Kate Hashimoto was picking up a few groceries at the Upper West Side Food Emporium when she ran into a friend.

“Hey Kate, you like wraps? Here’s a chicken wrap,’’ her pal said. “But be careful, it’s kind of wet.” They weren’t in the grocery aisle. They were in front of the store, digging through three overflowing trash bins.
“嘿凯特,你喜欢肉卷吗?这有个鸡肉卷,” 她朋友说道。“但是小心,还有点湿。” 她们的对话并不是在什么杂货店的走廊里。她们站在商店前,在三个漫出来的垃圾箱翻找着。

Hashimoto Dumpster-dives for all her food, doesn’t use toilet paper or do laundry, and hasn’t bought toiletries in 10 years. She doesn’t have to live this way — she’s an employed CPA.

“I’ve always been frugal, but it was when I was laid off in the dot-com crash that I became extreme,” Hashimoto explained.
“我一直都很节俭,但是如此极端的生活方式,却是在被一家网络公司解雇后才开始的。” 桥本这样解释道。

“No job is guaranteed, so I live as if I could be fired at any time.” Manhattan, she said, is a gold mine for Dumpster divers.
“没有哪个工作是铁饭碗,所以我以这样的方式过活,这样就算是被解雇了我也有所准备。” 她说对于以捡垃圾为生的人们,曼哈顿是一座金矿。

“Consumers in wealthy areas expect their products to be perfect, so upscale stores throw out a lot of items that are still good.

“New York can be the most expensive place to live, but it can also be the least expensive if you know how to work the system.” Hashimoto let The Post spend a day with her learning how to live way below your means.
“纽约可能是生活费用最高的地方,但如果你知道怎么生活,所需要的费用可能是最便宜的。” 桥本邀请记者用一天的时间和她学学如何像她一样生活。

She lives in Harlem, where she bought a studio in 2010 and paid it off in nine months, but treks down to the Upper West Side three times a week for good, free food.

Her other money-saving methods include using soap to wash herself after using the toilet, taking surveys online to earn gift cards, participating in medical trials (she got free birth control for 5 years and took part in a herpes vaccine trial for cash), testing products for free samples, cutting her own hair, washing her clothes while she showers, and running to work to avoid using a MetroCard.

“I was extremely angry about the latest round of subway fare hikes,” she said.

Hashimoto does have her limits. Her furniture is a collection of found freebies — but she won’t take an old mattress for fear of bedbugs, and sleeps instead on used yoga mats.

And she won’t stay in a relationship for free meals.

“I’ve been in a relationship where I stayed because I was getting freebies and gifts, but I got out of it,” she says. “It’s better to be single and Dumpster-diving than to be with someone you can’t stand.”
“我曾经为了得到免费赠品而谈了一个男朋友,但是我放弃了。” 她说。“我情愿单身,翻垃圾找食物,也不要和一个我无法忍受的人在一起。”

What Kate Spends Per Month:

On food: $15

On clothing: $0

On toiletries: $0.17 a month on toothpaste

condo: $237

She puts into savings: $4,000

Into 401(k): $1,000

Goal: $250,000 in savings by next year or so