Dumpster Diving for Food, Scrapping for Metal- Part 2
[Ed. note: Kicking off Monday morning with this excellent diary in case you missed it this weekend.]
As Friday afternoon shoppers entered the front of a nearby discount grocery to shop, my husband and I parked at the back of the store, up a small hill in an adjacent lot, to ‘shop’ in the dumpster for food. We took grocery bags and trekked down the hill. Tracks in the snow indicated that we were not the first to do so. A loaf of bread sat perched on top of the dumpster lid, placed there by someone with a sense of humor, appeared to be an obvious invitation and advertisement.
I went to one side of the dumpster, my husband to the other, and we opened the side doors. Some fifty loaves of bread, all prior to expiration, sat on top of a large pile of stuff. I took eight loaves of bread and two packages of hot-dog buns while my husband handed me lemons, blueberries strawberries, apples and bananas from the pile. It was time for the vegetables: two heads of lettuce, two 8-packs of Roma tomatoes, two packages of 4 each of yellow and green squash, and two packs of yellow, red and green peppers plus a ten-pound bag of potatoes and a package of fresh mushrooms. I was thirsty so I took five cans of fruit punch and opened one for the road. We did not have enough grocery bags, so we procured an additional large box from the dumpster and loaded it as well. Before we closed the doors I picked off a few slices of cheese. As we trekked back up the hill through the snow to load some hundred dollars worth of groceries to the truck, the shoppers wheeled their baskets and purchases out the front of the very same store, minus their money. This is the very same dumpster that just last week delivered stew beef, way too much for us to handle, so we took four packages, all a full week prior to expiration, all priced between five and six dollars each, and we brought this home and made yet another delicious series of crockpot meals, supplemented with rice procured from a different dumpster. I could just kill myself because just the day before, I actually bought a loaf of bread, and we fought about it because we did not really have the money for a loaf of bread.
Meanwhile, on the scrapping front, it was lamp day at the Salvation Army dumpster, so I picked off eight or ten lamps, two of them, turns out, yellow brass. Got my first laptop computer…was wondering when laptops were going to hit, cut the cords from several TVs and got another vacuum cleaner, then left the rest for my buddies, because it is rude to be overly greedy at a dumpster. Went to the furniture pile where they purposefully destroy furniture and dicked around cutting cords from an enormous leather three-seat recliner. Then I spoke to my buddies, including the one that showed up one night in a lighted miner’s cap and said, “You oughta git ‘ya one of these.” . . .
On the way home stopped off at family services dumpster and picked up another comforter and some more clothes, then drove up and down some alleys, picking up those really heavy bass enhancer things, two beautiful metal patio chairs and a file cabinet. Swung by the car wash for cans and almost missed my first two perfectly working flat screen monitors. I was wondering when those were going to hit the trash. One is a 19 or 20-inch HP, the other looks to be a sixteen inch HP. Had I not accidentally moved some paper I might have missed the both of them.
I wonder about the car wash people. You are at the car wash, taking out cups and napkins, and then you say to yourself, “You know what? Fuck it. I’m throwing away these flat-screen monitors.” The big one was really nice for watching Al Jazeera, it arrived just in time for the Revolution, which we watched on the 19-incher.
Still hoping to get a little junk-hauling business going, maybe ” Two Guys and a Truck” (not taken here yet, I checked) but it is not easy when you are this poor. The food thing is crazy, hell if I had money I am not sure I would shop when food is so readily available. Perhaps I forgot to mention the delicious barbecue that we get consistently from a dumpster near a gut-wagon barbecue vendor that cannot afford his own rolloff service. Sometimes it is still warm.
Hope this helps upcoming ninety-niners and future Freegans. Insulated copper is up to a dollar fifteen a pound now folks. If you are willing to strip the cords, clean copper is around three dollars a pound. Go get those cords!
For the best redneck jury rigs on the internet click here and scroll down:
cross-posted at dumpsters2011.wordpress.com/