I went dumpster diving last night. I love dumpster diving, and Christmas Eve is a great day to go, because stores are throwing out a lot. Even things that otherwise might get donated or saved one more day will be tossed, because it’s the holiday and it’s hard to save things that extra day.
We hit two Aldis, one Trader Joe’s, a Pier One, and a Panera. There were a few other places we drove around, but those were where we had success. Our haul included 3 bags of Halos mandarins, one bag of organic Trader Joes’s oranges, half a bag of Trader Joe’s tangerines, a bag of limes, about a dozen bell peppers, two packages of organic Trader Joe’s vine-on tomatoes, a package of baby carrots, two loaves of Aldi white bread, a bag of Aldi rolls, a package of flatbread crackers and two loaves of bread from Panera, and, bizarrely, a sort of painting/mosaic wall hanging from Pier One. The food is easily worth $75-$100,depending on what Panera charges for bread(I have no idea), and the wall hanging retails for $170.
This is why I dumpster dive….it would kill my weekly food budget to buy half of that food, and now I have it. When I got home and cleaned all of it, I did have throw out a lime and a few oranges and peppers. This morning I looked over it again and had to toss a few tomatoes, but still, overall it was a great haul. I can’t eat the bread, but my roommate can, and she can freeze it, so might not have to buy bread for weeks. Yesterday, in preparation for today and out of concern that I wouldn’t eat enough produce during my long weekend, I bout a bag of halos at the store for full price, $5.99. Dumpster diving gives you perspective. And of course, dumpster diving on Christmas Eve gives its own spin to the holiday. And I would much rather be bonding with my roommate over food than buying her unnecessary, expensive gifts.