It was my lucky day when I discovered the free buckets available just for the asking at my grocery store’s bakery. “How many do you want?” were the words that nearly brought tears of joy to my eyes! The buckets washed up nicely, along with the lids, but then I was in a quandary. My wheat, rice, and oats had already been stored in other buckets and 2-liter bottles. What was I going to do with twelve empty buckets?
Fortunately, a long-dormant organizing gene activated, and I realized those buckets aren’t just for wheat. I started thinking outside the box bucket. They are the perfect storage containers for so many purposes, whether they’re brand spanking new or gently used. They’re great for organizing smaller items that you have in storage. For example, a bucket is a great place to stash bars of soap, dental supplies, bottles of hand sanitizer, and boxes of Rice-a-Roni. Anytime you have a collection of small, similar items, toss them in a bucket, pop on the lid, and mark the outside with a label.
A bucket is also useful for storing one or two days worth of food. If you’re ever in an evacuation scenario, you can just grab these Evacuation Buckets and be gone. With a supply of toilet paper, heavy duty trash bags, a bit of kitty litter, and a snap-on toilet seat, one of those buckets will double as an emergency toilet. We’ve all heard about backpacks and duffel bags being used as Bug Out Bags or 72 Hour Kits, but if just one member of the family uses a bucket instead of a bag made of cloth, you’ll have something to carry water, firewood, and, again, have a toilet, if necessary. Heck, you can flip the bucket upside down and use it as a semi-comfortable chair!
Why not use a bucket as a charitable gift for a needy person or family? An inexpensive blanket, a few survival items, some water and food rations will go a long way toward helping out those who were unprepared for a crisis. If you’ve been making your own dehydrated meals, they’re an excellent addition to a Gift Bucket. Just be sure to include instructions for preparation. For more ideas of what to include in a Gift Bucket, read this.
Finally, and I don’t really recommend this, I’ve used an empty bucket as a step-stool to reach the higher shelves in my pantry. It gets pretty embarrassing to have to borrow brown sugar from the neighbor because you’re not tall enough to see all the sugar that’s stored on that top shelf! (Especially when your neighbor knows you’re TheSurvivalMom! True story.)
The nice part about these buckets is that once you have them, they’re good for many years. They can be cleaned out and used over and over again. Ask around at restaurants and bakeries because food supplies like cake icing and fillings come in these buckets and then have to be recycled or thrown out. Even if you can’t get them for free, you can use buckets from home improvement centers for your non-food storage and save a bit of money that way. The key, really, is to get your stuff organized, and these buckets are a great tool for making that happen.