Urbandumpsterdiver's Blog

May 27, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — urbandumpsterdiver @ 11:31 pm

I’ve now been in my rural home for almost 3 weeks now. Since this is a smaller town, with smaller surrounding towns than South Florida, the dumpster diving is not as plentiful, but it is different.

We stopped behind a store on Saturday and found 3 new pair of khaki pants, 1 pair of jeans, 2 bottles of fabric softener, some candy, 2 packages of socks, some chips, feminine hygiene products, a mop, magazines (still the current month) and a few other miscellaneous items.

There is a restaurant locally that serves great Japanese food, it’s entirely a buffet. The other night we were having dinner and the waitress told me she worked 10 hours a day. I thought OMG her feet must be throbbing at the end of the day. So right before we left, I told her to rub her feet onto a tennis ball to soothe out the knots in her feet. She said that’s a good idea, I will try that.

I then said, you should have your hubby massage your feet when you get home. She then told me he died a month ago. I wanted to cry. I hugged her and gave her a kiss on the cheek. They’re both very young, so this was a sudden thing.

So today I gathered a group of the new magazines, some new unopened cosmetics, nail polish and some other girly stuff that she would like. When I brought in today I said this won’t bring your hubby back, but it can poke a hole in the gray cloud over your head. As a woman who lost her first husband through a sudden car accident, I feel your pain. She had tears in her eyes.

That is one reward I get from dumpster diving. Giving nice things to those who need a step up, a helping hand or a kind word or deed.

Some pics of yesterday’s finds.



  1. I tried the above comment box and it would not open ..hope this will be okay.. I really think that what you did was wonderful for that lady. I too would do the same thing only probably annoymously as I am pretty shy about meeting people. Giving back things that you dont need is, I agree, is a great benefit of doing what you do. Hope you have a great holiday.

    Comment by CAROL — May 28, 2012 @ 6:42 am

  2. Sorry about the comment box, luv, I’m not quite sure what happened. Your comment came through though. Being anonymous works as well. All that matters is being kind to those who need it.

    Comment by urbandumpsterdiver — May 28, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

  3. How beautiful.

    Comment by annineorh — May 28, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

  4. That was so so kind. We need more people like you. So many are going without in this economy. People with no food, no shoes and ect..

    Comment by Lisa — May 30, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

  5. I love your blog! I used to follow a dumpster diver’s blog called Frugan Living, but she hasn’t blogged for over a year now. I hope you will continue with lots of posts.

    Comment by Trish — June 4, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

  6. You’re most welcome Trish. I’m glad you like my blog and the diving lifestyle. It’s not for everyone and many consider it’s a fringe lifestyle, but who cares?

    Comment by urbandumpsterdiver — June 5, 2012 @ 11:28 am

  7. Hello! Just ran across your blog via a Google search. Love reading about your adventures! I am a total beginner at this and am wondering how / where you find this stuff? I have four children and am looking for ways to supplement my food supplies (my son is disabled and taking care of him leaves me unable to work at this time). Where / how do I begin? Is it better to go during the day or late at night? I would like to do this too! Any pointers or tips for a total beginner? I am totally amazed that stores throw out liquor like that. Incredible the amount of waste that goes on…..

    Comment by Tanya — July 20, 2012 @ 5:39 am

  8. Tanya – do your recon during the day so you’re not skulking around at night. That way you can scout out the territory during the day to find who and what has the most stuff. It’s better to dive at night so you avoid managers, employees and security guards. The less visible you are, the better. Start small and go with a few stores to gather your courage. Then go bigger and more brazen as time goes on.

    Any major department store mall chain or local stores have dumpsters behind the back. Many lock them, but many do not. Even if they do lock the dumpsters, eventually the employees become complacent and the dumpsters are unlocked for the time being.

    Make sure and carry latex gloves, hand sanitizer and wear old clothes. Be as in-conspicous as possible. Wear dark clothing, hair up in a bun, no makeup and have good tennis shoes or walking shoes on etc. You don’t want to look like a bum but you want to be incognito as much as possible. Get one of those flashlights you wear around you head like a headband. You can buy them at any store now. That way you are hands free while diving.

    Get a dive stick. A grabber or a fish gaffe is an excellent tool.

    Last but not all least, try to keep your car clean on the outside. A dirty car behind a store creates suspicion.

    Always say you’re looking for boxes to sell stuff on Amazon, E-Bay etc or you’re moving. The economy is so crappy, everyone is moving. So that would make sense.

    Comment by urbandumpsterdiver — July 20, 2012 @ 11:33 am

  9. Okay – so, an update…. i took my oldest daughter (23) with me dumpster diving last night. After all my “research” and what other dumpster divers had said on the web, I had a list and a vague plan of attack. We waited until all the places I wanted to go had been closed for an hour and we set out. Long story short: we did find some food (squash, zucchini, strawberries, mangoes, donuts and cakes in plastic boxes) in a grocery store dumpster but it was at the bottom and a lot of it was too moldy to make the actual dive worth it and I kept hearing a “squeek squeek” from the little dumpster occupant – LOL! We also found some boxes (she is moving) and ended up with a nice Toshiba 13 inch tv with a built in dvd player. Brought it out of the dumpster and home hoping it worked at it does! The dvd and tv both work fine! So, while we did not get any food or snackies (which we were hoping for) I did get the tv. Since last night was not so productive, I think for the next week or so, I will stick closer to home and hit a few nearby places every night until I can see what nights are best to dive and then once I have those in a routine, I might watch and add other stores to my “route”. There is a really nice outdoor mall with a lot of high end stores near me but I am too nervous of all their rent-a-cops. Also, I have seen lots of divers mention that Saturday is a good night to go dumpster diving. Any thoughts on that? Does one day seem to work better for you than others? Thanks so much for your advice and input! I do appreciate it!

    Comment by Tanya — July 21, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

  10. Right on Tanya!

    Sunday night is also a very good night. Sunday night people are winding down from the week, finishing laundry and going to bed early to prepare for the next 9-5 workweek. You have less security guards out, less police out (many are off on Sunday and Monday) AND less traffic on the road.

    A lot of areas have trash pickup on Mondays so the weekend dumpsters can be full, especially after Saturday and Sunday night dump off.

    What a great find that TV! Built in DVD player indeed. Good for you. You can now rent DVD’s at the library and watch away.

    Now as far as the high end mall, just be careful, that’s why I like Sunday night. EMPTY. Most malls close around 6-7pm. Nothing is going on Sunday nights. I’ve never seen too many security guards. When you have someone with you like your daughter, they can be your eyes and ears. I never ever like to have a confrontation or conversation with a security guard. I like to be incognito as much as possible.

    When I go behind malls, I keep my parking lights on only. When I’m stopped at a dumpster, I have my lights off. Period. Don’t want to attract attention.

    Last but not all least, most security guards, retail clerks and the general public are oblivious as they’re glued to their smart phone. Works for me. They’re not paying attention to me at all and I can dive all I want.

    Comment by urbandumpsterdiver — July 21, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

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