As a pregnant mommy of little ones, I find myself buying a lot of milk these days. One of the things that I love about shopping at Kroger is that I can almost always find reduced-price milk with several days left before the "sell-by date". This really helps the budget and enables us to buy several gallons of milk at once.
I also like buying four or so gallons of milk at a time because I live 17 miles from town. It's not convenient (or cost-effective) for me to "run out for a gallon of milk" whenever we get low.
Stocking up on milk is great, but it's only a deal if you can keep it fresh. To accomplish this goal, I've taken to freezing my milk. Over time, I've learned a few tricks about this process that I want to share with you all...
- Skim milk is the easiest to freeze. Skim milk can be frozen as-is in the gallon. It doesn't seem to expand too much and, because it has no fat, you don't have to deal with the fat solids separating from the liquid as it freezes. The kids and I all really like skim milk (and they're both over two) so this works out great. (Oh, and I just have to say because I get tired of reading this little myth on other sites-- skim milk is NOT the same as watered down whole milk. You water down nutrients that way and still consume fat.)
- Higher fat content milks can be frozen too. We never buy whole milk around here anymore because no one will drink it. But I often buy 1% (that extra fat is good for my little C.) or 2% (Daddy likes it in his coffee). I've noticed that these milks seem to expand more than skim (I have no idea why exactly that is). I've never actually had a plastic jug crack on me, but the possibility makes me a tad nervous and so I transfer these into other plastic containers, allowing a good inch or so of expansion room. With extra space in the container, it's easier to "shake it up" and redistribute the fats once the milk has thawed. This also enables me to store at least some of it in my normal kitchen freezer instead of the big chest freezer in the garage...
- This is a great way to ration chocolate milk. I've been lucky enough to snag chocolate milk for 75 cents a gallon recently. We ALL like chocolate milk around here, but it's not an everyday thing. By dividing the gallon into smaller containers, we can just use what we need and the rest remains safely frozen until the next time. We don't have to each drink 24 oz of chocolate milk in one day to use it up. (Truth? Chocolate milk is the easiest for me to choke down when pregnant. I'm not a great milk drinker for the most part, but I do enjoy chocolate milk. And, since I tend to have some trouble gaining weight, I don't worry too much about the extra sugar...)
To read how others live frugally and save some pennies, check out Frugal Friday, hosted at Biblical Womanhood!
For more tips and recipes, be sure to visit Tammy's Recipes every Tuesday!