Five-gallon buckets are cheap, easy to get and one of the most useful items to have at your home or bug out location. Personally, I always try to keep extra buckets on hand. My buckets are mostly food grade, but I have some non-food grade that I mark and save for other uses. Here is a link to a post that will tell you how to identify food grade buckets Food Grade Buckets and Why You Need Them.
Uses for five-gallon buckets
- Storing food, used with Mylar bags, they are one of the best ways to store large amounts of dried foods such as grains, legumes, sugars or dehydrated foods. Sealing Food in Five Gallon Buckets is an Important Skill for Preppers
- Storing water, They are good containers for water storage. Just don’t stack them over three high or you may find that the ones on the bottom will fail over time.
- Washing laundry by hand. This is a job no one wants. But if you use a five gallon bucket with a Mobile Washer or a plunger if will be much easier. Washing Clothes by hand
- Emergency toilet, a five gallon bucket, some plastic bags to line the bucket, toilet paper and a seat from your toilet and you have a useable toilet. Store some lime or use wood ash to help keep the odor down. Use a colored bucket or mark it well so it doesn’t get used for other purposes later on. Sanitation and the use of Bucket Toilets
- Storing extension cords. With long extension, cords just coil them up in the bottom of the bucket and they aren’t all tangled up.
- A trash can
- Collect rainwater. Put buckets at the bottom of your gutters and use the water to wash clothes or water your garden. Rainwater Collecting can Provide Water for Drinking an Other Uses
- A water filtration system. Here is an example of how to make a bucket Berkey. An Inexpensive Water Filter the Bucket Berkey
- Use to store pet and animal food.
- A five-gallon bucket can make a good planter if you have little yard space.
- Washing dishes
- Coal/charcoal storage, both coal and charcoal need to be kept dry. Both of them are subject to spontaneous ignition under the right conditions when damp.
- A plant starter. If you live in colder climates and want to get your garden started as early as possible, you can start your seeds in buckets. Keep them indoors at night to protect your seedlings from the cold. As the weather warms up put them outside in the ground.
- A chicken nesting box. If you mount them on their side and install a perch they can work well as a nesting box.
- A trash compactor. To save space use two five-gallon buckets as a trash compacter. Simply put the trash in one bucket, then put the other bucket in the first one and push it down with your foot. This will halve the space taken up by your trash.
All of these ideas are pretty simple and are really just common sense. There are literally hundreds of uses for five-gallon buckets from making mousetraps to fire fighting. Acquire a few extra buckets you will never regret it.