Meet the innovators who get their weekly shop out of bins

Anything from lobster to ten kilos of meat

Whilst you’re having your leftover baked beans on pasta, this group of ingenious second years are taking their pick of Angus beef steaks: courtesy of some supermarket bins.

And before you get too repulsed, considering they haven’t paid for food in around four months, with the exception of some essential feta cheese and cherry tomatoes, it’s pretty hard to argue with.

We weren’t kidding about the lobster

A bin diving pro and second year Music and Physics student offered to let the The Tab tag along one rainy Friday night.

And what did we see? The enterprises of geniuses. Given the strict standard of certain wasteful supermarkets, food with ripped labels is thrown out, just waiting for frugal students.

The students ensure us that the food is almost always fine, unless there’s been some spilt milk, but they always err on the side of caution.

While they pulled on their rubber gloves and hopped into the dumpsters, we quizzed them about what they usually find.

Claiming they rarely buy food, it appears even bread, eggs, butter and milk are chucked away, alongside the daily newspapers.

All in an evening’s work

But they don’t just scrape by on the essentials – living in a certain upper class part of town, with a certain upper class supermarket chain, some of their finds were pretty luxurious.

They wouldn’t recommend the Stilton and Apricot cheese F.Y.I

Including 20 litres of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, 10 litres of Yeo Valley organic yoghurt, huge trays of canapés, Turkish delight, as well as whipped cream and strawberries, it’s fair to say that putting up with the smell is probably worth it.

One student even found a £50 Heston Blumenthal Turkey, which then fed his whole family over Christmas, a time of the year when the bin divers claim they are “especially profitable”.

Oh, and by the way, they even found Wine one time.

Olives and Venison Haggis #EssentialLiving

But it isn’t just the food that appeals in this exercise: “It’s like a childish treasure hunt, and it’s so satisfying eating stuff that would just have been thrown away otherwise.”

It’s certainly true that most shops are hugely wasteful, but the bin raiders said: “if the government were more lenient in regards to sell-by-dates, and the supermarkets more willing to risk liability, then there would be a lot less waste.”

In fact there’s so much waste that the bin divers can afford to be fussy, often leaving behind perfectly good food as their freezer is already full – one time they found 20 kg of minced beef.

“I’ll often give spare food to my brother- last time he visited I sent him home with bags of meat.”

Your fridge isn’t this well stocked, is it?

“Although the supermarket workers definitely know we come, they don’t care about what we do, probably because they know how much goes to waste.

“One time we went while the staff were still there, and they came outside so we ran off. When I went back to get my bag, they’d packed away all the food we’d dropped inside it.”

An average haul- around four carrier bags worth

The best part of their efforts? The meals they make afterwards, which take student cuisine to a whole other level.

So how did they get into bin diving? Having heard about it through a friend at Bedlam theatre who was “well into it,” it then took a Lithuanian visitor, who couch surfs all around the world eating out of bins, to show them the way.

However, it’s always worth persevering: one second year recounted how the first time he went he “only found a ton of swedes, so I just made loads of swede soup. My friend wasn’t impressed when I told her I found them in a bin.”

And while some supermarkets pour dye over their food, as well as using locks, there’s always away around this. Electricians keys unlock most bins apparently, and there are always plenty of other chains- they use TrashWiki for local tip offs.

So, before you dismiss bin diving, just remember that with the money you’d save, you could probably be living in Quartermile.