Free Milk Crates: A Guide To Getting Them Near You

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Milk crates are handy for home organization, décor pieces, storage, simple bookcases, or small-scale veggie and herb planters. However, milk crates are unexpectedly expensive at over $15 per crate. You’ll need to be extra careful of how you get your hands on them – there are legitimate laws that make it illegal to take these crates without valid permission.


Fortunately, the golden rule of asking can score you several free milk crates for your DIY home projects. So, let’s find out how below!

Key Takeaways

  • Ask for free milk crates at the local grocery or convenience store. They might have a pile of milk crates available that they do not use.
  • Make rounds at local restaurants, cafés, or caterers and ask if they have any unused milk crates available that they are willing to give you.
  • Many manufacturers or factories receive their supplies in plastic crates similar to milk crates. Consider asking them if they have any free milk crates available.
  • Check online marketplaces for free milk crates that people want to get rid of; this method may take a little patience, but you might find what you need. Online places like Craigslist or Facebook marketplace have specific sections where individuals get rid of old items and offer them freely.

Table of Contents

Where To Get Free Milk Crates For Free?

It’s illegal to take milk crates lying outside stores. The dairy industry loses millions of milk crates and dollars annually due to milk crate theft. However, you can get your hands on these crates without paying a penny by asking or looking in the right places.

Ask for free milk crates at the following places near you.

Your Local Grocery Store

Your local grocery store is the ideal place to find free milk crates.


Supermarkets or grocery stores have milk delivered daily in plastic or wooden milk crates. Although they reuse many of these crates, they may be willing to give some milk crates away if they start to pile up in their storage rooms.

Play it safe by asking the manager directly, as many of the employees may not be aware that the crates are needed at a later stage.

The milk crates may need a quick rinse at home before use, but they are usually in pretty good condition.

The Convenience Store

Again, convenience stores also sell milk. So, they receive milk deliveries in crates similar to grocery stores. Unfortunately, many delivery guys leave some of the milk crates behind.

While convenient stores generally use these crates for storage purposes, they might have a couple of extra milk crates lying around that they are willing to give away.

Please ensure that the person you ask for the free milk crates has legal rights to give them away before removing them from their premises.


Restaurants Or Cafes

Although restaurants and cafes do not receive the same volume of milk as grocery or convenience stores, the chances are pretty good that they may have a handful of milk crates lying around.

First, go to a café or restaurant you frequently visit – businesses are more inclined to support loyal customers. However, many of these local eateries already have a list of requests. So, feel free to ask around at the other restaurants too.

Caterers Near You

Consider asking for free milk crates at a catering company near you.

Caterers often use milk crates to transport goods from their primary location to the event. Whether they buy or collect these crates over time, they may have excess that they do not need.

You can either ask the caterers for their leftover crates or where they are sourcing their milk crates to simplify your hunt for these versatile boxes.

Always be sure that the person giving you the milk crates has the right to do so to prevent third-party issues and fines farther down the road.

Manufacturers Or Factories

Manufacturers, factories, and similar industrial companies may have crates available.


Many other manufacturers receive or store their supplies in plastic containers identical to milk crates. These companies may have containers available that they no longer use.

It doesn’t hurt to do a few rounds asking whether these factories have free crates available.


Craigslist typically sells products; however, many people use platforms like Craigslist to get rid of household items they no longer use.

Post a message on Craigslist stating that you are interested, then wait for someone to respond directly to your message. Everyone isn’t willing to give their old items away for free, but the milk crates could be listed for a low price. 

This method requires some patience and if you are lucky enough to find them, double-check to ensure that the milk crates aren’t stolen (if the original brand name is scraped off, it’s best to leave them as scraping the name off is illegal).

Facebook Marketplace

The Facebook marketplace has a buy-nothing section where people can clean out old household items and offer them free.

You can always write a message requesting free milk crates or wait for someone to say they are giving milk crates away for free – the latter may require a lot of patience!

Ask Family & Friends For Free Milk Crates

Using milk crates for DIY projects and storage is not a new trend; people have been using them for years! So, you can always ask your family and friends if they have any unused milk crates lying around at home.

Alternatively, ask your friends to lend an ear to available milk crates from dairies no longer in business or other individuals who aren’t using the milk crates anymore.


Here are some related questions about where you can get milk crates for free.

Can I Get Free Milk Crates Online?

While free milk crates aren’t always freely available online, you can search Craigslist or your local Facebook marketplace for milk crates that people get rid of or sell at meager prices.

Is It Illegal To Take Free Milk Crates?

Taking milk crates for personal use without permission is milk crate theft. The milk crates stacked outside stores aren’t left out as garbage. Instead, this is the system dairies and stores follow to return the milk crates for future use.

However, when the owner or manager permits you to take the milk crates for free, you can use them freely.

Can I Get Free Milk Crates On Amazon?

While Amazon can offer milk crates at low prices, the chances are low that you’ll be able to access them for free.

Consider buying the milk crates in bulk for discount prices, but pay attention to how much it is per unit, some vendors do not actually offer savings.

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