Our $400 Shower Head… For FREE!!

shower head

Wanna know how we got our GORGEOUS Brizo luxury shower head? You’ll never guess where it came from…

You ready for this?

The Trash.

That’s right. It came out of a dumpster! Can you believe that? Brand New, not a thing wrong with it, out of the dumpster! An over $400 fixture!!

We sorta have an advantage though… my husband works for a plumbing supply company. You would not believe the stuff they throw away!

And my husband, my who-cares-what-others-think husband, has no bones about pulling stuff out of the business’ dumpster. Boy do I love that man! His co-workers tease him. They call him White Fred (Sanford and son). But he doesn’t care! He even made his phone’s ring tone the theme song from Sanford and Son. (He’s such a goofball!)

He is all the time bringing home stuff he has rescued from a landfill. He has brought home two brand new bathtubs, several sinks, a toilet and toilet parts, lots of faucets, two office chairs, a nice trash bin that slides out from inside the cabinet…

It’s like Christmas for me!

But when I saw this beautiful shower head in his hands I was in love. Okay, well, maybe it wasn’t LOVE at first sight. I have to admit that I did contemplate selling it when I heard what it was worth. I did so love the idea of showering under a gentle waterfall though!

Hey, a frugal girl’s allowed a little luxury… right??

shower head 002 (Medium)

So… we kept it. Along with one other really nice brushed nickel spray faucet I put in our garden tub. (I’m sure it’s really for a kitchen sink, but I loved that the whole spout pulls out, making it easier to spray the kid’s hair off in the bath!)

We were also able to bless his mother with a gorgeous long necked copper kitchen faucet. (She’s been wanting something like that for a long time!)

So, what’s my point in sharing all of this?

Well, a while back I heard about a group of people called Freegans. Have you heard of them? They are people who go dumpster diving, er… “Urban Foraging”… to see what they can find.

I watched a documentary about them. You would not believe how much good food and useful things are just tossed into our dumpsters!

It made me want to dumpster dive. Really, it did.

It’s such a shame to see so much good stuff being wasted. I haven’t worked up the nerve to go rummaging through the trash behind a busy business though. Maybe if somebody went with me… I do think it would be fun though! Think of how exciting it would be to find some awesome treasures!

These Freegans, they were finding sealed boxes of food that hadn’t even expired yet, cans of veggies that were slightly dented, shrink wrapped produce with a slight blemish… it was unbelievable! Some of these people never even go to the grocery store, they just live off of what they find.

And these aren’t homeless people either. Some of them were college professors and doctors. They aren’t “foraging” because they can’t afford to buy groceries. They do it to make a point of how incredibly wasteful Americans are. It is, on their part, an effort to reduce what is being sent to our landfills.

Man, I wish I had the nerve!

Though I don’t dumpster dive (yet!), we do have access to some food that would otherwise be tossed. My husband also works part time for a food distributor, and often brings home stuff that they were just going to throw away. Stuff that hasn’t even expired yet! Mostly cookies, crackers, fruit snacks for the kids… It’s junk food, but it’s free! There’s no way we could (or should) ever eat it all, so we give it to our church to help with snacks.

So, I’m wondering what you guys think about all of this? Have you ever scored something from someone else’s trash? Would you ever dumpster dive? I wanna hear from all you Freegans!! Tell us what you’ve found!


Kendra
About Kendra 1103 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

10 Comments

  1. I live on an island and we only have large dumpsters for everyone to put their trash into. Since its a transient place people are always putting really great stuff into the dumpsters. I recently got a nice hand me down table and got rid of my other free one….took it to the dumpster and barely got into the car before someone was putting it into their truck. It made me feel good that it would be put to use right away!

  2. My parents live in an apartment complex and like someone in the college town mentioned earlier – there is lots of good stuff there. I have gotten a desk, christmas wrap, plastic trash can, iron chairs and table for the patio, and other things that I am forgetting now. My friends husband used to be a trash collector and they were always getting the most amazing things from the garbage he collected (the front was usually as full as the back of the truck!). I wish I could find someone to dumpster dive with me at the grocery stores – I know that there is a lot there. I am not too proud to do so, I would just be careful because my kids are in jr. high and would be mortified if that got out.

  3. My husband got a 17″ flat screen tv out of someone’s garbage while coming home from work one day. It even had the remote with it. The people put it with their trash because it had a line thru the middle of it. We popped it open and reset the cable. It works perfect! Incidentally, as a teenager, my mom and I and a few neighbors would go dumpster diving behind a local grocery store. There was always stuff that was still good. Mostly the prepackaged goods, but occasionally there would be other stuff in there. I always stayed away from the perishable stuff tho. You really would be amazed what goes into those dumpsters.

  4. Dented cans of food would kind of worry me though… I’ve heard too many stories of people getting sick from the goods in those before. But I’m a wuss when it comes to botulism and the like – not everybody is as picky about that as I am.

    Just make sure the dumpster isn’t on what’s classified as private property. Could be my area, but trespassing is pretty serious stuff if you’re actually taking things off the property (and people in my area do like their firearms for protection).

  5. My husband does things like that too! The best thing he got was a stove that was brand new. It is crazy how people throw away perfectly good things. Congratulations on the shower head! Way cool!

  6. hi i work at a laundermat there are always people throwing away clothes that are just fine also my boss nows that we have three yard sales a year and they bring me things for my yard sale. were you work at or your family and friends tell them that you save alumiun cans i have two people bringing me in alumiun cans and now i am starting to make a rug from bread bags i had told a few people now they bring me bread bags i love my job.

  7. Nearly everything in our house is from thrift stores, craigslist or handmedowns!
    I did go “bin-diving” recently, which is through the Goodwill company…it is where like all the stuff that was in there store for over a month goes (like a large warehouse) and you sort through things…I found TONS and TONS of stuff!! You pay by the pound too, so it is super cheap!
    In fact the whole outfit I’m wearing right now came from bin-diving! =)
    Have you ever tried looking in the free section on craigslist, or freecycle.org?
    There are more…go to frugalgranola.blogspot.com and scroll down to the very bottom of her blog she has a section titled “Or not at all” (meaning not paying for things at all) and she has some good ideas!
    Keep posting great finds…I love it!
    tarena

  8. I totally have taken ‘trash’ from the curb! I live in a college town, and it was much more useful when I was living in an apartment complex. Every semester or so, people move out. They take some things, and leave others. There was a point in our marriage when we could name the 3 items in the living room we had paid for. Even now, the majority of our things were repaired, or just cleaned, and added to our home. Here is a small list: 5 drawer solid wood dresser (missing a pull, but all the pulls were ugly anyway), 2 drawer dresser/end table (literally looked brand new), our vacuum (needed about a pound of carpet fibers and dirt cleaned out, but a very powerful vacuum).

    That’s not all. But these were all found by me years ago when I lived in a small apartment complex close to campus. So, if you have very minor handyman skills you can find great deals like the daybed that was missing some bolts (cost us less than $2 to replace them).

  9. boy, do I wish I had a neighbor like you! I never considered that there was such a thing as a 400.00 shower head (poor me) !! Ive heard of freegans, but I would be afraid of getting caught and getting in trouble. some people have more nerve and better luck than me, I guess.

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