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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 09-16-05, 12:07 AM   #1
whatever6304
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How do you keep groceries cold?

Frozen foods and milk on a half-hour bike commute. . .thanks in advance.
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Old 09-16-05, 12:37 AM   #2
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Bungie a cooler to your rack, maybe? You've probably already thought of this, but is there a closer store to buy your groceries at? Otherwise, some form of insulated, soft sided cooler would seem like your best bet, if you can find one big enough. Cannondale makes a line of insulated rack trunks, Nashbar carries them, and I'd bet other companies make similar items.

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Old 09-16-05, 12:42 AM   #3
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Most messenger bags seem to have some insulation. I've never had a problem hauling fruit, milk, veggies, etc. in a messenger bag (I have Timbuk2 bags).

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Old 09-16-05, 12:53 AM   #4
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you can use a cooler bag.
http://www.bagpeddler.com/Merchant2/...ry_Code=cooler

I picked one up at Trader Joes for $2 and works great. I just put cold stuff in it and then all into my cycle bag and it will keep it much longer.
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Old 09-16-05, 04:49 AM   #5
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bubble wrap
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Old 09-16-05, 04:55 AM   #6
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Yep, those cooler bags are the way to go. I use them too. We picked up some freebies cause they were promnotional items, I think for some old yogurt company or something.

Also, we buy the milk in those Tetra pack things, so it doesn't need to be refrigerated. I know that wasn't the point of the original post, but it is an alternative to consider. Nothing wrong with thinking outside the box.
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Old 09-16-05, 05:02 AM   #7
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Cooler bag here. Mine is just like a plastic bag, but with a closure on top and added insulation. I have one of those soft-wall coolers as well, and it does a better job at keeping the contents cold for longer. But the bag compresses down to nothing when empty and is easier to stuff into pannier when full. For short distances it works well enough.

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Old 09-16-05, 12:18 PM   #8
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I like the Igloo Playmates in different sizes for all my cooling needs. It is a simple matter to bungie cord it to my rear rack and tote everything home. I never had a problem yet with frozen food!
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Old 09-16-05, 12:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by folder fanatic
I like the Igloo Playmates in different sizes for all my cooling needs. It is a simple matter to bungie cord it to my rear rack and tote everything home.
Those are hard-sided, right? Made out of plastic? I'm planning to do something similar now the football season is here. I want a mobile cooler full of frosty barley pops to bring to tailgate (tail-rack?) parties and such.
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Old 09-16-05, 01:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever6304
Frozen foods and milk on a half-hour bike commute. . .thanks in advance.
I've never worried about it. I do a half-hour ride home from the grocery store all the time with milk, butter, and frozen vegies. Now, ice cream may be a problem. Probably best to eat that right away!
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Old 09-16-05, 01:13 PM   #11
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I bring frozen microwaveable dinners to work using my messenger bag. It is still frozen stiff after my 1.5 hour commute. Then again, I'm in Northern California where we have very cool or cold mornings.
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Old 09-16-05, 04:36 PM   #12
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I wouldn't worry about most foods for 30 minutes, unless it was a real hot day. I put all the cold and frozen stuff together in a paper bag inside my backpack.
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Old 09-16-05, 04:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerX
you can use a cooler bag. I picked one up at Trader Joes for $2 and works great.
These cooler bags from Trader Joe's are handy, and will easily fit inside messenger bags, trailers, etc. And surprisingly, they are durable. I have been using my two cooler bags regularly for 2-3 years, and they show no sign of needing replacement.
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Old 09-16-05, 06:12 PM   #14
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To keep my food cold, I only go grocery shopping during winter... which is about 11 of twelve months of the year...
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Old 09-16-05, 09:07 PM   #15
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The cooler bags mentioned are good ideas.

On very hot days, I buy a bag of ice and put it on top of the frozen foods.
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Old 09-17-05, 11:41 AM   #16
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Colder food to the bottom, warmer to the top
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Old 09-18-05, 08:47 AM   #17
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While all the suggestions so far work I've used a "space
blanket" that I got a wal-mart for about a year now. It
folds nice and small with almost no weight so I carry it
in my handlebar bag for when I need it. When I get cold
stuff I use the blanket to line the pannier then fold the
excess blanket over to completely close all the cold in.
Works great!! I did have to trim to size but for no more
than they cost I got 2 pannier sized pads for the price of
one.
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Old 09-18-05, 01:19 PM   #18
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I use a cooler bag from coleman when I get paranoid about it on a hot summer day. I also add one of those "Blue Ice" things when I know I'll be getting frozen food. I'm an hour ride from Trader Joes and their frozen fish and meatless meatballs are still frozen by the time I get home. I'm not an icecream person but judging by how the bag plus blue ice keeps the frozen fish rock hard I'd not hesitate to haul ice cream that way. For a shorter trip or colder weather I just stick frozen food in a paper bag.
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Old 09-18-05, 01:53 PM   #19
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Sorry if someone already mentioned it, but I've also used this sort of freezer packs.
Robert
(edit) Oops...see prev message.
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Old 09-19-05, 06:32 AM   #20
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A half hour commute with the groceries shouldn't affect the quality or longevity of cooled or frozen products. Pop them into their respective refrigerants when you arrive and it'll be fine. The worst would be some slight swelling of an ice cream container but a half hour isn't ought not be enough to cause it to burst.
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Old 09-19-05, 12:11 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boog
Those are hard-sided, right? Made out of plastic? I'm planning to do something similar now the football season is here. I want a mobile cooler full of frosty barley pops to bring to tailgate (tail-rack?) parties and such.
Yes, Boog. The ones I have come in at least 3 sizes (the smallest one I have can fit a six pack of aluminum cans), hard plastic sides, bright colors, and a handle on top to string the bungee cord through with ease and assure me that the playmate will stay on the rear rack. They are a little heavier than the soft covered bags and such suggested by others, but I feel more confident that the whatever is inside will stay cool far longer than I need, protected from accidental spills and possible damage, and looks more attractive when riding or walking (I don't look homeless). I usually add a pre-frozen blue ice plastic package inside the playmate when I use it. It is not necessary. But it really helps to maintain ice cold temperatures far longer than I need.
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Old 09-19-05, 12:40 PM   #22
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I use a space blanket-style bag from wally world. $2 I think. It keeps my ice cream from melting in August Baltimore, but I live 3 blocks from the store (2 downhill, 1 up). For longer rides, you might want to buy a little ice at the store, or use something like a frozen dinner to keep your ice cream from melting.
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Old 09-19-05, 01:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by folder fanatic
Yes, Boog. The ones I have come in at least 3 sizes (the smallest one I have can fit a six pack of aluminum cans), hard plastic sides, bright colors, and a handle on top to string the bungee cord through with ease and assure me that the playmate will stay on the rear rack. They are a little heavier than the soft covered bags and such suggested by others, but I feel more confident that the whatever is inside will stay cool far longer than I need, protected from accidental spills and possible damage, and looks more attractive when riding or walking (I don't look homeless). I usually add a pre-frozen blue ice plastic package inside the playmate when I use it. It is not necessary. But it really helps to maintain ice cold temperatures far longer than I need.

Yup, thats what I've been thinking of. Thanks for the info, Folder Fanantic, I will have to look for one when I'm out this afternoon.

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Old 07-26-06, 10:13 AM   #24
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Cooler bag

Stone Cold Outdoor makes a bike cooler bag. It's available at stores or stonecoldoutdoor.com
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Old 07-26-06, 10:21 AM   #25
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I'm having a running argument with my wife about this. My feeling is that most things don't mind warming up a little and then refreezing. I always get my meat and fish from the counter and I just ask the guy to add a bag of ice when he wraps it up. It's worked for me, 10 years living on my own and no food poisoning yet. My wife in particular feels that milk will go bad the minute it gets warm. My experience has been that you could leave it on a counter for 24 hours without any adverse affects . Yogurt and Cheese can actually be stored warm for quite a while (I used to bring a little bit of these backpacking with me). So in summary, only worry about keeping your meat cold, and even then don't stress out about it.
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