Where to Get Free Buckets

You will never run out of uses for buckets on the homestead. You can use them to carry water, feed, dirt, rocks, even your harvest from the garden or eggs from the hen house (if you have enough!).

5-Gallon buckets are one of the essentials of homestead or garden life, and you may have experienced this already. Trouble is, it seems like the more uses you find for them, the less you seem to have! While 5-gallon buckets are sturdy, it is possible to break them as well (quick tip: it’s important to keep them out of the sun and rain if possible to maintain the integrity of the plastic).

Whatever 5-gallon buckets you already have, you probably purchased new from Home Depot or Lowe’s, and it’s definitely great to have a few new, good-quality 5-gallon buckets, especially if you’re just getting started. But if you find yourself with more and more needs for buckets and could use a few free ones, here are some tips on where to find them:

Sandwhich shops

Sandwich shops are great places to ask for free buckets, since pickles often come in large, 5-gallon food grade buckets. Just ask if they have any to spare or will sell you some for a marked-down price.


Icing also comes in 5-gallon buckets, so bakeries or grocery stores with bakeries are often willing to give their icing buckets that they’d otherwise just toss away.

Fast Food Restaurants

Fast Food joints also often receive things like ketchup or other bulk sauces in 5-gallon buckets, so you might be able to snag a few from them before they throw them out as well.

Cleaning tips:

When you find discarded food buckets for free, you might find the cost is a little elbow grease you’ll have to put into cleaning out the buckets.

If you make a solution of warm water, vinegar, and a few dashes of Dawn soap, scrub the inside of the bucket down, a let sit for a few hours, then rinse with hot water and repeat as necessary, that should eliminate the smell in no time.

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