You’re only going to use them once, so what if you could find boxes for free? No, it won’t be a one-stop-shop for your packing and moving supplies. Be willing to invest a little time into gathering your boxes, and you’ll be ready to start packing soon enough!

1. Grocery stores – With recycling movements in full swing, you’ll have to be on top of this to actually get the boxes. Most grocery stores immediantly break down and press/bundle the boxes once a shipment is received and shelved. Ask your local grocery stores what day deliveries are and ask them to hold boxes. Be prompt afterwards when picking up the saved boxes so they don’t get recycled before you come.

2. ABC stores – Since the boxes are small, this won’t do for all your boxes but liquor stores generally have loooots of boxes and are happy for you to take a couple carloads! Downside: your friends might think you really drank all those boxes and boxes of alcohol.

3. Craigslist – Check the free section, housing or services – if they aren’t free, make a new listing stating your need. Many people are just happy for you to pickup their moving boxes and put them to get use!

4. Facebook groups – If you aren’t already a member, find your local yardsale or community groups. Search the group for boxes. No luck? Make a post and see who might be willing to pass along their boxes to your moving cause!

5. Barnes & Noble – New books are delivered each week – in boxes, surprise! Why not stop in and ask for some of those? They’re bound to be heavy-duty ones.

6. Panera Bread – Do you have any idea how much food is delivered every week packaged in various sized, sturdy boxes? If you don’t have a Panera in your town, any coffee shop or restaurant would also work. Stop in ahead of time and ask them to hold boxes. Perhaps find out when their next food delivery is going to be and ask to come the following day. They’ll be grateful you’re keeping boxes out of the dumpster!

7. FreeCycle.org – Join your local group, and see if anyone has free boxes. This entire website is a non-profit effort to allow communities to share free things with each other – talk about practical recycling!

8. Pharmacy – Go into your local Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid, or other pharmacy store and ask for boxes. Don’t have any? Ask what day they get their shipments and offer to come later that day or the next. If you can help them keep boxes out of their dumpster, it saves them money AND who doesn’t like to help the recycling movement?!

9. Your workplace – this seems obvious, right? Even if your department doesn’t deal with shipments, somewhere at work there are boxes. Ask around – if your coworkers are willing to set aside boxes for a couple weeks, this could be a huge start to your moving boxes collection. Every little bit helps!