Most college students are used to late-night studying and running to the closest fast food joint to buy whatever they can off the dollar menu in order to save an extra buck. Some students are even going to the extreme and dumpster diving for pizza.
Boise State alumni Danny Barsness and his roommates Patrick Barga, junior psychology major and Zach Ruhter, music major, are amongst these students. Their idea of dumpster diving, or as they call it, being on the “V.I.P. list,” for the pizza that is thrown out at the end of the day, was born at a college party.
“I was at a party where people were getting drunk and needed food,” Barsness said. “The host of the party went out to bring back pizza. He came back with all this pizza and told us he goes dumpster diving for it.”
They go out late at night after Little Cesar’s store closes. The employees will bring out the pizza they didn’t sell and toss it into the dumpster. Since these dumpsters are located on public property, no laws are broken.
“We planned out how we were going to approach this,” Barsness said. “We have our get-away driver, our lookout and our pizza grabber.”
A representative for Little Cesar’s refused to comment saying, “I can not give out any information consisting of our store policy.”
With Idaho’s minimum wage being at $7.25 per hour and the cost of tuition, food, rent and other bills, college students are starting to feel the stress of setting a budget and keeping to it.
“I don’t really have an exact budget per se, I just look at how much things are going to cost me,” Barsness said.
Barsness and his roommates have devised a plan of being on the V.I.P. list and going dumpster diving for pizza in order to cut back on their cost of food. They estimate that besides going out for the occasional grocery shopping and not going out to dinner, they have saved about $100-$150 per month.
“We hit a jackpot of six pizzas one time. I told my dad about it and I don’t really know how he feels,” Ruhter said. “But we have that pizza in our freezer and it’s about three months’ worth.”
Barsness and his roommates aren’t the only ones on campus feeling the pressure of budgeting for school. Fernando Tello,
a senior comunication major, is close to graduating and looking forward to starting abudget plan of his own, especially working at minimum wage.
“It’s hard, you know? I have a family and going to work and not really getting paid a lot is rough,” Tello said.
Those who are working for minimum wage not only in Boise, but in all of Idaho, seem to have a difficult time making ends meet.