat and dairy dumpster products. If there's any discoloration, smell, etc, I don't mess around with it. This meat has no discoloration whatsoever... the beef is bright red, not a speck of odd colors at all. I left some out to thaw last night, smelled it this afternoon.. smells beautiful. Once spring hits, we tend to not get meat, dairy or produce as often due to the weather. In the winter, everything stays frozen or freezes almost immediately.

In my years of diving, I've found that stores in general tend to be incredibly wasteful. Hundreds of dollars of Christmas decorations were found in one dumpster.. hundreds of dollars in books and dvds in another. Foods the same way typically. It's insane.
post #147 of 156
Redifer I just think that is amazing!! Makes me want to take a peek 'round back next time I'm at the grocery store. I hope you and your friends enjoy every last ounce of that not-wasted meat.
post #148 of 156
Wow OK so I have to ask, do you "sneak" behind the stores at night or do you go in broad daylight?
post #149 of 156
Is dumpster diving legal? I mean if you get caught will you get in trouble or do people not really care? I have never dumpster dived before but am interested. I told my husband about it and he said it sounds illegal so I am just curious!
post #150 of 156
We tend to go at night, usually around 10 pm til midnight. 2 reasons:
1. It's a lot easier to dive when the kids are asleep in the truck.
2. Most places around here only throw their garbage out right before they close, so during the day is fruitless.

But I know plenty of people who go in the day. It depends on your schedule! It's a lot easier to see during the day.

Legality - most of the time it is legal. That depends on your local ordinances. The current law in the U.S.A. (federal as well as most states) is that (1) a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy for contents of garbage and (2) a person has relinquished any property interest in garbage, even when it sits in metal trash cans or opaque plastic bags at the person's home awaiting collection.

The only time dumpster diving becomes risky is when you're on private property, in which case it could be trespassing. However, I'd like to point out that in years of diving, I've never been confronted. And out of the people I know who dive, only 2 have been confronted by local law enforcement. 1 cop thought it was cool they got all that stuff free, and the other one simply asked them to leave the premises. No threats, no fines, no arrests. Online forums devoted to the subject have about the same rate... hardly anyone gets confronted, and if they do, it's 99.9% of the time a non-issue.

Like I said, in my area, its legal. We just stay away from locked dumpsters (which is vandalism/breaking and entering) and away from stores/buildings with "no trespassing" signs (even if they have really good stuff).
post #151 of 156
Mysticpi, I made your deoderant (with olive oil & cocoa butter) and it works Great!!!!!!!
Thank you
post #152 of 156
I don't care what people think. If it is not illegal...I do as I please.

For those of us not on Wall Street or running a big bank or HMO, there seems to be many trends chipping away at our very survival before the SHTF comes knocking at our door. So even if none of our SHTF scenarios come to fruition, living life itself can be a survival feat nowadays if your not rich. As such, there are many areas I have had to scale back in or completely cut from my budget.

When I travel with my trailer I boondock for free. Never pay for an RV park. Of course, if your in Key West, boondocking is tough. You can park at Walmart's, Cracker Barrel restaurants, motel parking lots, churches, casinos, shopping centers, RV dealers, etc.

Have not been to a real barber in decades. I used to go to a beauty school, but they even raised their prices beyond my confront level. So I buzz my own hair...3, 2,1 guards.

I reuse floss 2 or 3 times and can reuse mouth wash once or twice if desperate. (Rinse mouth with water first to get the loose stuff our or brush teeth first.)

Paper towels all get a quick rinse and dry to be reused if not oily or too dirty.

Tons of money get wasted on paper products I used to grab 2 or 3 Kleenex at a time without even thinking bout it. Started to use old style handkerchiefs as I did when I was a kid to save on paper. Cut the use of Kleenex out about 95%.

Military showers save on water too. Especially important in the summer during growing season as it eats up water.

http://usalandlord.stores.yahoo.net/shonsw.html

Some other thing's I extend.

Soy sauce - 50% or more dilution with water. Tastes OK but started to do it to reduce the astronomical salt content. Careful though, it get moldy at room temps. so just dilute what you need.

Pancakes - WW pancake mix is very high priced. I dilute original Aunt Jemima with 40% WW flour and a little corn meal and rye flour. The leavening in the Aunt Jemima is enough 'as is' to work with the plain flour.

Again started to do it for sodium cut back, but great to add whole grains to it as well. I use an egg and part milk in the batter. Or can use just water, but like egg better. do not use oil, but probably would be better with oil.

Maple syrup - use 10% water in it

Grape juice - add 40% water for a lighter drink with less calories.

OJ - fresh squeezed I add 15% to 20% water and a table spoon of sugar if the oranges are tart. Careful with the store-bought OJ, loaded with chemicals.

http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/b...=9780300124712

Hand dish liquid soap I dilute 75% with water and it is still thick. I use it on sponges more than in sinks, so have not tested it except for sponge washing use. Bleach used for mold cleaning around the house can be diluted 80% with water.Just takes a few seconds longer to blast the mold.

Been baking all my own bread since 1997. Grind some grains, although the wheat has shot up so high that it is close to the price of buying ground wheat at Walmart. I make all my own salad dressing and pickles. Make my own raw juices. (But I do this cause of quality and not out of frugality. Store-bought crap is cooked and may have questionable origins.)

Two interesting sites...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCPEBM5ol0Q

http://www.backyardfoodproduction.com/dvd

I cut out all magazines and newspapers. I get what I need from the library. Cut my cable when it got to $70 a month. got tired of them raising it every year like clockwork, so cut the bastards out. No Blockbuster, cut them out, I get tons of DVD's for free from the library.

Never go to the movies. I like yoga, inline skating, longboarding, dirt bikes, mountain bikes, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, scuba, snow sports, mountain boarding, tree climbing, weight training.

If the Net gets too expensive I'll go back to using the library for free.

Make my own yogurt. Make 4 quarts for $2 and some electric to keep them warm for 8 hours. Switched over to organic milk and it cost more, but still a lot less than buying organic yogurt.

Make my jam, cost a few cents a jar if you got the jars and make high pectin jams that don't require store bought pectin.

I refill my own #1 propane cylinders from a large bulk tanks. Buy my bulk propane at a co-op, cost $12.50 per 20 pounds.

We heat with gas and keep the thermostat set at 62 at night and keep the heat OFF during the day. If it is in the single digits or teens outside, the house gets down into the high 40's or low 50's in daytime. I usually turn on the heat around 9 PM and shut it down at 8 or 9 am.

Although if house gets below 50, wife makes me turn up the heat to 52 or so since the house wont heat back up until after midnight if it below 50 at 9 PM Monthly bill for this type of schedule in mid $250's in the coldest months.

I also supplement my garden with foraging. There are lots of fruit trees in my local and some of em are abandoned or neglected so I make good use of their produce. So if your local is conducive to foraging, study it up and have many options for food production available to you if the world starts decomposing around you.

Here are 3 good books for those interested in developing an urban homestead.

http://www.amazon.com/Food-Not-Lawns.../dp/193339207X

http://www.amazon.com/Gardening-When.../dp/086571553X

http://www.amazon.com/Self-Sufficien.../dp/0878574573

I think we have a real food crisis brewing for the world. Not enough young farmers replacing the old. With the recent food shortages in the news I have to wonder as Richard Heinberg brought up "Who will be growing our food 20 years from now?"

"The average American farmer is 55 to 60 years old. The proportion of full time farmers younger than 35 years of age has dropped from 15.9% in 1982 to 5.8% in 2002. Who will be growing our food 20 years from now?" from "Peak Everything" by Richard Heinberg

"Amish farmers can't compete in conventual agriculture farming. 40 years ago 90% to 95% of the Amish were farmers. Today less than 10% are farmers." from: "How the Amish Survive" DVD.

You still have some valuable time left to prepare for what awaits you down the road.

We are in the 'Indian Summer' of a carbon based world. Don't wait until the winter sets in to start work on your preparedness efforts....Semper Paratus
post #153 of 156
I never thought to dilute my dishsoap! And the on off shower thingy is awesome. One time I put the plug in while I showered and I half filled the tub with water... We're thinking of buying a lowflow shower head too.
post #154 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcblondie View Post
I never thought to dilute my dishsoap! And the on off shower thingy is awesome. One time I put the plug in while I showered and I half filled the tub with water... We're thinking of buying a lowflow shower head too.

update...

Bleach used for mold cleaning around the house can be diluted 80% with water.Just takes a few seconds longer to blast the mold.
post #155 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwat View Post
Mysticpi, I made your deoderant (with olive oil & cocoa butter) and it works Great!!!!!!!
Thank you
That is awesome!
post #156 of 156
I love all the dumpster diving discussion...I can't wait until my sister comes back over this weekend, she's my DD partner and we've been dying to go! I saw some neighbors curb shopping recently too...it made me so happy.
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