It also may be the means to make ends meet in these struggling times. A texas man has built his life around that theory and is on a mission to get others to do the same.
While the economy has a lot of folks down in the dumps, it's got college professor Jeff Ferrell down in the dumpsters.
It's a daily pastime turned full-time mission: finding stuff so he doesn't have to buy stuff .
He shows others how to tame the shopping bug and still build an empire with no money down just by scrounging.
"I think it's sort of a transitional economy between jobs or to supplement minimum-wage work or part-time work. It really is, as you can see, you can really get some things that are of value to you and help out some friends," says Ferrell.
His home is littered with freebies he's collected on dumpster dives, from oilskin 50's lamps, to cameras, pocket knives, glassware, music cds, and even toiletries.
n a trash pile, which is kind of a classic oilskin 50s lamp.
Ferrell says, "I haven't bought deodorant or soap in years."
Outside is another warehouse of finders-keepers.
Consumerism, he says isn't the enemy. He'd just rather it not be our best friend.
With all the talk about getting people spending money again, Ferrell sees the dumpster as an Economic Stimulus Package of its own, where everything around you is on sale at 100% off.
"I would argue the stimulus is actually to save your money, and be able to get by with earning less."
Some local charities get by because of his efforts, because most of his hauls end up with them.
Jeff is the only one that does like he does and goes to the dumpster to get things for us. He goes the extra mile to find things.