Dumpster diving is not just about saving money on groceries, which is what I thought until I spent an evening with Allison Burtch. This girl is taking personal responsibility for all of the food our country wastes by eating her way through dumpsters. She has been diving for about six months and hasn’t bought groceries since. That is an incredible way to save money! I currently spend about $100 a week on groceries, so this means IF I dove (and that is a big if), I could stand to save $5,200 a year. That’s a lot of cash!
How much money would you have to save to dumpster dive?
UPDATE: Unfortunately this video has been taken down by AOL. 🙁 I wasn’t able to find it anywhere else on the web, very sad to say!
If you are interested in dumpster diving, keep in mind that it is illegal in some states. If you plan to dumpster dive, know what you are getting into (literally and figuratively). Know your rights and decide if you are willing to pay the price should you get caught.
That said, I suggest you prepare by reading blogs about dumpster diving and by getting in touch with an experienced diver. If possible, go with a veteran diver on your first several attempts to learn the ropes. From my one night of dumpster diving with Allison Burtch, all dumpsters are not created equally. Certain ones she skipped entirely because they had a bad reputation or she had not found anything after several attempts. She also knew which dumpsters were more likely to have flowers, or vegetables, for example.
There were many other important considerations that a veteran dumpster diver would know:
- If any security guards troll the lots and what they are likely to do should you run into one
- What time is the best time to dive
- The best route to hit multiple spots
- Extras to bring like clothes, hand cleaner, wipes, bags, etc
- What to do when you run into other divers
While I will probably never dumpster dive again myself, I wouldn’t spurn others for diving. It’s their choice, so they are free to make it! And I would love to hear stories from divers as my one night of diving was pretty exciting. I can only imagine the bizarre and funny things that happen over months and years of regular diving.