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Instant Dry Milk - Does It Save You Money?

Updated on August 23, 2007

Got Milk? I do. A couple of different kinds actually. Most people either drink milk or use milk on a regular basis. I would guess that it is one of the most frequently purchased items at any grocery store. Milk is also one of the priciest items I purchase each week. And the price continues to rise. There is an alternative though, instant dry milk. Most people haven't considered it and many people think it is extreme, but I find it is a viable alternative to lugging home 4 gallons of milk each week. Let's take a look and see if it is cost effective.

I have been purchasing instant dry milk for many years, in bulk from Sam's club. My reasons for purchasing have to do with money and convenience. I only have so much room in my refrigerator and 3-4 gallons is about all it can handle, if I want room for other drinks and food. I cook from scratch a lot and use milk frequently in recipes. I used to keep a quart of instant dry milk mixed up in the fridge for cooking. You can't tell a bit of difference in taste or texture and you get the same nutrient benefits as regular milk.

Lately though, I just make it as I need it. Actually I just mix it in the recipe with water. If a recipe calls for one cup of milk I will add 1/4 cup of instant dry milk and one cup of water to the recipe and it always comes out great. It is very easy to do. Using instant dry milk in cooking means I don't run out of regular milk for drinking as quickly, which means fewer trips to the store. I can actually go a full week between trips to the grocery store if I don't use my drinking milk in my cooking.

For the past month I have been out of the instant dry milk - Sams isn't carrying it anymore and I wasn't about to pay almost $7.00 for just 2 pounds at the grocery store. I have been shocked at how quickly we were using the milk each week. Repeatedly I have had to make extra trips to the store to get more milk. This has confirmed that the convenience of having the instant dry milk in the house is huge for me. And if I am really running short of drinking milk and can't get to the store I will mix up a quart of instant dry milk and add it to the 1/2 gallon or so left in the fridge - no one ever notices a taste difference or complains. I have yet to switch to drinking instant dry milk completely, but I know people who have and love it.

The other reason I use instant dry milk is to save money. Last week I finally found it in bulk at Aldi. I purchased a four pound box for $9.99 - it is supposed to make 20 quarts of milk. Regular price of milk in the store can run you almost $4.00 a gallon right now. The best sale prices I have seen lately are $2.50 a gallon, and that is rare. This instant dry milk I purchased will mix up five gallons of milk - total cost per gallon is $2.00. When you use as much milk as we do, this will definitely save money. I estimate that I use around a full gallon of milk each week in cooking. This gives me a savings of between $.50 and $1.50 - each week, depending on the price of regular milk at the store. This means I average about $52 in savings each year when I use instant dry milk in cooking only.

As I have shown, using instant dry milk is a definite money saver for me right now. Pair that with the convenience factor and I will continue to use it a lot. I might even switch over to drinking more of it. How about you? Are you willing to try it to save some money? With grocery prices increasing every day, it could definitely be worth it.


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      Nancy 7 years ago

      My parents used to mix it with real homogenized milk for us. 6 kids drink a lot of milk. When we did not have milk we drank instant alone, very cold, I would rather have it than none. As far as cereal, no, because I have a bad habit of half n half on my cereal.. Things and food are getting outrageous and will get worse. I purchased a lot of dehydrated foods in all food groups for the bad days ahead and am still looking for the best deal on bulk instant Milk, I won't be with out it, It is not real bad mixed well and very cold. Cooking with it is great.

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      drymilkerinva 7 years ago

      Over the past two years, we have traveled MUCH more by road. So, we get our own food ready, plan meals, etc. - we stay at campgrounds, have our own portable cooking devices, etc. - there's nothin' like wakin' up to wildlife in your campground!! You just don't get that in a hotel - on top of the savings...

      (Our most recent trip was 5 weeks - parent were out for two - they did hotels - we beat their hotel expenses for lodging.)

      For these two years, we have used dry milk on our journeys so we don't have to worry about having multiple liquids with us. It has worked out well. We have a vehicle that's suited for what we're doing, with a fridge. We keep a nice stock of bottled water, and one bottle does the right amount for cereal in the morning - so, part of breakfast is to "break out the box" and make milk.

      This year, when we got home, we decided we'd try to just use dry milk at home. We're a two person household, so, we typically end up wasting a bit of a gallon because it runs past date and goes bad. This is with keeping it a couple extra days and smelling before pouring..

      So - for us, dry milk is a no brainer - we're saving, plus we're not having to store near as much in the fridge, and we have one rubbermaid jug for milk that's nice and small, and we make it up as we need it. In turn, using what we need and not wasting like we were.

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      katie newman 7 years ago

      I have been to numerous stores in my area, including a store who sells bulk powdered milk and I can't find it cheaper than a gallon of fresh milk. Guess it really depends on what area you live in. I live in Oregon and milk is about $2.50 or under and the cheapest I can find powdered is $2.73 in the bulk bins. I wish it were cheaper here, because like you I love the convenience!

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      Jennifer 10 years ago

      Glad I could help, let me know how it works out for you.

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      Jennifer 10 years ago

      I just did a post yesterday about the staggering price of milk. I picked up a gallan at the convenience store (which I NEVER DO, as prices are way high) for $3.67! It was either that or run to the grocerie store and spend more in gas to buy a gallon there for $3.09! Another girl heard my balking about the price and also mentioned dry milk. I am wondering if my family would know the difference. I really don't drink much milk, but my husband does and with three kids I use 3-4 gallons a week. After reading this, I am going to my local Aldi to pick up a box and do the switcharoo.....I will let you know how it turns out!

      Thanks for you input!