Where To Get Free Storage Buckets for Storing Bulk Goods

As I was putting away my purchases from my trip to Sam’s Club last weekend, I realized that it’s been a long time since I’ve mentioned that you can get free buckets for storing things like flour or rice, or even for toy storage or use in the garage!  The King Soopers bakery – and many other bakeries*, too – has empty frosting buckets that are free for the taking.  You just have to ask for them!

I’ve gotten three or four free this way and it just depends on the day as to whether or not the bakery will have them – sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t.  But, it’s sure worth five seconds to stop and ask if you need buckets like these.

When I posted this tip earlier this year, Laura commented and gave some great tips about how to clean the buckets of  greasy frosting:

When you clean them, do pull the rubber seal out of the lid. Clean the lid, seal and bucket with hot soapy water. Then set them out in the sun for a day, then re-wash. Then push the seal back into the groove. Otherwise, there may be some frosting crud that doesn’t get washed out. The time in the sun really helps get rid of the phantom frosting smell.

Also, another reader, Joan, mentioned another potential source of free buckets:

You could also ask at your local Coney Island/Greek Restaurant–often times feta cheese and pickles come in those buckets. Wouldn’t be so greasy, but might need a good airing out before use!

*A reader mentioned that Walmart recycles theirs now, so they may not have any.



  1. We just scored about 25 of these buckets. They were from the bakery, so the cleaning process for the frosting was a task. Here’s my best hint: take out the top rack of your dish washer. Be careful not to break the removeable plastic clips when you remove the rack. Run 2 buckets and 2 lids at a time in the bottom rack. When the normal cycle is done (heated cycled didn’t improve the outcome, nor did running it twice), go over each bucket with warm water and dish liquid. Then use a wash cloth to dry off any spots. We are stocked up, so there should be more out there for you all!

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