_No Buckets Here

Many preppers store their goods in five-gallon buckets with tight lids. I don't. I prefer to use oversize tin canisters instead, of the sort that holiday popcorn or dog food come in. I don't have anything against five-gallon buckets; if you've got a supply of them, then by all means go ahead and use them. But I'll stick to tin canisters for several reasons.
First of all is the ease of securing a supply. To get a steady supply of food-grade buckets with good lids, you either need to know someone in the restaurant industry who can hand them over to you for free, or you must be willing to pay about five bucks for them at Home Depot or some other hardware store. I don't know anyone in the restaurant industry and have never felt comfortable asking some restaurant manager for his  leftover food buckets. And I'm a budget prepper so paying five bucks for a bucket - when five bucks will also buy me ten pounds of rice - is out of the question.

Tin canisters, by contrast, come to me easily, effortlessly, and cheaply. I find them at thrift shops and garage sales constantly, in a steady reliable stream. People receive holiday popcorn at Christmas, and by New Year's a whole slew of those tins will be on the shelves at the junk shop for 50 cents each. Therefore, I can buy ten tin cans for the price of one plastic bucket.

Another reason I prefer big cans over big buckets is because when a five-gallon bucket is packed full of anything, no matter what it is: candy canes, soap, mashed potatoes, pancake mix, candles, or wheat, that bucket is too heavy for me to lift. Sure, I could ask my husband to haul that 40-pound bucket of dried corn to the crawlspace for me, but my husband is not a prepper and dislikes being saddled with such chores. As much as possible, I try to keep my prepping under his radar anyway, so I endeavor to accomplish all of my prepping chores from start to finish when he's not around to lecture me on what a waste of time this is. I need containers that I can carry around on my own without giving myself a hernia.

Then, too, if bugging-out ever becomes an absolute necessity, I want my supplies stored in containers that a single person can carry on their own, just for the ease of packing up and heading out. I don't want to have to delegate two-person teams to carry every single overloaded bucket.

Tin canisters have tight lids and are resistant to rust and decay if stored in a dry environment. They are sturdy enough to be stacked one atop another all the way to the ceiling. They are mouse-proof, moth-proof, and moisture-proof. After the collapse, they can serve as water containers, toilets, or stoves. They're cheap and readily available.
If you've got a ready supply of buckets, good for you! If you don't -- check out your local thrift shop. I bet you a bucket of powdered milk you'll find what you need there.

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