Empty plastic pails are very likely to be “free for the picking-up” from your local bakery. We arrange to get some of these whenever we need a large food-safe plastic bucket. The ones we get are 30-lb buckets with tight-fitting lids. They happen to be from molasses but they also get shortening and corn syrup and other things in these big pails, so there’s generally no shortage of them.

We keep the senior dog food in one and the puppy food in another, bird seed in another one, and so on. And when we find a really good buy on bulk foods, these pails make great back-of-the-pantry air-tight storage for supplies like powdered milk or flour.

Another couple of the plastic pails are used for storage of holiday decorations. Now we can store our seasonal ornaments and wrapping paper, etc., down in our old unfinished cellar without worrying about mice or insects or water damage.

Because these buckets have a sturdy handle and are quite easy to carry around, I use one in the garden to collect weeds and prunings. Turned upside-down, it makes a dandy garden seat for a little rest between chores, too!

The bakery is happy to give their empty plastic pails away at the end of the week, because otherwise they would just have to throw them out. Since they have to pay to have their dumpster of trash taken away for disposal, they’re happy not to do that. So, getting our storage pails for free is good for the neighbourhood small business owner and good for the environment (keeping waste out of the landfill), as well as good for us!

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