Our Frugal Lifestyle

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Passionate about eco-frugality. I used to party hard, clubbing my way from pay-packet to pay-packet. Never getting ahead, just getting by. Then came our much wanted baby with no savings in the bank - only an old car. Changes were made to our lifestyle and we didn't turn back. In the past 6yrs we purchased a flat, found employment, lived below our means, built an emergency fund, purchased a reliable car and saw the financial benefits of our frugal lifestyle. Our only debt is our mortgage. Our aim is to manage our cash flow wisely, pay off our home quickly and eventually work for pleasure, not necessity. Join us on our journey, share insights, tips and tricks to help us and others to get ahead while having a good time.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Have you Heard of Freeganism?

I am fascinated by the Freegan movement and wish that I had the courage to dumpster dive.

The waste that is around us makes me feel very angry. While some people around the world starve and maybe others (us or our neighbours) go without big shops throw food out in tons each day around the globe.

So while it's unethical on a human scale it's also highly unethical on a environmental level.

I've put some You Tube clips that you may find interesting too...





I'm very interested in what you think... This includes all you quiet lurkers...

Did you know about Freegans?

Do you dumpster dive? Or would you dare to?

What do you think of the waste around the developed world?


  1. I agree with the waste issue. Did you see my recent blog on Food Hall Waste, it mentions the shops throwing food away. My husband has done the dumpster dive. He was walking from work one evening when a music shop was filling a skip. The owners didnt mind as it was all being thrown anyway. My husband, suited & booted ! , helped himself to guitar stands, guitar cases and other things. And the reason for the skip, they just wanted to make space on the shopfloor. They could of had a few days selling the stuff for 50p/£1, people would of had a bargain and the shop made some money. The skip probably cost £150 to hire. Madness !!

  2. Far out Miss Piggy Bank! That is total madness! It's not even goods with a used by date or sell by date. They could have even given the stuff to a school offering music classes to low socio-enconomic kids. I just don't get it!

  3. I have dumpster dived, once. It was in a Starbucks dumpster and I got 12 frappachincos s in unopened glass bottles.
    I showed my teenagers when I got home - they looked really alarmed and would nt drink the frappacinos until I had one (nice !)
    I dont think I would do it again as it took quite a bit out of me pyschologically. I was afraid that someone would see me and think I was wacky and I would have to explain etc.

  4. When we sold our prior house before we found another place to buy, we lived in a large apartment complex for 4 months. People were moving in and out every weekend, and I was shocked to see the amount of "good stuff" that was left by the dumpsters with regularity. Yes, I took stuff I could use. One would be crazy not to. I didn't physically climb into the dumpsters, as these items were normally put to the sides, I guess, for people to pick through. I got some flower pots, a rug, and a patio table. It used to upset me that these people didn't even try to donate these items to charitable thrift stores where it could have put to good use. I haven't looked through trash sisnce then, but I do think about it sometimes because we have some apartments close to where I live. . .

  5. Hi Lizzie,
    Great score! You were very brave. I feel too shy to try. Maybe I'll gain courage as my anger may build up to action.

    Hey Frugal By Choice,
    My mum lives in a block where 2 of the units are hired out temporary to exec types. One was only there for 1 month. He purchased new bed sheets, mattress protector, towels, TV, kitchen gear. He put it all in the bin. My mum scored the near new sheets and towels for us. She washed and disenfected them and I was thrilled. From another tenant throw out, she found an excellent vacum cleaner. There was also apples and oranges in bags. Like you It made me upset to see this all thrown out when there is a donation bin only 5 minute walk away. WHY WHY WHY???

  6. I think its because we live in a disposable society. I hear people say '' its only 50p/£1'' but its still money wasted and then landfill. i read on a blog just recently '' have what you need and do you need what you have ?''.. it is so true.

  7. Hi - my son and daughter do this in Plymouth, they go out 'raiding' with an organised group, like a modern day army of Fagin's kids, who keep watch, scale fences, dodge security guards. If my kids every get arrested doing this....I will actually be proud. The organised group take what they need, and then distribute the rest to students and folk they know in need, the food they mainly get is fruit and veg, not off in any way and packaged foods, wrapped and packages joints of meat, they sniff and if it's fresh they take it....mainly from the two most expensive posh supermarkets in town....in fact I'm furious with the supermarkets for throwing food away. Dearly Beloved's sister works for marks and spencer in the food dept and they have anywhere up to £3,000 - £5,000 day wastage! The freegans have my blessing to get in their skips and help themselves!

  8. Hi Froogs,
    I would be proud of my Dolly too if she did what your kids are doing when she is older. Good on them. The food wastage is just insane and the young generation will have to so much work, to undo all our crazy laws, attitudes and damage.

  9. I think I would be a freegan if I lived a little bit less remote that I do. We live in the country and have limited access to supermarkets who seem to the main offender for dumping perfectly good produce.

    I don´t pay much attention to use by dates. If it looks and smells fine then it is. Adherence to use by dates separates those who have no objection to paying full retail believing that a use by date will ensure freshness from those who are retail enlightened. Freeganism simply takes that one step further.

    We do get the old fruits and vegetables from the local greengrocer most of which goes to our pigs and chickens. I have no qualms about picking fruit from overhanging trees. One of my favourite city walks was going down the old alleyways in our previous inner city suburb and picking figs apples and pears from trees hanging over the back fences.

    Food wastage is a huge issue in developed countries where supplying food for people is simply another big business. If you don´t have to grow your own produce you simply do not value it, understand it and the systems in place to ensure that it gets to the end user in pristine condition. If you have no idea where food comes from you will quite happily/ignorantly throw it out without a second thought. If you have no concept of the true value of food as a means to survival then you can not even entertain the thought of dumpster diving and freeganism.

  10. I have not Dumpster dived as such but I do love having a cruise around when we have a curb side collection day! I have had people knock on my door and ask if they can have something that has been in my skip bin when I have been moving and I have always said yes and been astonished with what they wanted!

    BTW I love reading your Blog!

  11. Hi Daffodil,
    Being remote does put a different slant on things. It's greta you get the scraps from your greengrocer. There's a few you tube clips on people urban foraging and picking off over hanging trees. I think there are different laws for different countries re this. But here you are allowed if it's hanging over the footpath. I enjoy the Mango season :-)

    Hi Lisa,
    We have hard rubbish collection here once a year. It's really crazy what people throw out. BBQ's, Bikes, Utensils and crockery. Some of my backpackers HelpX have been able to kit out their vans for their Australian tours!


Thanks for commenting - I love getting feedback, sharing experiences and learning from you.