My family has been traveling so much this summer. We’ve been to the beach several times and several other day trips. With a family of 6- we almost always pack drinks, lunch and snacks because just a single stop at the convenience store for drinks can be over $12! Fast Food and sit down dining is out of the question most trips- drive thru alone is over $30!
My ice maker doesn’t make enough ice to keep a cooler cold so we had been paying for bags of ice. That seems inexpensive but it adds up quickly and then we had less room in the cooler for the drinks and food. PLUS then we have a cooler full of water that we have to drain and dry before storing.
Then we realized that we were putting bottles of water and other drinks in ice to chill them – why didn’t we just freeze them? So we’ve been doing that all summer and it’s been awesome. It keeps any food we have cold PLUS by the time we reach our destination- the water has begun to thaw and we’ve got ice cold drinks.
And when we get home- it’s easy to clean out the cooler because there isn’t a lot of water in the cooler.
(There has been a rumor being passed around that freezing water bottles is bad and releases chemicals into the water. Several reliable sources on dioxins have stated that freezing the water in the plastic bottles does not cause any issues. Sources: Johns Hopkins University Canadian Cancer Society and Food Safety Magazine . Note: I am not a scientist or a doctor.)
I LOVE my soft sided cooler because it’s so easy to store and clean!
We now keep several bottles of water in the freezer all the time so we’re ready for spur of the moment trips!
One word of caution: Water bottles have gotten thinner and thinner over the years- if you drop the frozen bottle of water the plastic may crack and you’ll find yourself with a leaky frozen bottle – learned that the hard way! So be careful packing them in the cooler!