Woman Reveals How She Only Spends $90 On Groceries A Year By Dumpster-Diving For Her Other Needs

"I was truly blown away by the amount of waste in these dumpsters."

Sofie Juel-Andersen @dumpsterdivingwsoff / TikTok

According to 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average amount of money spent on food at home is $5,259 annually, or about $438 per month, for U.S. households.

Sofie Juel-Andersen revealed how she gets around the astronomical prices at the grocery store by participating in an unconventional method that she swears has saved her hundreds of dollars on food that would've usually gone to waste.


She only spends $90 a year on groceries by dumpster-diving for all the other food she needs.

Juel-Andersen, a Danish woman now living in Sydney, Australia, revealed just how much money she's managed to save on groceries. On her TikTok account, the restaurant manager documents her trips to the various dumpsters in her area and shows viewers just how much food she finds.

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So much good food is being wasted — and supermarkets know there are people out there who can’t afford to eat,” Juel-Andersen explained. In videos shared on her platform, the 29-year-old will often find foods in dumpsters behind supermarkets and restaurants that are still in good condition.




Some of those foods include oranges, tomatoes, ice cream, frozen meals, peppers, bananas, butter, and cheese. She explained that she first started dumpster-diving three years ago after her sister shared photos of food from garbage cans that were still edible.

"I was truly blown away by the amount of waste in these dumpsters,” she admitted. At first, Juel-Andersen was only dumpster-diving for fresh produce but eventually began adding other items on her expeditions.

“There would literally be two dumpsters 'round the back of a supermarket, filled with packaged food: whole chickens, candy, drinks. We once found 300 cans of Diet Coke still in their boxes,” she recalled. In another video, Juel-Andersen revealed that she will dumpster-dive for 15 minutes at a time, and find amazing food in mint condition.


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She said that most of the food she finds was either thrown out because it expired the previous day, or had damaged packaging and looked deformed. 

Juel-Andersen opened up about how she avoids getting sick from dumpster diving.

After being asked if she's afraid of getting sick from eating foods that have been thrown out, Juel-Andersen answered that she's honestly not too worried about it. 


"I've only been sick one time because I ate a bad apple, which was completely my fault," she recalled in another TikTok video. "What I do to prevent getting sick is using my senses. I don't take food from the dumpsters that are moldy or that look bad."



"I'm really just cautious about what I take," she continued, adding that as a society, we should already be using our senses to determine if certain foods should be thrown away, or if we are all just contributing to the endless food waste.

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In the United States, a majority of the food sold at restaurants and supermarkets is often thrown out.

According to data acquired by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30% to 40% of the food supply. It is estimated that each year 80 billion pounds of food is wasted in this country.

The largest share of that, 43%, is at consumers’ homes. Nearly as much (40%) is at the retail level (restaurants, food service, grocery stores). Of that retail slice, around 30% is at grocery stores with a staggering 9.6 billion pounds per year.

Juel-Andersen noted that she is only trying to do her part to minimize those numbers. "I once found 10 fully-packaged margarita pizzas, an avocado, a red pepper, and some parsley, combined the ingredients, and served it to my friends at a dinner party,” she excitedly revealed, via Daily Mail.


Of course, she acknowledged that not everyone will feel comfortable or safe wanting to dive through garbage to find edible foods, but pointed out that it works for her, and she has saved over $400 a year on groceries because of it.

“Dumpster diving allows me to work less. I only have a four-day workweek,” she gushed. “It brings me so much financial and personal freedom."

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.