Ever have ice in your drink? It may be costing you…

Jordon Cox

By MoneySavingExpert's Coupon Kid, Jordon Cox

On a hot summer’s day, a drink crammed with ice may be just what you need to stay cool. But now the weather’s getting colder, is it time to ditch the ice? Have you ever thought how much it could be costing you?

We all know putting ice in a drink means there’s less room in the cup for whatever you’re drinking – but I wanted to find out how much less, and whether I could get more for my money if I simply request ‘no ice’ whenever I’m ordering soft drinks.

To test this out, I went to a fast food restaurant, a pub and a cinema, and in each place I ordered two cokes (one with ice, one without). I measured the amount of cola in each and got some truly chilling results. Watch the video below to see what happened…

My results

The cinema chain Odeon sold me the drink with the most ice, and at £4.25 it was also by far the most expensive. A whopping 28% of the cup was filled with ice, so I effectively paid £1.19 for ice cubes (and less cola in my cup).

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon handed me a pint of coke, 25% of which was ice. So as I was charged £1.79, the ice cubes cost 45p.

Finally, McDonald’s gave me 20% ice, so about 20p-worth as the drink was 99p. Interestingly, the McDonald’s press office told me I should always receive the same amount of drink “irrespective” of whether there was ice or not. In reality, I found this to be untrue (and I ran the test several times just to be sure).

Of course, these aren’t the only places I could’ve done this – I just picked the biggest and best-known chains for my experiment. I’m almost certain I could’ve gone to Burger King, for example, and got near enough the same results.

Do remember this wasn’t the most scientific test, although I did make multiple trips to each of the places I visited and found I always got more liquid when ordering without ice.

Is it time to give ice the cold shoulder?

You can usually ask for ‘no ice’ in your drink, and by doing so, quench your thirst for longer. You may even be able to save money by ordering a smaller-sized drink without ice to get virtually the same amount of drink as a larger size with ice.

What’s more, every drink I was sold without ice was cold anyway as it’d been poured from a chilled machine. So I really didn’t lose anything – I just got more coke.

Does the cost of ice send a shiver down your spine? Do you order drinks without it? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter @MSE_Deals or Facebook.