#2) How to Dumpster Dive

Posted on Posted in Blog, Food, Season 1

Time: 2-3 Hours

Cost: -$20-$50

Hipster Level Increase: 30%

Decrease in invites to Potlucks: 100%

Have you ever felt so hungry that you would do anything, anyyyyyything (winky face) for a loaf of bread, twelve packages of bagels and an uncooked potato?

Me too

With the impending doom of our civilization and the always teetering economy, we need to always be prepared to do anything to keep ourselves nourished and healthy. That’s where our friend Dumpster Diving comes in handy.


Here’s the five steps to make sure you have a safe, and successful dive!


 Step 1: Know Your Turf

Before heading out, make sure to identify all of the local stores you would  A) like to hit, and B)  when they close. A) If you are looking for food, focus on organic food stores, small convenience stores and the like. Smaller chains typically do not have compressors or locks on their dumpsters so they are easier to access and have fresher none compressed food for you to take. B) You want to go slightly after they close as most of these stores will typically throw out their food at the end of the day. This is important because you will get both the best selection, and the freshest food.

*Dumpster Cheerios
*Dumpster Cheerios


Step 2: Pimp Yo Self with Mad Equip

Having the proper gear is not necessary for dumpster diving, but it can make your experience much more pleasant. Before heading out equip yourself with some solid shoes, clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, and a backpack with plenty of bags to carry all of your sick swag home at the end of the day.

Fanny Pack, not opitional.
Fanny Pack, not optional.

Step 3: Don’t be a Jackass

At this point in time, dumpster diving is not considered illegal. Don’t be the asshole that changes that. If you do go, cleanup after yourself, make sure to close the gates of the dumpsters after your done and if a police officer does approach you, be as nice and respectful as possible. According to my two DDing mentors, they have been caught on multiple occasions and have either been left alone, or praised due to their wonderful attitudes.

Spilt water? Clean dat shit
Spilt water? Clean dat shit

Step 4: Make Sure Dat Food Safe 

The fact of the matter is that you are getting food from a dumpster. Even if it looks fine, you always want to double check it before accidently taking a big bite of moldy pepper (true story). Cut into your food to check for any interior imperfections, wash dat shit and always do a smell test before drinking anything. Seriously.

 Step 5: Whatever you do with it, do it fast

The biggest reason most of this food was thrown out, was due to the fact that it past the registered Best Before Date. Though that is a very conservative estimation, you always want to consume this stuff as soon as possible (or throw it in the freezer depending on what you brought home). My strategy was to cook a meal for some friends, and it was awesome.

Thanks for the mystery meal friend. Muhahaha
Thanks for the mystery meal friend. Muhahaha

The interesting thing that I discovered while dumpster diving, is the perspective a hands on experience exploring a dumpster provides. Against all my efforts to avoid cliche, after a few dumpsters I couldn’t stop myself from asking “Why, would someone throw this out?!” In a few hours of strategic diving, my friends and I were able to acquire more then a dozen packages of bagels, nine packages of gum, a ton of potatoes and vegetables, some yogurt and a large amount of various dried goods such as cookies, granola bars and packaged waffers.

It was unbelievable.

And all of this stuff  looked like it could have been sitting on the counter at your local grocery store. It created a much more morbid understanding of the phrase “What about the starving children in Africa?”. Try it out for yourself, and you’ll see what I mean.

Hopefully I’ve given you the resources to go out and do this thing, if you have any questions please send me an email and I’ll do my best to help you out!


 If you enjoyed this post, please comment below and click that there subscribe button, much more skillz goodness is comin your way my friend!

Big thanks to Nikki and Jasmine for teaching me the ways of the dive and Bryan, Lindsay and Mystery Man for being a part of the meal.


6 thoughts on “#2) How to Dumpster Dive

  1. Hey,
    I actually did this 2-3 times less than a year ago. The first time we got some great spoils: About 10 grilled chickens!

    The second time it was awful. I ruined my pants (had to throw them away) and I found nothing of value except some bananas.

  2. This is super interesting! I’d be open to trying this.

    Also, I love that two of your friends are your brothers. :p Sweet video, dude!

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