Friday, June 25, 2010

Frugal Frozen Treats

Here in the DC area we've had record-breaking highs for the past week or so.  Looks like we'll be having some triple-digit temperature days this summer.  Yikes!

My whole family loves to cool down with frozen treats in the summer, whether it's my girls eating popsicles in the backyard with their friends or us all having a bowl of ice cream after dinner.  However, the regular prices of some of these items are absolutely outrageous!  We can certainly go through a box of popsicles or a carton of ice cream pretty quickly in the summer, so I've worked out a few ways to enjoy these frozen treats for a lot less.

 - Coupon deals - Although many items can still be expensive, summer is the time when the coupons and sales on frozen treats come out.  By watching for BOGO deals or Target gift card deals, combined with coupons, you can definitely stock your freezer for less.  I try never to pay more than $2.00/carton for premium ice cream, and during the summer it's usually pretty easy to get that price.

- Homemade popsicles - My girls eat almost exclusively homemade popsicles, which I can make for pennies each!  A set of plastic popsicle molds costs well under $5 at Target or Walmart (mine are from Ikea).  Once you have the molds, the possibilities are endless.  One of the most frugal types of popsicles I make are from the juices of canned fruit (the real fruit juice kind).  If you figure that we purchased the can to eat the fruit and the juice is extra, then these pops are really free!  Other ideas for making homemade popsicles include any fruit juice, jello (prepare as you would the normal jello recipe), pudding, lemonade mix, Kool-aid, and fresh fruit/smoothie type combinations.

- Other creative homemade options - I purchased an ice cream maker at a yard sale last year, but I haven't actually tried it out yet. I'm curious to find out if making homemade ice cream is any cheaper than buying it on sale.  I do know, from making it in my childhood, that homemade ice cream is extra delicious!  There are lots of other possiblities of homemade frozen options - just ask yourself what you can freeze!  Kid yogurt is one option we've enjoyed lately.  A lot of these yogurts are packaged in ways that make them easy to freeze, and I can often get them very cheap on coupon deals.  Frozen fruit can also be eaten straight from the freezer.  How about grapes on a stick or bananas dipped in chocolate?  Yum!

Please share your ideas for cheaper frozen treats!  Anyone have experience making homemade ice cream?

Check out Life as Mom and Mrs. Moneysaver for more Frugal Fridays.

Photo by gyomedia.


  1. Making your own ice cream is great! It is very time consuming though and my Donvier ice cream maker only makes enough for two people at a time, so that's a bummer . . . Consequently we don't make it that much.

  2. Yum! I love any kind of frozen fruit treat!!

  3. I find this is another great way to use up bananas that are a little over ripe. I just blend one up with whatever fruit juice I have on hand and put it into the popsicle molds. With all the strawberries on sale lately, we had orange/banana/strawberry popsicles this week!


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