Penny Pinching – Cooler Ice

My in-laws have a river lot and my family and I like to go there for “weekend camp outs” quite often.  It is a cheap weekend getaway and really relaxing.  One of the things that we were constantly running into was the cooler was running out of ice.  This would involve driving the the store (using gas) and buying a few bags of ice per day.

I discovered that I was making a few mistakes.  First off, I was putting hot drinks in the cooler and then putting my ice on top of them.  This was causing my ice to melt at a rapid speed.  To correct this problem, I just put the drinks in the fridge a day or so in advance ( Got them in the pantry because I buy them when they are on sale) and then put the cold drinks in the cooler.

The ice - I told you we were going to get to pinching pennies.  Although it probably doesn’t amount to more than $20 a weekend by the time you factor in the gas and ice for restocking the cooler.  But.. $20 is $20.

The Trick- We save water bottles or 2 liter bottles once we have finished drinking them.  These bottles are refilled with water and put away in the freezer.  Depending on what size cooler I am carrying, I put between 1-3 two liter bottles that have been frozen in the fridge in the cooler.  Then, I just empty the ice from our ice maker in the fridge and I am good to go.

Using this method, I can keep an entire cooler of drinks cold all weekend long.  Usually the cooler still has quite a bit of ice in it when we get back home.

Obviously, it would depend on the duration of your trip, but for a weekend getaway or a day at the zoo.  This is the way to go.  It not only saves you some money, your drinks will be ice cold.