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Why I get my food from skips

Dan Shaps* tells Come Scavenge about how he became a freegan

A chance encounter introduced me to skipping. I had just started a degree in Politics at Edinburgh University and like many of my student friends I was adjusting to living on a budget and cooking for myself.

I went to grab a sandwich after lectures and the cafe owner said I could have the brie and cranberry baguette for free because it was the end of the day and he couldn’t sell it tomorrow. It was delicious.

After that, I looked into how much shops and cafes throw out and got chatting to a few people at parties who said they had found some great things in supermarket bins.

Living an eco-lifestyle is often seen as slumming it, but in fact I go skipping because it allows me to eat things I couldn’t otherwise afford. Obviously I’m concerned about food waste too but wanting to eat nice things for free is a big motivating factor.

I once found some lovely lobster in the Marks and Spencer’s bins and Waitrose are always throwing out smoked salmon that’s one day past its sell by date.

It’s best to head there at around 10pm, late enough to make sure the bins have gone out but not too late that other skippers have taken everything. I go on my bike so that I can cycle off fast if need be.

Most of my friends find skipping exciting and sometimes join me on expeditions. I once made the mistake of telling my grandma that the croissants I’d just served her for tea were from a bin but I think she finds it funny now.

Don’t have a cheap pot noodle for dinner again, try skipping, it’s fun. But make sure you leave a few things for me.

*Names have been changed

Have you ever eaten food from a skip? If so, why? If not, why not? Get in touch at or on twitter @comescavenge
We’d love to hear from you.

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