53 Frugal Uses for FREE Food Grade Buckets

I LOVE 5 gallon buckets, well I THOUGHT I did until I found how how expensive they were. Then I found out how I could get FREE buckets


I LOVE 5 gallon buckets… well… I THOUGHT I did until I found how how expensive they were.   BUT then…I found out how I could get FREE food grade buckets that were 2.5-3 gallons and were even BETTER than the 5 gallon ones! Because 5 gallon buckets are SO expensive (I mean, they are just a bucket), I am 100% willing to transition to a smaller FREE bucket! Check out my post HERE on how you can get them for free!

I now prefer the 3 gallon ones because they aren’t as bulky, and are so much lighter when I use it for bulk food storage.

*Updated Sep. 2020* This post may contain affiliate links.  Read my affiliate link disclosure here

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Outside uses for Buckets




  • Use them as garbage cans around the house. We love to do this, and it can so annoying to pay $15 for little garbage cans around the house which the kids break…
  • Put old car oil or grease in
  • Store charcoal with them. The buckets will keep it clean and keep the bag from ripping.
  • Store camping gear such as bungee cords, tent stakes, ect.
  • Great for Extension Cord Storage, we used them to move all our extension cords without ruining them.


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Indoor Uses for Buckets


  • We love it for toy storage, they fit great in the 12×12 in toy shelves.
  • Clothing storage, the circle buckets fit great in the backs of closets and can stack high.
  • “Water table”  be sure to supervise your children and do so at your own risk. Our kids love filing up squirt guns with it, and just using the water and toys to make mud pies.
  • Foot stools (Use with caution, they aren’t the most stable when empty, try putting food storage in them for more support.)
  • Store outdoor toys in with lid to keep from getting wet
  • Re-purpose it into a kids chair  or this is another kids chair
  • Make a camping toilet or an emergency toilet
  • Use as sensory “bin”.  fill full with rice and/or beans.  OR store your sensory items in it
  • Create a bucket swing with the bucket.
  • Use as a cloth diaper pail
  • Create a “Pediatric seat”
  • Make a wishing well
  • Create a PVC frame use the buckets for toy storage

Food Storage

  • Store bulk items such as wheat, flour, sugar, rice, beans, etc.  This is how I use it to store my food.  (You may want to use Mylar bags if they will be store for long periods) Read tips on how to use mylar bags..
  • 72 hr kit storage
  • Learn how to make a Water Filter with them
  • edited to add: store water in them for easy rotation

Home Improvement

  • Mix cement or mud for drywall
  • Great use for using a paint roller
  • Seems like tools are always scattered in the garage, you can create a “Tool Bucket

FREE CLASS: How to Start a Food Storage Using Food you eat now. Sign up here.

In the Home

As a result, 53 outdoor and indoor uses for free food grade buckets!  Finally, go to your closest grocery store with a larger bakery and ask away to take a few home!  It’s usually easier to find them in the winter vs summer times.

What do you use your buckets for?  Comment below.

Further Reading:

17 DIY Projects for Frugal Living

Ultimate List of  Frugal Living Websites

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This post may contain affiliate links.  Read my affiliate link disclosure here

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