A savvy nurse is now the proud owner of a $1 million Sydney apartment after saving more than $30,000 by eating out of bins for four years.
Mel Humphreys, a ‘dumpster diver’, trawls garbage bins outside supermarkets, caterers and bakeries three or four times a week for fresh meat, fish, cheese, fruit, vegetables and bread.
Eating rubbish allowed the super saver, 34, to slash her weekly food bill from $175 to just $40 and buy a two-bedroom apartment in Sydney’s Inner West worth more than $1 million.
A savvy nurse is now the proud owner of a $1 million Sydney apartment after saving more than $30,000 by eating out of bins for four years
Emergency and oncology nurse Mel enjoys cooking up gourmet meals for friends, family and colleagues with the free produce she finds and said her alternative lifestyle leaves her ‘disgusted’ by the vast quantities of edible food thrown away.
‘I first heard of dumpster diving four years ago and started looking out of the back of shops for the bins and going out to see what was there,’ Mel said.
‘When I started doing it I couldn’t believe I could get all this food for free from a bin – it was amazing. The more and more places I found, the bigger the hauls and the more stable it could be as a lifestyle – now I’d say 75 per cent of what I eat comes from a bin.
‘I never have to shop and am really reticent to buy things now, because I know if I wait long enough I will just find it in a bin.
The diving has allowed her to save a staggering $7020 a year – almost $30,000 in the four years she has been bin diving.
With the money she saved, Mel could afford a deposit on the two-bedroom unit in Sydney’s Inner West.
Mel says she is surprised at how much food is going to waste each day.
‘My freezer is absolutely chock full of meat, so now I take it over to my mum’s place,’ she said.
‘When you see all these beautiful meats and fish shrink wrapped and still cold going into the bin – it does make me feel disgusted. Food will just be wrapped in plastic and chucked in the garbage.