Mum says she got £200 worth of Christmas presents by trawling through bins outside shops
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A mum has revealed how she managed to bag £200 of Christmas presents by going through bins outside shops.
Rachael Collins, 42, from Preston, explained she's been searching bins outside shops twice a week, looking for bits and bobs to either sell, give as gifts or keep for herself and son Charlie.
And in the run up to Christmas, Rachael says she's found £200 worth of games, furnishings and candles that she plans on wrapping up and giving as presents.
"I feel pressure around Christmas and this has really helped me this year," says Rachael.
"I started dumpster diving recently because of money, it's out of necessity. Money wasn't lasting through the month.
"I've saved around £200 on Christmas gifts. I found an operation game, Minecraft stuff and I've done Charlie's bedroom up so I've found some stuff for there. I found brand new nerf guns for my son and nephews.
"We found Yankee candles, wax melts and L'Occitane products. The stuff I find is really good.
"It does vary but on average I probably find four items at a time. Other times there's been lots of stuff and sometimes there's nothing.
"I keep some crates in the back of my car and I've got a basement so I rotate and work out what I'm going to do with the stuff.
"You can always go and find a few bits. I'll definitely be doing it for life."
Rachael, who is a carer, says she's found around £5,000 worth of items since she started looking through the bins.
She goes out wearing a headtorch at 6pm twice per seek to see what she can find.
"It's a shock to see how many things go to waste. It's unbelievable. I've probably found £5,000 worth of stuff over the years," she explains.
"A lot of stuff I find I pass onto people because everyone is struggling. I always tell them where it's come from.
"Charity shops throw loads of stuff out, they never throw out clothes but they'll chuck out a lot of stuff with tags on that they haven't sold."
She added: "There have been kids bikes helmets that are probably thrown out for safety but there's other stuff and it's really strange.
"I gave away a lot of home furnishings, nice things, vases and plant pots. I'm always bringing stuff home for my son.
"Some of the stuff I'll sell on Facebook marketplace. I do that to make a bit more income and it really helps because money was not lasting.
"I'm fortunate to do this and work but there are people that are really struggling this Christmas. Families are sat in the cold and businesses are throwing out stuff. It makes me really sad."