Ask Tess: Should I buy 5-gallon buckets from a bakery?

Dear Tess,

There is a donut shop here in our town, they are selling [5 gallon buckets] for $3 a piece… so I thought I could buy new lids for them, and see if I could find a way to keep the food fresh. 

Thank you so much for your time Tess.




If the buckets previously held food or are considered food grade containers, then I would jump at the opportunity to buy these at such a low cost.  A typical food grade container retails for $6.  You are getting a great deal when purchasing them at a 50% discount.

I would shy away from purchasing containers that previously held brined food in it such as olives and pickles as the smell and flavor are very hard to wash out of .

Ensure that you wash the container thoroughly and follow proper food storage guidelines.  Typically, a food grade container has a #2 by the recycle symbol or the acronymn ”HDPE” stamp on the bottom (HPDE stands for “high density polyethylene”). Before any food is to be stored, clean the containers with soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly. When I store my food, I use a multi-barrier approach to protect the food for the long term.

Thanks again for your question.


The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published October 28th, 2013
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