Instant Dry Milk - Does It Save You Money?
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.