I don't know if this is where I need to post this or not.
When I've needed buckets for my gardening and yard work in the past, I've gone to Sonic and gotten pickle buckets from them for free. I always had a tough time getting the pickle smell out, but the price was definitely right!! Sadly, my local Sonic no longer gets their pickles in a bucket, so my "free bucket" source was gone!
While in my local grocery store, I stopped by the deli and asked about their pickle buckets. The lady said that they got their pickles in a bag. I thanked her and turned to walk away.
"What do you need buckets for?" she asked. I told her that I wanted them for storing honey, picking vegetables, and other gardening purposes.
She asked, "Would you like 5-gallon or 2.5-gallon buckets?" I told her that I'd love to have both.
Then, she asked me how many I wanted. I told her that I'd love to have about a dozen of the 5-gallon and as many 2.5-gallon ones as I could get my hands on.
"A dozen 5-gallon buckets," she said. "That will take a while. We average emptying only 1 to 3 per day. And, we only go through about 3 or 4 of the 2.5-gallon buckets per day. But, you are welcome to what I can collect for you. And if you don't mind cleaning them out yourself, they won't cost you anything."
Since I knew that they served fried foods, I figured that the buckets would be filled with old grease from the fryers and it would be a pain to clean them out. But, then it dawned on me what kind of daily quantity she had quoted me and I thought surely that would be way too many for grease drippings.
"I'm sure I won't mind cleaning them out. But, what is or was in them? And, can I get any lids for them?" I asked.
"Cake icing, and you can have all the lids if you want them," she said.
So, I'm getting food grade plastic buckets and lids, just for hauling them off and cleaning them out!! From Brushy Mountain Bee Supply , those food grade plastic buckets and lids are $6.50 each plus shipping!!! All totaled, that dozen 5-gallon buckets would cost me around $100.00!! I think I can haul them off and clean the icing out cheaper than that!!!!!
I've said all that so say this. If you need a few 5-gallon or 2.5-gallon buckets, check with your local grocers's deli or local confectioner shop. You just might be able to get food grade plastic buckets with lids just for hauling them off and cleaning them out!!