I ran out of space in my personal freezer years ago and was buying bagged ice until last year. It was a long term waste of money to be spending $10 a week on ice. I bought a high quality freezer last year for $400. In the past I didn't have space for a second freezer but my new 45X30 shop fixed that problem. Now I make my own block ice in large stainless steel bowls. It takes two days for the huge cubes to freeze solid so I have two cubes in progress at all times. These cubes are easily two gallon ice cubes. We use the large 10 gallon Igloo water cooler on our truck. Block ice will last several times longer because there is less surface area exposed to the thermal transfer of energy. It's best to use a bowl that has a tapered bottom so it's easier to get the ice out. We hose down one the bowls in the morning and the ice comes right out. Thin bowls work best for getting the ice out quickly. Thick bowls will have a slower rate of energy transfer and require more time for hosing them down to get the ice out. The second you put your hand on the bowls I use you can hear the ice start to crack and expand from your warm hands.