Where to get free milk crates near me (2024)

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You might seek free milk crates if you’re into home organization or want to start an herb garden. Milk crates are handy for storage, organization, and repurposing.

However, finding free milk crates can be tough since many companies still use them regularly. It’s important to acquire them legally. Here are some ideas to help you get free or cheap milk crates.

Where to find milk crates

Here are five top spots to snag free milk crates. But remember, seeing a milk crate in a store doesn’t mean it’s free to take.

Some stores empty crates but reuse them later. Always ask before grabbing one. And if you’re looking to buy, some stores offer great prices on milk crates. Keep reading to find out!

1. Grocery stores

You can save money and even get free items from grocery stores.

Grocery stores often have extra plastic crates lying around. While they might not give away everything they have, sometimes these crates pile up. If they have extras, you can snag some for free.

These plastic crates usually just need a quick rinse before they’re good to go. Make sure to ask the store manager if it’s okay to take them. Some employees might overlook the fact that the crates are still required.

2. Convenience stores

Convenience stores receive deliveries like grocery stores, often resulting in leftover plastic crates.

While the store may utilize some for storage, they usually have surplus. Rather than discarding them, they might be happy to provide you with the extra plastic crates.

3. Restaurants

If you’re looking for milk crates, try asking at local restaurants. Even though they don’t use as much milk as grocery or convenience stores, they might have some extra crates lying around. If you often visit a nearby restaurant, it’s a good idea to start your search there. Restaurants often prioritize helping their regular customers.

Many restaurants receive numerous requests for milk crates. Try getting on a waitlist for the next available ones. It might even be worth treating an employee to lunch as a thank you.

4. A Caterer near you

Caterers often use crates to transport items from their kitchen to events. They might buy crates or accumulate them gradually. Sometimes, they end up with extra crates they don’t need.

If you encounter a caterer with no extra crates, inquire where they get theirs. Asking simple questions can simplify your search for crates.

5. Craigslist

Craigslist is a prime spot for snagging freebies. It’s a hub where folks frequently post items they give away for nothing.

If you need crates, just put up a post expressing your interest, and folks might hit you up with free crates they’re willing to give away. If you don’t spot any for free, you might still find some going for a bargain.

Other places to get milk crates for free

Here are some places where you can get free or inexpensive milk crates:

6. Recycling centers: Many recycling centers offer unused milk crates for free or at a low cost.

7. Local dairies or dairy farms: Reach out to nearby dairies or dairy farms to inquire about available spare milk crates.

8. Restaurants or cafes: Some dining establishments receive deliveries in milk crates and may be willing to give them away.

9. Educational institutions: Universities, colleges, and schools often have surplus milk crates from deliveries they may be willing to share.

10. Online marketplaces: Websites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or Freecycle frequently list free or inexpensive milk crates.

11. Community bulletin boards: Check local store or library bulletin boards for postings offering free or affordable milk crates.

12. Thrift stores: Some thrift stores sell or give away milk crates received as donations.

13. Local grocery stores: Inquire at nearby grocery stores about damaged or unused milk crates they may be willing to part with.

14. Warehouse or distribution centers: Certain warehouses or distribution centers may have extra crates available and might give them away or sell them cheaply.

15. Industrial supply stores: Stores specializing in industrial or warehouse supplies often sell new or used milk crates.

16. Garage Sales: Sometimes, you can find milk crates for sale at garage sales.

Places to buy cheap milk crates

Now that we’ve discussed getting free milk crates, let’s explore where to buy them at a low cost. While free crates aren’t always available, finding affordable options is possible.

However, when shopping for milk crates, be cautious. Some sellers may offer them for $20 or more per crate, which is too high. Even heavy-duty crates shouldn’t cost that much.

Dollar Tree

Dollar Tree might not carry the usual heavy-duty milk crates you’re used to, but they offer excellent storage solutions. Whether you’re organizing a closet or a pantry, Dollar Tree has what you need at unbeatable prices, all items priced at just one dollar.

  • Prices begin at $1.00.
  • Check out prices here.

eBay

Some stores and suppliers sell surplus milk crates on eBay. It’s important to consider shipping costs before buying. eBay often offers good deals.

  • Prices begin at $3.88.
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Milk Crates Direct

Get milk crates delivered straight to your door with Milk Crates Direct. Choose from various styles and order in bulk for discounted rates.

  • Prices begin at $5.00.
  • Check out prices here.

Alibaba

Alibaba is a wholesale website offering discounted prices on various items. It provides access to a vast selection of products that frequently change.

While shipping may take a few weeks, Alibaba ensures delivery.

  • Prices begin at $2.00

Target

Target offers a variety of storage containers and milk crates, including stylish options that go beyond the traditional look.

Whether you’re aiming for fun styling or a well-organized home, Target has you covered with a wide selection. If your focus is on style, Target is likely your best choice.

  • Prices begin at $4.00.
  • Check out prices here.

Amazon

Amazon offers a wide selection of crates, but not all products on the platform necessarily offer the best deals.

While Amazon provides some great discounts, it’s wise to explore other websites to ensure you’re getting the most value. If you decide to buy from Amazon, be sure to compare prices with other retailers.

  • Prices begin at $8.75.

Home Depot

Check out Home Depot for a wide range of storage and organizational items available for purchase.

Home Depot offers top-notch shelving, bins, and totes, including affordable heavy-duty milk crates.

  • Prices begin at $5.98.
  • Check out prices here.

Walmart

Walmart offers various products, making it a one-stop shop for many household needs. Among its offerings are milk crates that are available in various styles and sizes.

  • Prices begin at $6.66.
  • Check out prices here.

Tractor Supply

Tractor Supply offers a surprising range of milk crates, ideal for storage in shops or barns. These crates, known for their durability, are perfect for items requiring ventilation due to their open design. Additionally, they are sturdy enough to support significant weight.

  • Prices begin at $6.99.

Cabelas

Cabela’s offers sturdy milk crates that are ideal for camping trips. While they may not be the cheapest option, their durability is impressive.

Watch for sales and coupons throughout the year to snag a great deal on Cabela’s milk crates.

  • Prices begin at $7.99.

Tips for saving money on milk crates

Now that you know where to buy or find free milk crates, here are some money-saving tips for getting them.

Buy in bulk

Buying products in larger quantities often leads to cost savings. For instance, when buying six or twelve milk crates, you could save some money compared to buying them individually.

Consider the price per crate rather than the total cost. Additionally, you can sell any extra crates you don’t need to recoup some of your expenses.

Ask around

Have you asked your friends and neighbors for extra milk crates? It’s another good way to get them besides checking local stores. They might have some extras lying around, especially if they own a small business or are reorganizing their space.

Just let them know what you need; you might score some milk crates without hassle.

Look for sales

Before making a purchase, it’s wise to seek out sales. You can often snag deals on milk crates through online saving apps like Rakuten or local store rewards.

Waiting for a chance to snag some sales before making your final purchase is beneficial.

Are milk crates illegal to own?

Owning milk crates is legal, but taking them without permission is illegal. Milk companies lose money each year due to stolen crates.

If you want crates for crafts or decor, make sure to get them legally.

What happens if you steal milk crates?

Stealing milk crates can lead to different consequences depending on where you are and the value of the crates. In certain states, taking something worth less than $950 is a misdemeanor; in others, it’s considered a felony.

You might face a fine or up to a year in jail for a misdemeanor. Felonies usually carry a sentence of more than a year in jail. If you’re caught taking milk crates from a store, you could also be charged with shoplifting, which has its penalties.

Before attempting milk crate theft, it’s important to weigh the potential risks involved.

What do schools do with milk crates?

Many schools utilize crates for storing textbooks, papers, and various materials and transporting items like art supplies and sports gear. Recently, some schools have repurposed crates to create seating areas in hallways or libraries.

Stacking crates and adding cushions provides students with a spot to study or unwind during breaks. Also, crates can be useful elements in craft projects or planters for small herbs and plants. The versatility of crates opens up numerous possibilities for enhancing school environments with a touch of creativity.

The bottom line

If you’re looking to get your hands on some free milk crates, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Firstly, it’s important to note that simply taking them from outside a store isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are various laws and regulations in place to prevent people from just taking them, and if you’re caught doing so without permission, you could face legal fines or other penalties.

To avoid any such trouble, you should always exercise caution and ask for permission before taking any milk crates. However, even if you do ask for permission, it’s important to double-check whether the crates actually belong to the store or a third-party company. In some cases, employees may not have the authority to give away crates that belong to a different company, even if they are located outside the store.

Therefore, it’s always a good idea to verify the ownership of the crates before taking them, to avoid any legal issues or misunderstandings. By being respectful and responsible, you can ensure that you get milk crates in a safe and legitimate manner.