Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Keeping Food Cold In A Cooler

I got to thinking yesterday after I posted my (not so famous) Potato Salad recipe, that Memorial Day is just around the corner. At our house that is the official start of summer. So, I thought, it would be fun to post a few more ideas and hints to get the summer started.

If your lifestyle is like mine, summer means an endless entourage of church picnics, family get togethers, family trips, camp outs, and block parties (maybe I am a party animal and I just don't know it). It seems like I am constantly dragging around a cooler full of perishables and beverages. I hate, hate, hate filling my cooler with crushed or blocked ice (especially if things have to sit for awhile). It's no fun so stick your hand in icy water to retrieve an item (not a fan of soggy paper and plastic packages, either).

I have an endless supply of half gallon and gallon plastic juice containers (filled with water for an emergency.....like when Dear Hubby turns the water off to fix the dripping shower problem, and breaks the faucet cartridge off in the wall. A fifteen minute repair job that took six and a half hours. Of, course everyone has to potty, and is dying of thirst five minutes after the water is shut off.). Every spring I take a few of the jugs, wash them out, and fill them 3/4 full of water (remember water expands as it freezes. If you fill your jug to full the ice will split it open.). I put them in the freezer in the garage (this is a double bonus, because by now my freezer is starting to empty out. The jugs fill it back up making the freezer much more energy efficient). When they are frozen they make the best ( and least messiest way) to keep food and drinks cold in your cooler. Plus, as the ice melts you have ice water to drink, and/ or wash sticky faces and hands (because you forgot the baby wipes.....again). After you have used them; simply rinse them out, refill, and freeze for next time.


  1. That makes perfect sense! We have empty water jugs and available space in our garage fridge/freezer. Next time I need *ice* for the cooler, I will be ready ... thanks for the idea!!!

  2. Thanks! I love this idea! I always forget to buy ice and I hate trying to keep everything from getting soggy. So thanks for the perfect frugal solution!!



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