Getting Food Home From the Grocery Store

Where we live, it's at least a 20 minute drive home from the closest grocery store. So it never fails, whenever I buy cold foods, they are warm by the time I get home, and frozen foods are melted. Plus all the other foods are rolling around the back end of the car. So I came up with a solution for both problems.

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For the foods rolling around, I got this idea from this site actually. Someone on ThriftyFun several years ago sent a tip in about keeping a laundry basket in the back of the car. Voila! No more rolling around!

And to keep my food from thawing out, I also keep a cooler in the back of the car. With it I keep large heavy duty trash bags. After shopping I put all the cold and frozen items into a trash bag and put it in the bottom of the cooler. Then my next stop is to buy some ice. I buy it at the store if they have it. If not, there is usually a place within a quarter mile or less to get it. I put it on top of my cold/frozen foods. This keeps them nice and cold and/or frozen until I can make it home and get them into the fridge/freezer.

If I happen to think of it earlier in the week, I will make up some extra ice at home and keep it in a trash bag in my chest freezer till shopping day.

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By Cricket from Parkton, NC

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August 16, 20110 found this helpful

Instead of wasting money on ice, I keep a couple of the reusable ice packs in my freezer and before I leave the house to go shopping I put them in the cooler. This cools the cooler before the food ever gets in the cooler and then I don't have to use plastic trash bags or have melted ice to contend with when I get home. My shopping trips usually take about 3 - 4 hours round trip and every thing stays cold the whole time.

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August 16, 20110 found this helpful

Why not keep a couple 1-liter bottles of water in the freezer for your cooler? I take my 2 in the cooler every time I shop as I also live far from stores.

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August 16, 20110 found this helpful

I also keep some bottles of water in my freezer. Then when I need to fill the cooler, I put a layer of frozen bottles on the bottom. I have to admit, I really started to do this so that I didn't have to mess with draining the water after ice cubes melted.

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Also, the bottles can be refrozen over and over. And, if I want a drink, a half unfrozen bottle of water is pretty refreshing.

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August 16, 20110 found this helpful

Speakeasy, I tried the blue ice method. In my situation it didn't work at all. By the time I get from home to the store, then do my shopping, the blue ice is warm or just barely cool. Not cold enough at all to keep my food cold. Even with 4 or 5 of them in there. So ice is a better method for me.

BonnieAlice and Mandy500, actually I hadn't thought of using 2 liter bottles of ice. Great idea! I'll try that this weekend when I go shopping. Thank you!

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August 20, 20110 found this helpful

Another 'easier' ice method would be to freeze blocks of ice in quart containers, or soft drink bottles, or anything that you can place upright in your freezer. Make sure to give anything 'head room' since ice will expand when frozen. I keep several of these in my freezer (I live in FL) so that trips back from the grocery store are kept nice and cool in my trunk cooler.

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They can be re-used multiples of times so you're not wasting any $$$ on purchasing ice each time you shop. The mentioned two litre bottles are kind of large (for me), so the smaller drink bottles and/or quart container work out well.

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October 24, 20130 found this helpful

I live 1 hour + from my favorite Trader Joe's. For some time I have kept their "cold" bags with Velcro closures in the car. They have kept frozen items well. The bags go back out to the car immediately, so they are available to use at any time, anyplace. I like "multiple use items", so at times when needing a pillow, have stuffed available soft items inside, then closed and used for that purpose. As the need arises, the bag serves!

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