Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Dumpster Birthday (Part 1)

It has been a few weeks. There are a few reasons for my blog procrastination. I have been in Norman feverishly working on new tracks for Evangelicals.

I have also been selling some dumpster items on eBay Including Crest white strips and a couple DVDs.


Most recently I went on an epic excursion to get food for my birthday cookout. Thank you to all who came. It really means a lot to me that my friends and peers support my dumpster lifestyle. The day was perfect. Josh and Sarah brought me an awesome Oscar the Grouch theme cake, We drank beer and grilled in the back yard, I went to a bar with my brother, and the evening was topped off with a trip to Riverwind casino and a waffle house trip with the winnings. Thanks to Brian Chase and Chris from The Ghost of Monkshood for chiping in 5 bucks that turned into 15 later at the Casino. There was a delicious Dumpster stew and salad along with pickles sunflower seeds burger fixings yogurt, and buns from the dumpster. I must confess though that on the occasion of my 26th birthday decided to buy hamburger, hotlinks, and beer. All other food was Donated. Here are some highlights.




The Boys from Depth and Current enjoyed some beers and burgers. Thanks Chris for the Subway and awesome CD release show. I really liked the Chainsaw kittens song.


Thanks Sarah for the cake and 72 slices of American Cheese


The lovely hostesses overlook the party.


Dumpster fixins.


Thanks Alicia for the Grapefruit, and Nicolas for the cool watercolor picture!!


Yang takes a brief break from eating the hotlink I dropped on the ground.


Dibs on the rock!! It actually keeps the cooking surface level. I found the grill on a street corner in Edmond.


I cant believe people showed up thanks for the Herbs Sarah and for loaning me your sweater Margaret. I'm still wearing it by the way.


I wish to find cash in stead of pornography in Dumpsters!

Extra special thanks to Josh for taking all the photos and helping get the word out about the freegan cook out. You made it a very memorable 26th birthday. Also thanks to Kyle for helping me get a great deal on the 96 beers that were consumed. Thanks also to La brooka for the awesome pants and shirt combo. Thank you ladies of linn for the awesome party space and all you did. I hope I didn't forget anyone.
I'm leaving for tour in a week. Tonight I go out to gather provisions for the road. In the coming weeks my resourcefulness will be tested as I travel around the country with a $0 food budget. Here is a link to our tour schedule at
If you have a chance give some of the other bands on this site a listen. Until next time...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Beginners Guide to Dumpster Diving

A couple folks have expressed interest in going dumpstering with me after reading my blog. I welcome company but I usually go out on short notice at weird hours. This morning I left at 5:20 am. Message me and lets make a dumpster date. Since that probably wont happen I have prepared answers to some FAQ's to share with those interested in the lifestyle.

Toddy J where Do you go to get all this stuff?

The best places to go are grocery stores that have Dumpsters


Open a door or flip a lid, but try to be quick and quiet.
Avoid places that have trash compactors that look like this you will find nothing useful here.

*Places you wont find food are Wal Mart, Target, Buy for less.
*Try smaller places

*Make it a habit to look behind your local grocery stores to see what kind of trash system they use. If they have open trash bins get yourself ready to hop in!

Wont eating trash make me sick?

*I have been eating trash for over a year now and have never once been sick from it.

Do I Actually have to get inside the Dumpster!?

You may be lucky and find a dumpster bursting with food that you can reach from outside but quite often you will find better and more stuff if you climb in and start digging.

* There are a few important rules to follow.
1. Dont take any food that is sitting in dumpster juice
2. Inspect each item for visible rott, moisture, mold and bad tears in packaging.
(if stuff is dented or ripped its usually still good)
3. Always wash questionable items, like things next to meat.
4. Sometimes it pays do dig deep and rip open a few bags.


Shot of a full dumpster, too bad I was on a bike

When is the best time to go?

*I find its safest Late at night. Like a couple hours before dawn very few people are out at this time. since October Ive only been caught in the act once by some nosy store manager at Homeland. He threatened to call the cops but that's all. Before that I would go in broad daylight all the time. Just after a store closes is a good time to go also.

*Go on the day before trash pickup or anytime after a power outage other than that just feel it out with each location. I'm still trying to figure this one out.

What else should I know about dumpster diving?


*Have fun with it make it a group activity.
Two or three people is good.One person sorting inside the dumpster, one outside taking food to the vehicle and one in the drivers seat keeping look out is ideal. It also helps to have multiple people to sort and wash the food when the trip is complete.

* If you have time be adventurous and look in non food dumpsters like hobby stores pet stores etc. You never know what you will find. I know people who have paid rent with stuff they sold out of a dumpster

*Don't get discouraged you may find 3 empty dumpsters before finding an awesome one.
*take a flashlight, gloves, and old clothes.
*Don't leave the area a mess around the dumpster if you make one. Close the door when your done. We don't want places to start installing security cameras or putting better locks on their dumpsters. Keep a low profile if possible.

ToddyJ what if I'm hungry NOW!?

Relax, chances are your neighborhood has a variety of fast dumpster food options. Here is a guide to reliable fast food for freegans on the go.


I have had good luck at Little Ceasars, Mazios, and dominoes. Look for cardboard pizza boxes.

Donuts (always a sure snack)


Photo taken after grabing 2 donuts on way to OKC arts fest.
*Try Dunkin Doughnuts, Krispy Kreme, or any other doughnut shop. I have never come up empty handed at one.

Bread Shops


*Panera bread has bagels and bread sometimes

Kentucky fried chicken.
They always have chicken.
(always give meat and dairy the smell test)
And Last, always share the wealth. Some have said America throws out enough to feed the ones who starve. From my experience I believe it.

Bands I'm listening to:
Agoraphobic Nosebleed
Wye Oak
Aurthur Russel