During the summer heat keeping your cooler cold can be imperative who wants a warm cola or beer right? Ice packs work but just eat up space the rest of the year, they are not big science either its rubbing alcohol and water toss in a little blue dye so no one mistakes it for a beverage.
This hack is more DIY from things you probably have around the house namely a tide pods container. I like them because they are low profile space wise but big enough to stay frozen for days even longer under ideal circumstances.
Clean them out fill them with water leaving an inch or two from the top and then freeze them they make great ice blocks they don’t leak they are made of sturdy material which insulates them better than other containers helping to cool uniformly which helps them last longer.
I also add soda bottles some full of water some half full the full ones as ice blocks for small areas in a cooler and half full for water if you top up with cool water the ice inside cooles the new water and also melts replenishing the cold water so you have ice cold water wherever you go and can last hours as well outside of the cooler.
These drink bottles work great as the ice melts it replenishes the beverage water is great always Icey cold , ice tea works great if you freeze a concentrated mixture so as it melts it adds to the water it does not taste diluted or weak.
Along with being a source of cold beverages they also add to the staying power of existing ice packs in the cooler as well as helping disperse the cold in the cooler so the area around the icepack is the coldest area warming the further items are away from the packs.
The size of the tide pod container and its shape make it seem to take up less room in the cooler and it lasts several days, longer if other ice packs are periodically added. for instance if you have frozen drinking water bottles they add to the longevity. laid on its side slightly away from the side walls, the pods container allows for bottles to be placed around all four corners ideal real-estate for things you want cold longer or right now some may allocate this for barley based beverages, or other life and death items of that nature.
I like to half fill water bottles or washed out pop bottles half full of fresh water then when I remove them from the freezer or cooler I add fresh water to the frozen bottle creating an Icey cool bottle of drinking water that stays cold for a long time and as the ice melts it replenishes the drinking water.
Of course all of this requires some preparation on your part and well that is not for everyone back to the old grasshopper and the ant story I suppose.