Frugal or Crazy: Save Water & Money by Recycling Ice

Clean bags of ice ready to go for next weekend. No more trips to the convenience store for overpriced ice.

Once summer hits, my family turns to boating. That means bringing a large ice chest full of food and drinks on board. For years, we’ve made ice plus bought ice to the tune of $2 bucks a bag at times (depending where we get it–if we are desperate, we head to the marina or a convenience store — ridiculous, but if we planned ahead, it’s cheaper at the grocery store). The ice we make in our freezer is never enough to fill the chest, that’s why we have to buy more.

I guess the frugal bug bit me harder than usual because I came up with the brilliant idea of recycling ice (made and bought) so we can forgo the $16 a month purchase, which is sometimes more if we buy two bags at a time–remember, ice is expensive in Fairfield, CT. Some of you will think I’m crazy, others will think “smart.” My husband thinks it’s “smart,” but he’s just as penny-pinching as I am (in order to keep our beloved boat afloat). Just remember….it all adds up and every penny counts!

Here’s what I do:

I get out my recycled bread bags, my big slotted spoon, and I scoop up the “used” ice from the emptied-out ice chest into the bags, close them up and store them in the freezer till the weekend. Easy as that. Takes five minutes to scoop versus five seconds to dump “used” ice on our lawn. (This recycled ice, however, is NOT for putting into drinks, however. It’s just to fill up an ice chest.)

The result: bags of ice that look just like the $2 buck bags at the store…sort of :–)

~Marilyn, TFF