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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.
- 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.