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Topic: Extreme Frugality

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Shaun (sec) - ,
Subject: Extreme Frugality
Date Posted: 12/22/2008 10:08 PM ET
Member Since: 11/23/2008
Posts: 80
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Just read about this on Lifehacker:  Freeganism.  Check it out here:  http://freegan.info/

I thought it was a joke at first...  doesn't appear to be.  Can't say that I'm really on board with digging in a trash can for your food, but to each his own.


Date Posted: 12/27/2008 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I skimmed through out of curiosity. Can't say I want to be digging through garbage cans for my food eithe but a lot of what they're saying makes sense! a LOT of businesses toss out food, esp produce and baked goods that are still edible. veggies can be made into soups when they've startd going 'soft' or the bad spots cut out and still have enough for a veggie soup. tons of food goes to waste in this country and it's sickening to me when others could be benefitting from it. I remember reading once that companies used to give the food away but fear of lawsuits caused them to just start tossing it in the dumpsters.

I get so angry with my company for ordering food for lunch. for some reason these 'big shots' think they need a catered meal for every meeting which is about every day of the week..instead of just not doing it(which is my vote) or even counting to make sure of the exact amount they'll order say 100 boxed lunches from lenny's subs or quiznos then have maybe 50 at teh meeting..then they take it a step farther a nd instead of giving them outto the others at work they let t hem sit out and ruin...a lot of us are sickened by this...esp the cleaning crew we used to have. that guy was almost crying once talking about how it killed him to throw out 4 unopened pizza boxes but he knew they'd been out all day since itw as already 7 pm...stupid waste.

and do grocery stores mark down produce like they do meat? every so often I cn find meat marked down but very seldom produce.

Date Posted: 12/27/2008 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
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it crazy how much food is thrown out . i dont see me going through dumpster but if there was something for apartment furniture, basket i would.

Date Posted: 12/27/2008 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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:-) we think alike Carol! it's hard to pass up furniture and stuff just sitting there.

Date Posted: 12/29/2008 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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I don't think I'd ever dig through the trash for food, but I did grab my roommate's coat out of the trash one year.  J.Crew peacoat, retails for like $300 bucks, she was throwing it out because two of the buttons had come off.  I salvaged it, replaced the buttons, and have been wearing it every winter for the past 3 years.

Date Posted: 1/1/2009 2:43 AM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2006
Posts: 1,080
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Holy cow, Vanessa!  It's amazing what some people will throw away!

Date Posted: 1/1/2009 4:31 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
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i put a bunch of hanger i didnt need and some recycle bagin community room and they went so fast. here . also when i move my ex boss would put aside real good cardboard box when i move and one of guys here i put them by recycle container and one of guy who live in complex is like thank you i put winter clohtes in them so i feel good. my mom bring me all these magazine she like to me because i told her i put them in table near laundry room and they love them. i never seen anything i need here but i keep eye out . it make me feel good.

Subject: Free stuff, no strings attached
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2007
Posts: 14
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A site where people post items that they have no use for, but still have life left in them for anyone who would like to come pick it up.  Ive given away furniture, friendship bread starters, packing materials, and gotten weedwackers, books, dishes, etc.  You can post wanted ads too.  If youre looking for a used treadmill, someone may just read that and decide to finally get rid of the one they have in their bedroom hidden under 50 lbs of clothing.


Highly recommended.

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 9:03 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2007
Posts: 2,289
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you know what i found really odd about that article as that they don't agree with things like fossil fuels but will still happily get into a car.  As long as it's technically not theirs then it's ok.  I just don't understand that.  If it's bad...then it's all bad. 

We also set up a community similar to freecycle in our area.  Several families have gotten together and whenever one decides to get rid of something, they let the others know and if someone else needs it, they take it off their hands.  Also, if someone needs something they let the others know.  Sometimes someone else will have whatever the other person needs just lieing around or know of someone else who has one to get rid of.  We've all saved a ton of money this way.

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2007
Posts: 924
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This was on a TV show a few months ago and I watched the segment about these people. It was located in NYC and it seemed that they went to alot of stores that only had 1 type of item. Like they showed a bagel shop where the owner just tossed all of the day old merchandise left in his store into a black garbage bag and tossed it out on the curb. So, it wasn't mixed in with the other trash. They also showed her refrigerator  and freezer and it was amazing what she had accumulated.  For me, I could not do it but they had this whole group of people who went out searching together. It was a very interesting show to watch! I was rather amazed because it was my first time hearing about this. The used furniture, books, clothing etc. is fine with me and I do freecycle.

Date Posted: 1/8/2009 1:14 AM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2008
Posts: 1,122
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What Shawn R. said. I like the "no waste" philosphy, but "Freegans" ultimately depend on the system they claim to hate. You can't collect thrown-away food unless there's a business throwing food away. You can't recycle used consumer goods unless somebody is manufacturing those goods.

(And I have to say I rolled my eyes at the definition of 'squatter'. Right, people who move into somebody else's house on the sly are always going to live there and improve the place.)

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 1:04 AM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2008
Posts: 160
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I agree with the idea behind Freeganism but I've heard a lot of bad things about the culture surrounding it. I belong to a local freecycle group and a dumptser diving message board. Lots of people from there have written about unpleasant encounters with territorial Freegans; they were neither cooperative nor generous. They seem to be very well organized, more so than run of the mill divers.


Last Edited on: 2/7/09 1:04 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: dumpster diving
Date Posted: 2/11/2009 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2008
Posts: 3
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Oh the many tales I could tell of sucessful scores. My buddy made a living off of diving stores dumpsters, and re-selling everything at the local farmers market. $500+ every weekend.

 I've dove for food when I was one of the many "urban campers" living in an abandoned building in Philly. You get used to it after a while. Places that develop photos are great to rumage through. Blockbuster used to throw out all of their VHS tapes. But the best place is still a University campus right at the end of the school year. Kids don't want to move furniture or Tv's.


And to mythago, there are 2 groups of squaters. The kind that just live outside society, and then the drug addicts known as scumf*k's. The 2 groups rarely interact with each other. And when I lived in a squat in philly, the guy who lived next door loved us because his house was not next to an abandoned property anymore. There is a half descent documentary on youtube if you search philly squatters.

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2005
Posts: 404
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We lived in an apartment in the winter of 1993.  I was walking my dog in the early morning before going to work.  I looked in the big trashcan before throwing the bag of poo inside and there was a pile of cloths!  I am still wearing the beautiful thick white terrycloth bathroob I found there.

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 12:24 AM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2008
Posts: 3
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I knew someone who worked in a very popular bakery (i'm in a NYC borough).  The bakery would take the leftover breads, rolls and cookies that couldn't be sold, but were still good and  put them in heavy duty black bags, seal them, and put them at a certain spot at the back of the building for the homeless and  disadvantaged.  It was a good arrangement as nothing went to waste and the food went to people who really needed it.

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 1,051
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In a world of waste, I think everyone can think of a time when someone's garbage was a great find to someone else. I would like to think this is a personal choice.

But for those who "believe" they need to be supported by not working or doing their part in the community like volunteering... well, I have choice words for them that we can't write here.

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Oprah did a show on this a year or two ago.  I agree that we waste a lot but I don' t know that I dive into a dumpster for food, at least not produce.  I know my grocery store has several mark down areas and if i can freeze it then I will buy it (if I'm going to eat it).

Date Posted: 4/14/2009 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2008
Posts: 347
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I agree, I don't see anything wrong with getting things from a dumpter or the trash that you can reuse. I don't know that I would take food directly from the trash though. I lived on a farm when I was young and we had pigs. We used to get day old donuts, bread and pre-packaged baked goods from a bakery. The pigs loved them. We always went through them first and would pick out things that were not going to expire for awhile and would freeze them for later. 

Last Edited on: 4/14/09 11:52 AM ET - Total times edited: 1