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1. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 7y

I should know what being cheap is all about. How cheap can you get?

1. Would you eat from a table of left overs?

I went out with 3 Travellers all on a shoe string budget like me. But unlike the two other travellers, I don't have dollars or Euros. We arrive at the hostel for some beers. I saw a table with lots of empty plates and shreds of vegetables, and I said "Vegetarians!", and a guy replied, "no, were not, we finished all the meat. A few minutes later, the female travellers I was with, sat on the table and started eating the shreds of vegetables. I was so embarrassed. She cleared the dishes, like a dish washer. The Germans who ate the meal watched her from the corner. The other traveller, who was trashier, called her a dog. But she acted like she heard nothing. My Thai friend was so shocked, he joined her, just to make it seem like its normal.

People always buy me drinks in bars... so once in a while, I buy fried noodles to hungry travellers. But when I hear their itenerary, I feel like taking back my noodles. Is starvartion really worth an extra night in a hostel or another city?

2. Posted by sapphyre (Respected Member 418 posts) 7y

Never, and you gotta be kidding!

I've only seen people do it once or twice here and they were runaways.

3. Posted by mclarenxfu (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y

OMG! I don't think people goes like that in public.

4. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

Iceland cleared me out. I was emptying the dregs from left over packets of powdered soup in the kitchen.
Went for a month - came home after 2 weeks. Fascinating country, but surely there's not one dearer anywhere on the planet. I thought Norway was expensive until I went there.
3 examples.... Fish and chips (take away) €30, Mars bar €4 and a 500ml beer €11. I knew nobody would believe me, so I took photos of the prices and menus.
Scary stuff.

5. Posted by Derestanne (Budding Member 36 posts) 7y

As for scrounging in a public restaurant, I suppose there will always be those who don't care about making a scene. Me, if I was hard up for money I would take myself to grocery stores and inquire about anything discounted or about to be discarded.

This entire matter hits home here in Florida as well, because we have so many visitors and tourists.

Take for example, I was at a convenience store here with a friend and this Canadian man remarks to the store clerk about the price of eggs. "Why, I could buy them for 80 cents in Ontario!", he said. So my friend turns to the elderly Canadian and says, "Right - but Ontario is a really long way to go for eggs!". Comment - this is where some people find this amusing; some get upset about it and I myself found the situation embarrassing!

The point that I want to make is when I'm touring or visiting somewhere and I find that prices are steep, unless haggling is the routine I put the invisible duct tape over my mouth, pay up and wait until I'm in the car or back at the hotel before I say, "jeez, that sure was a big rip off!"

6. Posted by murphc09 (Budding Member 57 posts) 7y

Far too much food gets thrown out in restraunts and shops etc, I've seen people pay for meals and hardly take a bite?! what's the point?! I've never wasted a meal in my life. If someone's hungry and there's food being thrown away then why not eat it? Good on em.

I never take lunch to work as they have corporate dinner/buffett's here every day, I find out where and when the meetings are and a few of us bust in after they've finished. I regulary have luxury food at lunch time and this food is destined for the bin!

7. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 7y

Quoting murphc09

Far too much food gets thrown out in restraunts and shops etc, I've seen people pay for meals and hardly take a bite?! what's the point?! I've never wasted a meal in my life. If someone's hungry and there's food being thrown away then why not eat it? Good on em.

I never take lunch to work as they have corporate dinner/buffett's here every day, I find out where and when the meetings are and a few of us bust in after they've finished. I regulary have luxury food at lunch time and this food is destined for the bin!

Agreed - too much food is being disposed of but (as in restaurants) once it has been placed on a customer's plate, it can not be served to anyone else after that. I have known restaurant employee who would definitely pack up a barely touched steak or fish fillet, after trimming a tad off from where the customer had cut their pieces, and the untouched baked potatoes to take home for dinner.

Raiding the corporate meeting "troughs" is one thing but are you taking the food from the used plates?
We used to raid the tray of leftover pastries when morning meetings were over. Free coffee and doughnuts - yum.

I agree with visiting the local market and talking to someone about what is going to hit the dumpster before too long. When I was caretaker for a wildlife facility, I arranged with the local supermarket to take whatever vegies they had to remove from the bins, all the dinged up jars of peanut butter and all the chicken that had expired the day before. I made that run every morning and our animals had some great meals. It got to the point where some of the staff would rifle through the crates to see what they could take home first. It amazed me how much was going to be dumped daily.

Sorry, back to topic...

8. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1160 posts) 7y

When my best friend and were backpacking through New Zealand one of our working holiday jobs was to work a bakery/coffee shop. At the end of each day we had to pack up and throw out all the stuff that hadn't been bought!!!
We were also allowed, however, to take home what we wanted and we definitely carried out as much bread and cake as we could ;). Sometimes we were even sharing with other backpackers we've met, because we found it such a pity to put it in the bin.

Also, we in Wellington we found another way to get fed, when we were really broke, and started to go to Hare Krishna's free yoga classes twice a week. Fair enough, the yoga was really tough (we'd had never tried before) and the singsang afterwards was a bit akward , but at the end of the session everyone would get a super yummy vegetarian feast. It was well worth the sweat .

So, I believe there's always a possibility to get some cheap/free food instead of eating other people's leftovers, and even if it means I you have to live on canned food for a while.

9. Posted by Annie0 (Full Member 127 posts) 7y

There is defo so much food wastage - the freegan movement turns this wastage in to good use. I found when i was travelling in San fran and LA i would give any leftovers to the homeless! Saved it goin to the bin

10. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 7y

Quoting Annie0

There is defo so much food wastage - the freegan movement turns this wastage in to good use. I found when i was travelling in San fran and LA i would give any leftovers to the homeless! Saved it goin to the bin

We have done the same in Chicago and it was greatly appreciated.