Saturday, September 01, 2007

Cold beer, now with more fridge space!

I cannot possibly be the only person in the world who has refrigerator space issues. I have on occasion even thought about getting a second, smaller fridge to put out in the garage to store the overflow, because I get almighty tired of trying to find room for everything.

But then I say, “No, I don’t want spend money on a new fridge, and I don’t want to spend even more money to run the dumb thing all night and day.”

This year, we discovered a method for keeping cold drinks available on demand without hogging up precious fridge space that is working surprisingly well. It’s a big old “duh, of course!”, but since it had never dawned on us to try it, I thought I’d pass it along.

We take empty milk or soda jugs, fill them up with water and freeze them. Then we put those into the cooler along with our Capri Suns, sodas, water and beer, and viola – cold drinks on demand, without having to buy a second fridge or go shopping three times a week because you don’t have room for everything you need.

I like the milk containers because they make for a BIG old block of ice that keeps things good and icy. I have two in the freezer and two in the cooler at all times – having an upright freezer in the garage makes this super easy, but if you’re short on space you can get good results with a couple soda bottles.

The neat thing about this is that when the milk containers wear out (and they all do, eventually), you can just toss them into the recycling bin – no harm, no foul. They’ve just had an extra few uses before becoming whatever they later become.

I’ve also frozen water bottles and used those to cool things off – with the happy by-product of icy cold water bottles in the cooler when I want them. It’s plenty cold enough to keep your less delicate perishables, too, the things that should stay “cool” but don’t necessarily need “cold” to keep fresh. I’ve avoided putting meat in there because I am paranoid and certain that if I put ground beef anywhere near my beer I will get botulism and die, but I’ve kept lettuce, grapes, and other assorted “ack, where do I put this?!” things out there.

It’s helped us a lot this summer, when our desires for a cold refreshing something have way outstripped the space in the fridge.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to get off my butt and get that middle twain’s room ready for painting! Hip. Hip. Hooo(yawn)ray…


Kris said...

We used to do the same thing in the summer when we were kids. It works pretty well

Amy Lane said...

Those are some great ideas... so much more organized than I am...

Anonymous said...

GREAT IDEA! Thanks Tama!

Science PhD Mom said...

In the wintertime you can do the same thing with an empty ice chest or even a big plastic storage bin. We do this all winter long once the midday temps hit the low 60s, and it keeps everything cold without any help.

Great tip!