What Is the Weirdest Thing You Would Do to Save Money on Food?


We all love to save money but what is the weirdest thing you would do in order to spend less cash on food? There have been some very strange money saving ideas in the news lately which have made me wonder how far I would go in order to spend less.

Eat Roadkill

The new head of the RSPB recently told us that we should eat more roadkill. Seriously?  Apparently fox is pretty tasty, pheasant is a culinary delight and badger is an acquired taste. Heck, if you find a dead rat or a recently deceased weasel at the side of the road you could give it a try with some chips and ketchup as well, I suppose. Call me squeamish if you will, but I would be worried about catching some horrible disease off wild animals I had found dead on the road. If you want to give this a try then you should check out some of the basic healthy tips online, such as making sure that the beast has recently passed away and cooking it thoroughly. If you see foam coming from its mouth or some other animal has beaten you to the feast then you should give it a miss as well. Of course, if you love to eat meat then you can make a huge saving in your monthly food budget by not paying for it.

Harvest Wild Fruits or Mushrooms

Now, this is something I have actually done. I am fairly proud to say that I once used a big stick to poke down a lot of plums from a tree just outside Belfast. I felt really adventurous and liberated doing it but then I realised that it is a pretty sensible thing to do and not at all adventurous really. When you think about it, many of us have a tough time making our money stretch to cover a good amount of healthy fruit at the supermarket. So why shouldn’t we take advantage of the free stuff hanging from the branches out there? As long as you don’t grab your apples, pears or cherries from private property then there is no harm done. If you decide to expand your horizons and start harvesting mushrooms as well then you need to be extra careful, as many varieties are poisonous. If you are ever in France just past the grape harvesting season check out the way people can go to the vineries and grab all the grapes they like. There is a law there (I think it applies to all harvested foods) that once the harvesting has been done and a certain number of days have passed anyone can saunter along and pick off the food which has been left behind. There’s a great documentary called The Gleaners and I which covers this subject and a bit of the next point as well.

Look in Supermarket Bins

Hunting in supermarket bins for food which has been thrown out is something I’ve not tried yet. Apparently this is called freeganism and the people who carry it out are called freegans. Dumpster diving and skipping are other names for finding useful stuff like food in with the rubbish.  In some places people go to collect food getting thrown out by supermarkets in order to give it to local charities. In other cases the person doing the bin foraging is looking for free grub for their own dinner table. Perhaps the most interesting point about this is just how much perfectly good food gets thrown out in our society. In less well developed countries very little food is thrown away but in places like the UK and the US the percentage of wasted food is incredibly high. The idea of raking about in bins for food which has past its sell by date doesn’t really appeal to me but I can see the reasons for doing it.

What is the weirdest thing you have done to save money on food?

image courtesy of http://seekthestrange.com

20 Responses to What Is the Weirdest Thing You Would Do to Save Money on Food?

  1. Holy cow, man. I’ve never gone that extreme! I once read an outrageous story online about a guy who fed himself for a year on 85 bucks eating all gigantic bags of rice and tap water.

    Not necessarily “weird,”(more just unethical) but I’ve talked to people who have eaten at restaurants and simply left without paying the bill.

  2. I guess if I weren’t vegetarian roadkill wouldn’t be too bizarre. I would certainly eat wild vegetables if I knew they were safe, why not wild animals?

    • Robert Bell says:

      I just can’t bring myself to see roadkill in the same way as wild vegetables Stefanie. I would be worried about catching a disease off them

  3. For me the weirdest thing that I ever do just to save money was eating dried fish for how many days. 🙂 I know you’re not familiar with that food, it is a dried fish with a bad smell.

  4. personally I like eating the weird and wacky stuff that mother nature has put there. I once ate a chicken embryo, not for fun, but more because of the culture of Cambodia where I was at the time. There it is seen as a delicacy.

  5. Amanda says:

    It’s not exactly my story, but this is the weirdest thing that came to mind:

    A friend of mine has co-workers that own a small farm (a couple cows, some chickens, a horse). At one point my friend was talking to them about buying half a cow – so that when the time came, the farmers would slaughter it and my friend would get all that meat. Much cheaper than getting meat from the grocery store or butcher! (But I’m pretty sure there was a health and safety issue or bylaw or something that prevented this from happening.)

    • Robert Bell says:

      That’s an interesting story Amanda. it seems like a lot of hassle for cheap meat but I guess it depends how much the saving would be.

  6. Kathy says:

    Morel mushrooms are absolutely delicious and cannot be grown domestically for some unknown reason, so you have to find them in the wild. In my area mushroom hunters safeguard their locations with a vengeance and are able to sell the morels for about $30 a pound. Dried morels sell in the store for about $12 and ounce!! So the way to go is become a mushroom hunter and sell them rather that eating them yourself. With some mushrooms, however, you have to be careful because some kinds are poisonous.

  7. We sometimes take part in “urban scavenging” which is basically just a fancy way of saying dumpster diving. We go behind whole foods and trader joe’s here in the states, and you wouldn’t believe the quality of food they throw out. Tons of fresh fruits, flowers and more. We easily get $30 worth of food that is most definitely still edible and fresh. It can be a little embarrassing if people see you, but I don’t really care (as long as I don’t know them).

  8. I’m always the family member eating the over ripe bananas, the slightly browned lettuce, and the bread a few days past the expiration date. I don’t know if that’s weird or not, but I can’t stand to throw out food!

    • Robert Bell says:

      I hate throwing out food as well Brock. I found that toasting slightly old bread and making smoothies with old fruit is a good move

  9. We went hiking with the kids one time and scored over 10 pounds of fresh black rasberries: an easy $30 worth of fruit!! We’ve also toyed with hunting pheasant (friends tell us it really is great!) but haven’t gotten up the nerve yet (we are animal lovers). Funny about the garbage bin diving at the grocery stores; I mentioned the oddity of this to a friend, and by the way she responded, I’m pretty sure she’s doing it. 🙂

  10. I can’t think of any. Maybe not eating for a day just because I want to is weird for some?

  11. Firstly its a pretty bad situation when we can’t have the foods we love, but resorting to the basics we use when camping was a regular trick when I was a student!

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