There really is a method to getting cold items from point A to point B without getting soggy, water-filled, or smashed. Basically, you put the sturdy items on the bottom and work your way up.
- Beverages on the bottom. Load your cans or bottles first. Pack with ice.
- Prepped food items. Side dishes that need to be kept cold: salads, deviled eggs, fruit.
- Condiments. Pack those ketchup, mustard, and especially mayonnaise bottles in and cover with ice.
- Zipped bags. Fill in the top space with items that can go in zipped bags: prepped lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced cheeses, pickles, jalapeños, etc.