A Free Resource Right in Your Own Neighborhood

icing-bucketsOne of the most useful items in the garden shed is the 3 1/2 gallon bucket with an airtight lid and handle. I use mine for all types of things. I mix soil in it, carry my tools around, haul water, store grain, grow tomatoes; the list goes on and on. Not at the same time in the same bucket of course, as that would require a more robust container.

I wasn’t raised to be thrifty, far from it. I grew up in an upper middle class family and fully enjoyed the fruits of my father’s hard labor. Was I spoiled as a child? Well, to be honest, I was. However, as an adult, for whatever reason, I escaped this infliction and no longer feel this entitlement. In fact, when describing myself, I like to use the term “cheap.” While there are more politically correct ways to say it these days, such as, “I’m conservative with my resources,” I still prefer the word “cheap!” It has that Ebenezer Scrooge feel about it.

Being tightfisted, I’m always looking for a good deal and what could be better than totally free? There is a no cost source for all the buckets you can use in the garden no farther away than your local bakery. That’s if other cheap-sters haven’t beaten you to them first! Just walk in and ask for empty icing buckets. Most bakeries are glad to give them to you free, particularly if you’re eyeing one of those cream filled eclairs with lustful hunger. One thing you can count on, as certain as death and taxes, is the incessant demand for sweet stuff! So shuffle on down and ask for your own collection of those plastic, food safe white wonders. You will be glad you did!

Thanks to Russ Erganbright for participating in the [Grow] Network Writing Contest. We have over $1,500 in prizes lined up for the current writing contest, with more to come. Here is a list of the current pot of prizes:

– A 21.5 quart pressure canner from All American, a $380 value
– A Survival Still emergency water purification still, a $279 value
– 1 year of free membership in the [Grow] Network Core Community, a $240 value
– A copy of The Summer of Survival Complete Collection from Life Changes Be Ready, a $127 value
– 2 copies of the complete Home Grown Food Summit, valued at $67 each
– 3 free 3 month memberships in the [Grow] Network Core Community, valued at $60 each
– The complete 2014 Grow Your Own Food Summit interview series, a $47 value
– 4 copies of the Grow Your Own Groceries DVD video set, valued at $42 each
– A Bug Out Seed Kit from the Sustainable Seed Company, a $40 value
– 4 copies of the Alternatives To Dentists DVD video, valued at $32 each

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  • Stephanie says:

    Thanks for this great idea!

  • nancy says:

    Our local grocer in my small town charges a hefty $3-$5 for each of the used buckets from their bakery department. Guess some stores have caught on that they can make even more money from what they normally discard.

    1. JJM says:

      Good grief – $3 to $5 is wanting as much as an unused bucket costs at Lowes. At least everything your baker has better be food grade.

      1. Michael Ford says:

        Thanks, Russ. I stopped in at the local bakery over the weekend & they ask $1 each for their used buckets.

  • Vickie says:

    Thank you, Russ, that is a great idea! I am tighter than new boots, as well. I find it fun and challenging to squeeze my pennies as far as possible. My Momma actually washed paper plates and zip lock bags to use again! Unfortunately, we live in a throw away world.

  • Carrie says:

    Wow, what a great tip. I love articles like this that allow you to repurpose nearby materials for free. I like being thrifty, and scoring items for free actually makes my day. In an era of wastefulness, it’s nice to be able to upcycle things some people consider as trash. And, if it’s for garden use, who cares if it’s new or pretty? As long as it helps you grow food, why not? I will be stopping by my local bakery tomorrow! Thanks.

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