What is your cooler and ice set-up like for grocery shops?

It's 90+ degrees now. It's humid and I hate going out to shop in this weather.

Last grocery shop I did, we did not have enough ice and I did three shops + a Sonic across town. Our items dind't get warm or anything like that, but definitely not cold. It was more of a light "chill."

How much ice do you pack and how long does it last?

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For grocery shops in this blazing heat (and I do multiples of them), I buy pet food, canned goods, paper products, all the things that don't need cooling. On the last stop I get the cold things and put it in the front floorboard of my van. I then head straight home while blasting the ac on it.

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
@CoffeeQueen wrote:

For grocery shops in this blazing heat (and I do multiples of them), I buy pet food, canned goods, paper products, all the things that don't need cooling. On the last stop I get the cold things and put it in the front floorboard of my van. I then head straight home while blasting the ac on it.


I do the same. Sometimes I bring the ice chest with blue ice in it.
I use a big cooler + those padded foil shopping bags. Anywhere I go is going to be 10+ miles in 110+ degree HEAT - ack!!!!
On dinner shops I often am offered my beverage 'to go' in a large Styrofoam cup. I save the cups and lids because an ice cream pint (like Ben & Jerry's) fits perfectly in one with a little air space before the lid. Set inside a thermal bag with blue ice inside an ice chest the ice cream stays hard frozen for several hours even in South Florida heat. I don't use ice because I don't want things getting waterlogged but I do have quite a collection of freezer packs and a big cooler that fits in the trunk.
I usually put at least 1 frozen water bottle in my cooler along with ice packs so that I can drink some of it later in the day.
suffocating heat today sad smiley Can we please get to Oct./Nov?

It's like a sauna 3 seconds after stepping outdoors.......

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/2019 09:19PM by shoptastic.
I use the foil bubble wrap box as well as the ice packs I got when I had Hello Fresh. It is perfect and lasts all day. However, in this 90+ degree weather, I tend to buy dry goods or get something frozen that needs to be defrosted for dinner that night.

Shopping the South Jersey Shore
I use two of the 64 oz square juice bottles that have a mixture of water and 1/2 cup of salt. They get colder than 32 degrees because salt water freezes at a lower temp. If you do that in a water bottle make sure that you mark it that way. Of course in a cooler or an insulated bag.
No.

@shoptastic wrote:

suffocating heat today sad smiley Can we please get to Oct./Nov?

It's like a sauna 3 seconds after stepping outdoors.......
Big cooler that I use when grocery shopping and 16 lbs of ice it last two day.

A Dad shopping the Ark-LA-Tex and beyond.
I don't do grocery shops much anymore, but even for regular grocery trips in this heat I use a plug-in ice chest (self cooling) PLUS blue ice. I once had to make an emergency trip across town after loading up on groceries, and the frozen stuff was still fine 90 minutes later.
I nearly had heat stroke in my hellish little part of the world. Think we need to invent (and get rich from) the cooling clothing that will help susceptible people to stay cool, safe, and alive.

Now, i would not wear a larger version of my handy dandy hot/cold bag that I have for foods far from home. But I might wear something else. All I need is a design...


@shoptastic wrote:

suffocating heat today sad smiley Can we please get to Oct./Nov?

It's like a sauna 3 seconds after stepping outdoors.......

.. September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception. - Oliver Wendell Holmes
@Shop-et-al wrote:

I nearly had heat stroke in my hellish little part of the world.

Stay safe, shopetal!!!! Don't be afraid to call for help too if you're feeling very weak from heat.

The weather has eased up here, but it was absolutely hellish too for much of the past week or so. Made going out horrible. It was hot and humid and suffocating. sad smiley
I put tap water in small Dasani water bottles that I get from JIB shops. I have 4 sizes of coolers, depending on how many Kroger stores I am shopping on the trip. It is ALWAYS too hot where I live to leave perishables in the car, so I have always used this method ever since I started shopping Kroger way back many years ago. I've gotten used to it.
I use freezer/insulated bags. I even have an insulated picnic basket I got from World Market a while ago (my favorite because it's the thickest and because it's pretty grinning smiley ). I've also found that keeping those bags out of sunlight makes a world of difference.

Like others above, I plan so that I get non-refrigerated/non-frozen stuff at my first few shops. Sometimes I get refrigerated stuff at the second-to-last shop of the route, but I always save the frozen stuff for the last one.

Happily shopping the Pacific Northwest. Shopping since 2013 and editing since 2018 smiling smiley
@stormraven73 wrote:

I don't do grocery shops much anymore, but even for regular grocery trips in this heat I use a plug-in ice chest (self cooling) PLUS blue ice. I once had to make an emergency trip across town after loading up on groceries, and the frozen stuff was still fine 90 minutes later.

I've heard of those plug-in coolers! They seem like they would be great for keeping refrigerated stuff cool on all-day routes too.

Happily shopping the Pacific Northwest. Shopping since 2013 and editing since 2018 smiling smiley
@RedRose22 wrote:


I've heard of those plug-in coolers! They seem like they would be great for keeping refrigerated stuff cool on all-day routes too.

Back in the day we got one when our vehicle had an 'always on' 12V outlet. These days all the outlets in the vehicles are dead when the engine is not on, so unless you are going to have the engine on for 15-20 min or more between stops the cooler won't make much headway against the heat loss from when the vehicle was parked.
I don't know how you people live in that weather. I suppose you may say the same to me in January. I turned on the AC for the first time this year when it got over 90 a couple of weeks ago. Today, high is 83. That heat would kill me.

proudly shopping in the D.
"It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races." - Mark Twain

My variant is, 'Thank heaven we don't all like the same thing or the overcrowding would be terrible.'
@Flash wrote:

@RedRose22 wrote:


I've heard of those plug-in coolers! They seem like they would be great for keeping refrigerated stuff cool on all-day routes too.

Back in the day we got one when our vehicle had an 'always on' 12V outlet. These days all the outlets in the vehicles are dead when the engine is not on, so unless you are going to have the engine on for 15-20 min or more between stops the cooler won't make much headway against the heat loss from when the vehicle was parked.

That's why I add the blue ice, but yes, when I had an always on outlet I didn't need it.
I just picked up one of those plug in coolers at my thrift shop for $10. It's a smaller one, so I don't know how much grocery shop stuff I can put in there, but it will at least hold a 6pack smiling smiley (not for drinking while driving, while doing shops where there is beer)

Shopping the South Jersey Shore
@Jenny Cassada wrote:

(not for drinking while driving, while doing shops where there is beer)
LOL! I would like the hear that explanation. "No officer, I don't have a cooler of beer to enjoy while driving, I'm mystery shopping". Hahahahahahahaha! priceless.

proudly shopping in the D.
HA! @PaulinMI my boyfriend and I are major craft beer nerds and he comes down every weekend & always has a cooler full of his local beer in the back seat (through careful research, we've decided that's the best place for it lol) I'm always afraid he's going to get stopped and have to explain why he is driving around with enough beer for 17 people all by himself. smiling smiley

Shopping the South Jersey Shore
@Jenny Cassada, if he ever needs someone to ride shotgun, let me know, LOL! Asking for shameless plug, any brands you'd like to promote that I could find in my area?

proudly shopping in the D.
@PaulinMI he's in North and I'm in South Jersey so most of the beer we enjoy doesn't get past the border lol. I can go on about beer for days (I used to write a blog about it) but I'll save the board that discussion. I do have great beer friends in the midwest, check out Sommbeer on FB, IG and their blog. You'll find a ton of stuff you'll like. Feel free to PM me, I've got tons of suggestions always lol

Shopping the South Jersey Shore
I try to not buy cold things (unless the store is closer to my house) but in the event there is a great meat sale, I have an insulated bag I keep in the trunk ( a lot cooler in there!) smiling smiley
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