It is rare when we go to town and don’t buy milk. I’m estimating that we spend about $55 a month just on milk!
That dollar figure freaks me out… especially when I know that these three little boys will grow to be big, strapping young men, and I’ll have to take a second mortgage out just to feed them!
So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what we could do to save on our milk budget;
Drink less milk. This is a no-brainer – especially for me and my husband. We could easily cut out one glass of milk a day. That would save a couple of cups a day, or 14 cups in a week. I wouldn’t want to reduce the amount the little guys drink because they need it.
Try powdered milk. I scoped out prices at my grocery store yesterday. I could get a box of powdered (instant) milk for $12.99 that makes 20 quarts. This works out to about $2.60 a gallon, which is a big difference from the $3.89-$4.19 we’ve been paying lately. BUT… there’s the taste factor, and then you have to remember to make it (I’ve heard the colder it is, the better it tastes).
Get our calcium from other sources. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, there are lots of foods out there that contain calcium: cheese, yogurt, calcium fortified juices, cereals, breads, soy beverages, or rice beverages, Canned fish, soybeans and other soy products, some kinds of dried beans, and some leafy greens (collard and turnip greens, kale, bok choy).
Look for alternative places to buy milk. Sometimes you can find milk at other stores a lot cheaper than conventional grocery stores. For example, my Walgreens and Holiday Station Stores frequently sell milk for under $3 a gallon.
Remember it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I think our best strategy would be to use a combination of all of the above ideas. We can cut back on the amount we drink, shop around, use powdered milk in our cooking (where we’d never notice it!), and learn to get calcium from other foods – like those frugal beans!
What are your thoughts? Have you noticed milk taking a bigger share of your grocery budget? What are you doing about it?