Dumpster Diving In Your Own Home: Sometimes You Have To Pick Through The Trash

by Andrea

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overflowing-trash-can-by-lusi.jpg As I’ve become more and more frugal, I’ve also become more prone to collect clutter. 

My family members, however, are not crazy about the idea of holding on to items that they see as garbage.  They throw away glass jars when I’m not looking.  My husband puts furniture on the curb and hopes that I don’t notice.  My son throws away anything with a rip or stain on it (…and he rips and stains a lot of items). 
 
So, to combat my family’s nonchalant attitude about tossing out useful items, I have become a garbage snoop.  Here are just a few of the things my family has forced me to do to save money…

I’ve taken frugal to a whole new level by..

  • Checking the garbage can after meals for signs of discarded forks and spoons. 
    They do not mean to toss out the silverware, but they don’t intend to reach into the garbage can to retrieve  it out if they do. 
     
  • Checking the garbage pile on Thursday nights to see what useful items my husband has tossed out from the garage or basement. 
    In the past, I have found chairs that needed a bit of wood glue, car seats I was saving for a relative, and Tupperware lids that were separated from the bowls.
     
  • Checking the garbage after my pre-teen son does laundry. 
    I have retrieved well-worn slacks and cut them into shorts, and I’ve sewn or patched perfectly good jeans to make them last longer.  I’ve also found shirts with bleach damage, which I promptly reverse tie-died just by using a bit more bleach.