Milk crates are incredibly versatile, sturdy, make for great storage spaces, and for some reason, went viral as a challenge. That’s why people have been seeking out free milk crates.
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Taking milk crates on the street or outside of a store may be tempting, but believe me, you don’t want to do that unless you are looking for trouble or if you don’t mind spending more than the actual cost of a milk crate in Walmart.
Milk crate theft is a common problem for dairies and stores in the US and costs the industry thousands of dollars annually. And of course, at the end of this chain, you can just expect who will pay for the loss – it’s none other than us, the consumers.
This is the dark side to acquiring free milk crates illegally. So, what can you do now? Can you still get milk crates for free? If so, then, where can you get them?
7 Ways to Get Free Milk Crates
Well, the answer boils down to basic decency – simply ask permission from the owner.
While most of the time, milk crates are recycled and reused, you may get lucky and find a shop owner who has some on hand that need to be disposed.
Here are the best few places to start:
1. Grocery Stores
Your local grocery stores are the top places to search for wooden and plastic milk crates.
There’s only a slight possibility that they will give some to you since most probably they will still use the crates, but it won’t hurt to ask them.
Chances are there are also grocery stores that are willing to give away some of their excess or old milk crates that are still in fair condition.
2. Convenience Stores
Similar to your local grocery stores, the convenience stores near you can also be a good place to score some free milk crates since stocks of milk come and go regularly.
3. Catering Companies
Although milk is rarely served at parties, you can still find free crates at the catering companies in your area.
After all, milk is not just used as a drink but also as an ingredient to cakes and pastries, as well as some tasty dishes.
And once you sight some milk crates at these companies, ask permission from someone in authority. Ensure that the person who is giving you away these crates has the legal right to do so.
4. Restaurants and Cafes
Befriend the small business owners in your area, so you can increase your chances of scoring some free milk crates.
5. Factories and Manufacturers
Check for factories or manufacturers near you that might use crates for storage or shipping containers and ask them if they have extra crates that they can give away.
Craigslist is definitely one of the most popular sites to go at if you are looking for free stuff, but it can also be one of the riskiest places to find people to transact with.
In dealing with anyone from the site, bear in mind that milk crates can’t just be given away easily by anyone.
Freecycle is another site where you can find free items such as milk crates.
To start looking for free stuff, enter your location in the search box to see a group near you. Choose a group or location, and start searching for available free items from that group.
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Where to Find Cheap Milk Crates
Below are some of the legit sites and places that I’ve found if you are interested to know where to get milk crates for a reasonable price:
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1. Milk Crates Direct
Get your authentic milk crates that are made in the USA at Milk Crates Direct.
You can purchase one for as low as $7.99, and save more if you are planning to buy a minimum of 6 crates per order. If you really need a lot, you can buy 96 black crates for $650, instead of $767.
They also sell colorful milk crates in red, yellow, green, blue, violet, and orange, as well as in gray and white. So, you have a lot of options. However, their price for 96 crates of any color is $699, which is $49 more than their all-black milk crates bundle.
2. The Container Store
This shop sells various storage and organization items that fall under different categories – kitchen, travel, drawer organizer, bathroom, and so on.
And of course, you can buy authentic milk crates from the shop at $15.99 each. Their milk crates are the same strong crate used at dairies, which are also among the first products that are sold at their store.
3. Home Depot
Don’t forget to check at the nearest Home Depot in your area because they also sell heavy-duty milk crates that you can get for $11.98.
You can buy black industrial grade milk crates at Target for $7.99, and if you are looking for colorful alternatives they also have other storage crates for as low as $4 each.
From all the shops on this list, Walmart offers the cheapest milk crates out there starting at $7.17 each. And they also offer free delivery on orders $35 and up.
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What Can You Do With Used Milk Crates?
Milk crates can be stacked flawlessly, so they are perfect as storage containers pretty much for anything that you can think of – stuffed toys, records, perishable goods, and so on. These crates also have sturdy handles, so they can help move items, especially if one is transferring to a new house or apartment.
If you are looking for more inspiration on what you can do with your milk crates, feel free to check out these amazing milk crate ideas on Pinterest.
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The Bottom Line
Procuring milk crates isn’t simple as simply getting them outside of stores. If you want to be on the safe side, it’s better to just buy cheap milk crates from the sites and places that I’ve mentioned above. I’m sure you don’t want to deal with the fines and other penalties that come with milk crate theft.
If you are looking for other craft-related and household freebies, I suggest that you don’t miss my articles on how to get free household products, free craft supplies, free bath bombs, and free magazines.