How to Make Your Own Ice

Last updated on July 24, 2019

I love to enter­tain! So this is the first of my many tips and tricks to make enter­tain­ing eas­ier and hope­fully lighter on the wal­let too. These days I’m try­ing to find ways to cut cor­ners with­out cut­ting “class”. An eco­nom­i­cal tip is to make your own ice. The aver­age bag of ice costs $2.50 from your local super­mar­ket.  How many bags you would need depends on the size of your gath­er­ing. I think it’s safe to say the min­i­mum would be 2 bags.  Here is a guar­an­teed sav­ings of 5 bucks! (I use lots of ice, so I’m guess­ing your sav­ings would be more) I use ice for cham­pagne buck­ets, huge metal or plas­tic tubs filled with sodas and waters, a des­ig­nated beer cooler and for serv­ing in bev­er­age pitch­ers and cups.

What you will need:

1. ice maker or ice trays

2. water if using trays

3. freezer Ziploc bags (label them “party ice” with a Sharpie)

4. freezer space

A week before your event, every night before bed, empty your ice maker or ice trays into a Ziploc bag and store in the freezer. (if using trays refill and return to freezer) By the end of the week, you should have 4–6 bags full of ice ($10-$20 sav­ings) depend­ing on the size of your maker and num­ber of trays.

Buur­rrrril­liant Tips:

  • This is not lim­ited to par­ties, stock up self-made ice for fill­ing your giant cooler before hit­ting the beach or your Sat­ur­day base­ball game.
  • Add edi­ble flow­ers and herbs to ice trays for a special touch to water pitch­ers and punch bowls
  • For ice that is strictly dec­o­ra­tive and used for chill­ing  (such as in the cham­pagne bucket) add shiny beads, sparkly con­fetti, etc…
  • To help make the ice cubes more clear and not cloudy, boil dis­tilled, puri­fied water and then poor the water into the trays while rel­a­tively still hot. They say it’s the cold or luke­warm water tem­per­a­ture that causes the cloudi­ness. It might not turn 100% clear but it’s notice­ably better.

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