Milk crates are not just sturdy, but it is also among the most versatile things you can try your hands on. From storage to transportation, you can do various things with these crates. But what if I tell you that there are now ways available to get free milk crates these days? Yes, it is very much possible.
Made of HDPE, milk crates are quite costly, mainly due to the high demand. However, you can collect spare crates from your friends and family members for free. Besides, you can also collect it from grocery and convenience stores.
However, these are not all, as there are several other ways to get these crates for free. Besides, there are several such companies exist that can give crates at a lower price. But, before we dive deep, let’s understand the usage of milk crates.
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What Can You Do With Used Milk Crates?
Milk crates are primarily used to store and transport packaged and bottled milk. However, you can make some money-making crafts to sell online with these milk crates as well.
Besides, there was a trend called the “Milk Crate Challenge” on TikTok a few years ago. Due to the size and sturdiness, you can use milk crates for various storage purposes, such as perishable goods, vegetables, old stuff, and even plush toys.
Besides, you can also use these crates as a storage and transport unit when you shift to your new house.
How Much Does A Milk Crate Cost?
While looking for used milk crates near me, I didn’t have any idea about the prices of milk crates. However, I got an idea about the price range of these crates after surfing through various companies that sell milk crates.
On a different note, you can also now make money without a job if you are good at craft and can make various decorative items with milk crates.
And for that, you can purchase milk crates in bulk quantities for as low as just $2/crate from online platforms like Alibaba. Typically, you can get a high-quality and sturdy milk crate for $10 to $12 apiece.
However, if you are looking for a cheaper alternative, you can get it even within $5, although the quality can be compromised. Besides, you can also get milk crates from dollar stores for just $1.
14 Ways To Get Free Milk Crates In 2023
Although many companies deal with milk crates, not every company will give them to you for free.
However, we have found 14 such options from where you can easily get free milk crates. So, without wasting any time, let’s know about these platforms.
1. Ask Your Friends And Family
For a very long time, we have been using milk and other discarded plastic crates for storage purposes and for various DIY projects.
So, many people tend to have a collection of crates for their personal use. So, before you look elsewhere, ask your friends and family members if they have crates.
You can also visit your relative’s places and search for discarded crates in their backyards and garage. Besides, you can also tag your family members and friends on social media to know if they have any milk crates with them.
2. Ask Your Retailer
If you are looking for cheap milk crates in your locality, you must contact your retailer first before trying else.
However, it is absolutely illegal and will be considered theft if you take any crate from storage and loading areas without the proper permission of the respective authority.
But most retailers often have spare crates with them. So, if you contact them and give the right price, it is highly unlikely that your retailer won’t give you a crate. And if you purchase multiple crates from them, you can also get a few for free.
3. Grocery Stores
Most grocery stores nowadays also sell packaged milk. And for that, they also use milk crates. However, they also keep some spare crates with them.
So, you can ask your local grocery stores to know if they have any spare milk or plastic crates with them. Many grocery stores will also give the milk crates for free, as these crates often remain unused in the grocery stores.
On a different note, grocery stores are not just a buying place nowadays, as you can get high-paying food delivery driver jobs from these stores as well.
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4. Convenience Stores
Like your nearby grocery stores, you should also ask your local convenience stores to know if they have any spare crates or not.
And if they have it, they might give it to you for free. If they have any storage issues, you are definitely going to get free milk crates from them.
These stores mainly use these crates for storage and delivery purpose. So, if you make any bulk purchases from these stores, you may ask them to get those delivered in a crate. And in that way, you can have a free crate in your inventory.
5. Ask A Restaurant
Restaurants are among the primary buyer groups of milk in large quantities, as they use it for various purposes like making cheese and cream and for cooking as well.
And for that, they take bulk supplies from milk processing units that mainly deliver milk in large crates. So, it is better to ask your local restaurants if they have any spare crates to give to you.
However, you need to make sure that you get permission from the owner or the manager of the restaurant rather than from any regular employee on the premises.
6. Major Retail Chains
Not every major retail chain, such as Walmart or Target, has used milk crates for sale, as these chains usually don’t sell milk.
However, they use similar types of plastic crates for storage and delivery purpose. Besides, they also sell other items that come in crates.
If you have any retail chain store near to your place, you can give them a visit to know if they have any spare crates. Even if it is not available for free, you can get them at a much lower price than the current market rate.
7. Milk Processing Factories
Who will have the best stock of milk crates other than the milk processing units? Yes, milk processing and delivery units should be your go-to place if you need milk crates.
However, not every processing unit will give you free crates, especially if they have any branding on those crates.
So, it is better to visit a local processing unit to know if they have any spare crates. Besides, you can also contact the recycling unit of the processing plant to know if they have any crates lined up for future recycling.
8. Search For Local Buying Groups
You are not the only one who is searching for milk crates, as it has a considerable consumer base. Many people use it for storage and DIY projects.
And for they, they even form local groups to communicate between them. So, before trying anything else, you should search for those groups.
You can start searching for your local groups on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Telegram. Besides, you can also check with your local community center to know if they have any knowledge about these groups in your locality.
9. Garage Sales
We have indulged in garage sales during our childhood days, isn’t it? Not just various daily items, you can even get some amazing things at lower prices from these garage sales.
However, you need to keep a sharp eye on all the garage sales happening in your area to broaden your chance.
It is also better to visit the garage sales at the end of the day when they are about to close. And if you hit the right time, you can get milk crates at a much lower cost, and even for free sometimes.
10. Thrift stores
Without any doubt, thrift stores are the place where you can get all the items that you need at a much lower price.
And in most cases, items in thrift stores mostly remain in mint condition. Many of these stores also sell milk crates at lower prices.
So, it is better to pay a visit to your nearby thrift store to know if they have any free crates to offer. However, thrift stores are not the only place to buy items, as these stores often offer part-time weekend jobs to talented individuals.
11. Look For Ads On Craigslist
You can often see ads like used milk crates for sale on Craigslist. If someone doesn’t want to keep a stack of crates in their backyard, they often post ads on Craigslist to get rid of them.
So, you should regularly check your local segment of this website to know about any options.
And the best thing about this website is that it will only connect you to local sellers. So, you don’t need to travel much to collect your milk crates. Besides, there are now several sites like Craigslist also available where you can get similar opportunities.
12. Find It On Freecycle
Freecycle is a website where you can find various groups where they exchange or trade items with each other.
Besides, you can also buy any item from those groups through a hand-to-hand deal. So, if you are looking for free milk crates, you better start your hunt from this website.
Using this platform is pretty easy, as you need to first open a free account. And then, you should enter your location to know if any group is active in your area. If yes, you can join those groups to get milk crates at a much lower price.
13. Online Marketplaces
Not just Craigslist or Freecycle, there are several other online marketplaces also available where you can buy or sell used milk crates.
So, it is better to start your quest from Facebook, as you can easily search local groups that deal with milk and other plastic crates. You can also post an ad on the Facebook marketplace to get local responses.
Besides, you can also try other platforms, such as Twitter and IG, to connect with your followers and ask them if they have any free crates to offer. Besides, you can join your local WhatsApp groups as well.
14. Catering Companies
Most catering companies use milk crates to transport milk, cream, and other packaged items.
Even if they don’t use it for that purpose, most catering companies use crates for storage. And if they have any spare plastic crates with them, you can get them for free.
When I first looked for free milk crates near me, I first got to know about a catering company that deals with crates.
And if you are lucky enough, you may also find a catering company that can supply you with free milk crates. If you are not comfortable visiting them personally, you can also contact them over the phone.
11 Best Places To Buy Milk Crates Near Me
It is pretty challenging to get free milk crates nowadays, mainly due to rising demand.
However, there are several such websites available where you can purchase milk crates at a lower price. So, here are the top 11 websites from where you can buy one.
15. Milk Crates Direct
If you are looking for milk crates at an unbelievable price, there is no better place than Milk Crates Direct.
The best thing about this company is that its milk crates are manufactured in the USA. So, you don’t need to worry about the quality aspect of these crates.
This company also sells milk crates in various different colors. So, you can get it according to your color preference. And you can get a milk crate for as low as $4.99. And if you take 6 crates at once, the bulk pack will cost you around $29.99.
16. The Container Store
Not just milk crates, but if you are looking for any type of containers or storage solutions, you must resort to this amazing company called The Container Store.
From large storage units to drawer organizers, you can get almost every kind of storage on this platform.
If you are looking for authentic heavy-duty milk crates, you can get them for as low as just $9.99. And if you purchase in bulk quantities, you may also get an additional discount.
However, crates can take a bit of time to reach your place, as they dispatch their crates from their central warehouse.
Walmart is not just among the most popular retail chains in the USA, but it is also among the best places from where you can get free milk crates during offer days.
This company often clears its stocks and storage units to save space. And you can take this opportunity.
However, you can also buy high-quality milk crates from Walmart for just $11, although the cheaper versions start from just $7.
And if you shop for more than $35, this company will give you free delivery to your house. You can also visit the stores physically to get instant deals.
18. Dollar Tree
Dollar Tree is the pioneering dollar store that primarily operates in the United States. It has a strong network in the USA, from where you can get anything under just $1.
No matter what you’ll take from these stores, you’ll get it for just $1, which is the best thing about this company.
However, not every Dollar Tree store sells milk crates. So, it is better to call your local Dollar Tree store beforehand to check their inventory. And if they have it in their stock, you can get milk crates for just $1.
19. The Home Depot
From wardrobe to storage units, you can get all the house supplies from this fantastic company called Home Depot.
It has hundreds of franchises throughout the United States from where you can buy household and decorative items at an affordable price.
You can get premium quality milk crates from Home Depot for just $8.98. And during any offer days, you can even get it at a much lesser price. But yes, you do need to visit the stores physically to buy milk crates, as this company doesn’t generally deliver to home.
Target is undoubtedly one of the most popular retail chains in the USA, from where you can buy various items at a lower price.
And if you are looking for free milk crates, you can also visit your nearby Target store. These stores often clear their stock to clear their inventory.
And during that time, they often give milk crates for free. But, even if you want to buy one, you can get it for just $7.99. And if you are looking for sturdy plastic crates, you can get them from Target for as low as just $4.
There is no doubt that Amazon is the largest and most popular eCommerce platform in the world right now.
From rugs to fashion accessories, you can get almost anything on this brilliant platform. And if you are looking for milk crates, it is also among the go-to place.
You can buy premium milk crates for just $8.75 on Amazon. However, you can also get these crates at a much lower price during offer days, such as Prime Day or Black Friday sales.
On a different note, there are now even ways available to make money on Amazon.
eBay is not just among the most popular eCommerce platforms, but it is also known as the most trusted auctioning site on the planet.
And you can purchase almost anything from this site. Besides the new one, you can also buy recycled and refurbished crates from this platform.
You can get high-quality milk crates for just $4 or less. And if you visit the auction center of this website, you can also see there are hundreds of crates listed there. You just need to bid the right price and get the crates from the auction.
Alibaba is not exactly a traditional eCommerce platform, but it is actually a marketplace for retailers.
So, if you are looking to buy milk crates in large quantities, you must resort to this website. And not just crates; you can buy varieties of items in bulk from this site.
If you can connect to the right manufacturer, you can even get milk crates for just $2 a piece when you purchase those in bulk. However, this website can take time to deliver the crates to your place, as it mainly operates from China.
24. Tractor Supply
Not exactly milk crates, but you can buy sturdy plastic crates that can effectively serve your purpose from this incredible platform called the Tractor Supply.
It is mainly an eCommerce platform for items needed on farms. However, you can get various types of storage units from this company as well.
You can get premium plastic crates for just $6.99 or less, although it has a cheaper variant as well. And if you make bulk orders, you can even get an additional discount. However, it can take up to 15 days for the crates to reach your place.
Cabela’s is an eCommerce platform and a one-stop shop for outdoor activities.
From hunting to fishing, from hiking to camping, you can get almost every item needed in any outdoor activities right on this platform. And you can also get free milk crates from this company as well.
This company sells crates that are not just sturdy but can carry enough weight. And if you want to purchase one, you can get a milk crate for just $7.99. And during the offer days, you can even get it for less than $5.
Are Milk Crates Illegal To Own?
No, according to the current law in the United States, owning crates is not illegal, even if you buy them in bulk quantities.
However, it is absolutely illegal to steal those and also illegal if you take them from somewhere without taking any permission.
Even just a few years ago, milk processing companies tended to bear losses as many of their milk crates got stolen. And after that, strict regulation is formed to eliminate any chance of stealing.
So, you must make sure that you purchase the milk crates with the proper receipt. And even if you take it from somewhere, don’t forget to take proper permission.
What Will Happen If You Steal Milk Crates?
Losing milk crates is the biggest problem in the dairy industry. And you may not believe it, but the dairy industry losses around 25 million milk crates each year, according to a recent report by DairyFoods.
And if you calculate in actual price, the losses can surge to $100 million each year. So, the US government and law enforcement agencies are now taking serious steps to minimize these losses.
And you can’t take any milk crate from anywhere without proper permission and can consider that as free milk crates. If you do so, it will also be considered theft.
Depending on the state you are currently living in, the penalty for stealing milk crates can broadly vary. However, the fine imposed can vary between $200 to $1000 in most states.
But several states in the USA have even stricter laws. According to the 1987 Pennsylvania Law Act, stealing milk crates can result in a $300 fine or up to 90 days of imprisonment.
Milk crates are amazingly versatile, and you can use them for various purposes, not just for storage. These crates are also amazing if you are planning a DIY project.
However, you shouldn’t steal milk crates from anywhere, as there are strict laws and regulations. So, these are all that you need to know about free milk crates.
But, if you think we have missed any platform, or if you know about any other platform to get free crates, feel free to drop your suggestions and feedback in the comment box below.
Do milk crates still exist?
Yes, even in the era of packaged food products, milk crates still exist. And these crates are primarily used to store and transport packaged or bottled milk.
However, these crates are immensely versatile. And you can make storage units and use them in various DIY projects. You can even use these crates for gardening.
How much weight will a milk crate support?
It will largely depend on the quality of the milk crates. A typical 4-gallon milk crate that comes in a 13” x 13” x 11” size can hold up to 50 pounds.
Besides, if you can get a bigger milk crate, it can even carry up to 100 lbs. And there are several sturdy plastic crates also available which can hold even more.
What do grocery stores do with milk crates?
Grocery stores mainly use milk crates to store and transport dairy products, such as milk, cream, and cheese.
However, grocery stores often use these crates for transporting other chilled products. And I’ve also seen several stores that keep these crates for storage purposes.
Why are milk crates so expensive?
High-quality milk crates are primarily made of high-density polyethylene that can only be derived from petroleum.
So, depending on the global price of petrol, the cost of HDPE can also fluctuate, thus making milk crates expensive. However, you can get these crates at a lower price if you purchase them in bulk quantities.
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