Saturday, April 24, 2010

Surviving my childhood Part 2 AKA Dumpster Diving

Don't feel sympathy for me yet, let me explain. It's not that kind of dumpster diving. When I was a kid, my mom and my grandmother both did "Trash for Cash" or refunding as they called it. For those of you unfamiliar with refunding, you turn in a UPC code(s) or box tops or full labels or whatever that particular manufacturer was requesting along with the rebate form and in 4-6 weeks, you get money.

So.. my mom and granny weren't just occasional refunders, they were FANATICS! SO much so, out garage was tuned into a storage place for lack of a better word trash! (see this post for more about that) Boxes and boxes and boxes on shelves and shelves and shelves of trash. Boxes were all labeled so if a refund offer was requesting a box top from a box of crackers, she would know right where to look.

Back to the point of this post before I forget it all together.

When I was with my mom, she was always on the lookout for anything she might be currently needing for a rebate. That meant, pulling over on the side of the road if she saw something. Depending on the road, she would send me or my brother out of the car to get it, or if it was a busy road, she'd get it herself.

Sometimes, she would park behind a store and peek in the dumpster. If she say something she needed.. you guessed it, either my brother, cousin, or myself were boosted into the dumpster and displayed various boxes, bottles, labels..etc for their approval. once, I saw a perfectly good half eaten sandwich while I was in there and pretended to be digging for more stuff for them while I ate it.

Then there were the coupons. Though that was not nearly as weird as the dumpster diving, it was still pretty hazardous. I had paper cuts to the billionth power form cutting them out, sorting, and throwing away the expired ones for her. I made the mistake of telling her how fun that was once... it became my job until I went on strike and refused to do it.

So there you have it! Now that you have read those last 2 explains a LOT about me, doesn't it?


SkylersDad said...

Do you remember collecting green stamps? My mom was a fanatic about those.

Unknown said...

ahhhhhhhhhhh yes... how could I have forgotten about the green stamps? Memorieeeeeeeeees

The Queen said...

crap,,, who knew you started blogging again.. see what happens when you dump dive..

and gold bond stamps rocked..

Unknown said...

Queenie, Lucklily, You only have a coupla days to catch up on!

J.J. in L.A. said...

When we were kids, my parents would have to drive a brother to school every Tuesday because that was trash day. He'd stash something in the bushes to pick up on his walk home.

Unknown said...

JJ.. THAT is hilarious.. is he still a packrat?

ReformingGeek said...

Wow! I see where you get it from!


I remember those rebates. I think my mom gave up.

Do you still do coupons?

J.J. in L.A. said...

Yes, he is...and he's not the only one. 2 others are (now) but they were too lazy to carry anything home after school. lol!

Anonymous said...

Those were the good ol days and your Granny and me made a lot of money and got a lot of free stuff. She even saved enough for a new car. Remember the orange Vega? It was messy but fun and I don't have the patience anymore or the time. I think karaoke is more fun and not near as messy

Slyde said...

with my mom, it was taking in strays.. our house looked like Dr Doolittle!

Unknown said...

umm yea I just don't know what to say... lol My soon to be hubby is fanatic about coupons, he cuts them out and yet we rarely ever use them!

Anonymous said...

hehehe, i think your Mum and mine would be best friends. When mine wasn't behaving in a similar way to yours she was swapping stuff with the neighbours... sofas, curtains, even wallpaper!!

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