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Mum saves £240 a month on bills by getting food, soap, toys and clothes from the BINS of supermarkets – and insists her kids think it’s ‘awesome’


A FRUGAL mum-of-four has revealed she saves up to £240 a month by digging through other people’s RUBBISH for food and clothes – and insists her children thinks it’s ‘awesome’.

Stacey Cole, 33, from Utah, USA, finds everything from soap and toys to party supplies while ‘dumpster diving, and makes most of her family meals using food from the trash.

The mum-of-four often searches in bins for food and clothes for her family
MDWfeatures / Stacey Cole

“We are extremely frugal and don’t have any shame in picking through rubbish to get good, useful stuff to enrich our lives,” the homemaker mum explained.

Stacey believes her love for searching bins started when she was just a child, after her father fell in love with frugal living and began re-using discarded items.

“We didn’t waste anything and sometimes we barely made ends meet,” she added. “But my parents were experts at taking what others discarded and using it to create a beautiful, full life for us.”

It’s a habit that Stacey has clearly continued in her adult years, believing that she has never understoof why people are so ‘wasteful’, disconnecting from the fact that food and valuables ‘equal money’.

Stacey’s husband Danny and her children (left to right) Wesley, Thomas, Molly and River think her habit is ‘awesome’
MDWfeatures / Stacey Cole
Her love of ‘dumpster diving’ came from her parents, who were also proudly frugal
MDWfeatures / Stacey Cole

Stacey’s first husband wasn’t too keen on her thrifting lifestyle, eventually leading to divorce – but she says her current husband, Danny, 35, is ‘one hundred percent’ for it.

“I was married to a man who didn’t really understand my mindset,” she said. “But I am now divorced and remarried to a man that is my teammate and celebrates things with me.”

Since April this year, Stacey and her family has been looking in bins for ‘useful’ items that people have discarded.

And she insists that her children River, 12, Molly, 10, Thomas, eight, and Wesley, six, love what she finds during her nighttime trips to bins around her neighbourhood.

Stacey often finds discarded food in the bins of supermarkets which she uses to feed her family
MDWfeatures / Stacey Cole
The mum makes meals from her edible finds ‘every day’
MDWfeatures / Stacey Cole

Stacey and her family have since saved anywhere from £40 to £240 a month on household items, which gives the family more disposable income for ‘fun’.

“We sell some items to have ‘fun money’ for eating out, activities and entertainment,” she said. “This is a crucial supplement income and we seem to have enough for a little fun each month.

“I’ve sold things at yard sales and I sell items on a website called KSL. I give items away we don’t use but someone else might use and even give items as gifts for many occasions.

“I’ve donated a lot to charity and a local food bank, and I give items to friends and family who could use themand even have some requests to look out for specific things.

Stacey has donated food, clothes, toys and more to local charities
MDWfeatures / Stacey Cole

“But we use household goods every day found in dumpsters. It’s a very fulfilling hobby so I feel amazing contributing in this way to our family’s well-being and finances.”

Stacey admits she gets a ‘rush’ from looking through the trash and explains that everything is thoroughly cleaned before it is used.

“I clean it all and throw out anything that seems contaminated, but most of what I bring home we eat,” added Stacey. “The kids love that we have candy in the house as I’m not willing to buy it.”

And her children think it’s ‘pretty awesome’ that their mum finds so much stuff in the rubbish, often asking ‘every mean if something’s come from a dumpster’.

The mum wants others to live a more frugal lifestyle and reduce their waste output
MDWfeatures / Stacey Cole

“I go at night to avoid running into anyone working there,” she explained of her supermarket dumpster diving antics. “I get in the dumpster and close the doors so people can’t see me.

“Everyone in my family knows me for my frugality and they usually have to hear about my finds on some level – I think most of them don’t mind but I don’t think they understand entirely.

“I hope to convey that a simple, frugal way of living is just as rewarding, or more so, that ‘having it all’. I save tons of money to put towards more important things.

“I help people in need, and I help reduce waste. I want people to see just how great life can be if you’re a little more resourceful.”


In other news, a bargain-mad mum ALREADY has Christmas wrapped up after buying all her gifts in the January sales.

While another savvy mum revealed how you can cook week’s worth of meals for a family of four in just TWO hours.

And a dad of quintuplets and two toddlers revealed how he baby-proofed his home.

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