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Mom Forced To Dumpster Dive For Christmas Presents Shares Her Findings

Photo: Kennedy News
Rachael Collins

Faced with financial instability and money concerns, a woman has decided to go above and beyond when searching for Christmas presents.

Rachael Collins, 42, says the cost of living crisis has forced her to sift through dumpsters to collect Christmas gifts for her friends, family, and son Charlie, 7.

In an interview with Kennedy News, via The Sun, Collins, from Preston, England, revealed that she's collected over £200 ($241) worth of Christmas presents just from dumpster diving.

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Collins explained that she dumpster dives for presents due to her financial struggle.

Collins admitted that she will search through trash bins outside of local homeware stores and thrift shops twice a week.

She'll either look for ornaments and clothes she can sell, give away to friends and family, or keep them for herself and her son.

“I feel pressure around Christmas and this has really helped me this year,” she told Kennedy News. “I started dumpster diving recently because of money, it’s out of necessity. Money wasn’t lasting through the month.”

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For this Christmas, Collins has managed to find £200 ($241) worth of games, furnishings, and candles that she plans on wrapping up and giving away as Christmas gifts.

She even found a board game in fairly new condition and merchandise from the video game, Minecraft, which she will be gifting her son.

"It's a shock to see how many things go to waste. It's unbelievable," she remarked.

Over the years of Collins dumpster diving, she has found over "£5,000 ($6032.60) worth of stuff."

“I’ve found Yankee candles, wax melts, and L’Occitane products,” she listed off. “The stuff I find is really good … I’ll sell [it] on Facebook Marketplace. I do that to make a bit more income and it really helps because money was not lasting.”

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Collins credits her father for passing along the dumpster diving hack to save money.

Collins revealed that when she was a child, her father had been the one who'd taught her that she shouldn't let things go to waste.

She began sifting through bins after noticing students leaving behind clothes and furniture at the end of the school term.

"My dad always used to find things and sell them. We lived in a hoarder house so I never really let anything go to waste," she explained.

"I live in an area where there [are] lots of students who put out what they don't want to take home so I've been doing that for a long time."

Collins also values finding things with the intent of passing them along to families who might be struggling.

"A lot of stuff I find I pass onto people because everyone is struggling. I always tell them where it’s come from,” she said. “Families are sitting in the cold and businesses are throwing out stuff. It makes me really sad.”

Despite the unconventionality of dumpster diving, Collins heavily encourages others to try it as well — promising that they might find things they didn't expect, and won't have to waste money in stores.

"You can always go and find a few bits,” she pledged. “I’ll definitely be doing it for life.”

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.