The Surprising Reason You Should Freeze Leftover Ketchup Packets

How many times have you asked for ketchup when making a run through the drive-thru only to be provided with more packets than you could ever need for your meal? Even if you're a fiend for the vinegary red condiment, you'll probably end up with a few to spare after devouring your food. Throwing them out would be a serious waste, so into a random drawer they go — a strategy that may have proved to be beneficial given the ketchup shortage that so many restaurants have faced recently. 

But even if you've had to break into your stash over the last few months, we're willing to bet that there's still a sizable collection of the tiny perforated packets stowed away somewhere in your kitchen, patiently waiting for you to choose them over the giant bottle of Heinz. Of course, ketchup packets on their own may not take up too much space, but once joined by extra soy sauce packets following a feast of delicious Chinese food, or the various hot sauces that are thrown into a bag of Taco Bell, you may find yourself with a sauce drawer that's about to burst. So, what else can you do with these bad boys to avoid tossing them in the trash? Packing them away in the freezer can be an excellent option, but probably not for the reason that you'd expect.

Turn ketchup packets into tiny ice packs by freezing them

Not all of us can have a frozen boo-boo sheep on hand to soothe our little ones' minor aches and scrapes, like celebrity chef Richard Blais. However, if you happen to have a few spare packets of ketchup laying around, throwing them in the freezer can also do the trick. This slightly unconventional place to store leftover ketchup from your last McDonald's run can be the perfect fix for small children, when they are suffering from a small boo-boo. It can provide them some relief from the owie that fits better in their hands than a bag of frozen vegetables and can easily be re-frozen for future use. Adults can also benefit from the make-shift ice packs as a means of pain relief, or even to combat puffy eyes in the morning.

Just like regular cool packs, frozen ketchup packets can be used for more than making injuries feel better, you can also use them in lunch boxes. Not only will they work similarly to an ice pack to keep perishable foods safe to eat, but they will likely thaw out enough to be used for their actual purpose of topping food by lunchtime as well.