By: Cheryl Maguire
How many gallons of milk do you purchase per week? We purchase 2-3 gallons so the price of milk matters to me.
In my quest to find the least expensive milk price, I learned a few money saving tips. The price of milk can vary as much as $1 per gallon so it is important to know your prices. Depending on the amount of milk you purchase, this savings could add up to over $50 a year. Even if you don’t purchase a lot of milk you could benefit from trying some of these tips since most are easy. And anyone could use some extra money in their pocket, right?
It is important to keep in mind that these tips can vary in different towns or states. It is best to use these tips as a guide to see how it is different or similar in your area.
Same Store Different Price
Even the same grocery store (i.e. Stop and Shop) charges different prices for milk in different store locations. I recently checked the price of a gallon of store brand milk at the Stop and Shop near my house, and the same week I shopped at a Stop and Shop 20 minutes away from my house and the price of milk was a whole dollar less! I was shocked about both the price difference and the same chain store charging a different price.
The Store Matters
In general, grocery stores charge the most for milk whereas drugstores (like CVS), convenience stores (like 7/11), and discount chain stores (i.e. BJ’s or Wal-Mart) are less expensive. This can vary in different locations so note the price in these different types of stores.
Type Of Milk Price Varies
Most grocery stores charge the same price for whole milk, 2%, 1%, or skim milk. Whereas most drugstores, convenience stores, and discount chain stores (i.e. BJ’s or Wal-Mart) charge different prices for the type of milk (the skim milk is least expensive). Always compare the prices of the different types of milk to see if you could benefit from either purchasing a different type or at a different store. For example, if you prefer to purchase whole milk then you would save money by buying it at a grocery store.
Generic Or Store Brand Is Usually Less Expensive
If you purchase milk at a grocery store, the store brand is usually less expensive than the brand name. Most drugstore stores do not offer a generic or store brand but the name brand milk is often less expensive than the store brand in the grocery store.
You Can Freeze Milk
Some people don’t realize you can freeze milk so they purchase a half gallon of milk which is more expensive per ounce than a gallon of milk. If you normally purchase a half gallon of milk, you can save money by purchasing a less expensive per volume gallon of milk and then freeze half of it. Another option is to freeze milk when you go on vacation instead of throwing it away. When you freeze the milk, leave space for expansion. Also, it may take several days to thaw the milk, so start thawing a few days before you need it. You can freeze the milk for up to three weeks. Some people don’t like the taste of milk after it has been frozen, but if you plan to either cook with it or use it in cereal this probably won’t matter. And who knows you might get used to the taste if it means saving money.
Check Milk Sales Price
Often drugstores or convenience stores will offer milk on-sale for a week to get you to shop in the store. The price is often significantly less compared to other stores however the sale is only for a specific type of milk such as 2% so you should check to make sure you purchase the milk which is on-sale. Another added benefit to purchasing milk at a drugstore is you can use drugstore coupons such as CVS Extra Care Bucks or Walgreen Register Rewards to purchase milk. Sometimes you are offered Extra Bucks for purchasing milk at CVS. I often use Extra Bucks to purchase the milk and then earn more for next time.
Use Milk Coupons
Coupons are sometimes available for the brand-name milk. If you use the coupon to purchase the brand-name milk it may end up being less expensive than the store-brand.
Use Powdered Milk
Some people do not like the taste of powdered milk, but you can use it for other purposes and save money. You can use powered milk in recipes, or you can mix powdered milk with regular milk to have the milk last longer.
Some recipes such as making oatmeal, you can use water or milk. I tried using water for oatmeal and at first, I didn’t like the taste, but I continued to try it for a week and now I prefer it. Another bonus is it is less calories. You could also try substituting drinking water for milk if you drink a lot of milk.
Use Almond Milk
Almond milk costs more per ounce than milk, but it lasts longer. On average the expiration for almond milk is 3 months after purchase compared to milk of only a week. If you only use milk for cereal or cooking and it expires before you use it, you may be better off switching to almond milk. It also has more calcium than milk and less calories. I now prefer the taste of almond milk to milk.