I was recently at Sam’s Club to grab some milk, because it is usually cheaper there than anywhere. However, even Sam’s Club bulk buying power has the price 15¢ higher than the occasional grocery store sale price. I was surprised, but not unprepared.

When the food prices are up and the economy isn't, it is time to start looking for ways to save money and freezing milk is one very handy way to handle that and save when you find a good sale.

First, you can buy the milk in bulk at a good price and then freeze it.
Iowa State University Extension & University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension
It is safe to freeze milk but freezing may change the texture of the milk and cause some separation. Stirring well may reduce the texture change and separation enough to use the milk in products like puddings and baked goods. If you are freezing milk for your family to drink, try a small amount first and see how they like it. Remember to allow plenty of headspace (1-1 ½ inches) for the milk to expand in your freezing container (Emphasis mine)

On the Dairyland site from Canada:
Although we do not recommend freezing milk products, for some it is a necessity. Milk may be frozen for as long as 3 months provided the sealed container is frozen prior to the best before date. Skim and 2% milk freeze better than Homo milk (whole milk). Thaw frozen milk in the refrigerator. The milk will still have the same nutrients, but it may separate. If it does, shake well or beat with an electric mixer or rotary beater. (Emphasis mine)

Based on these and other people opinions at various forums, it appears freezing milk is one way to freeze the price affecting your wallet. Whether you decide to use the frozen milk in cooking only or for drinking is up to you and your taste buds. But it appears to be a safe way to save money.

Second, you can always check out the boxes of powered milk that are in the cooking aisle of your local grocery store. From what I can tell most people use it for cooking or do a half & half (powdered/pasteurized) approach to stretch the milk within their family. Personally, I am powdered milk all the way. For me, the cost of buying powdered milk works out to a ‘free gallon’ every 3 gallons I make. And that milk lasts me a good 4-5 days or more.

Things to consider when your milk prices go up:
☼Freeze milk to get you through to the next sale
Buy powdered milk to mix in and stretch or to replace


Update: Can butter can be frozen as it’s prices are going up as well? Answer: Yes
Store in original protective wrapping or container until ready for use.
Freeze butter not intended for use within 2 or 3 days. Frozen butter will maintain its quality for 2 months.

10 Comments

  1. Jackie // Thursday, January 29, 2009 12:21:00 PM  

    Thank you so much for this post. I have always wondered if it is okay to freeze milk. Now, I will really look forward to when milk is on sale.

  2. Jackie // Thursday, January 29, 2009 12:21:00 PM  

    Thank you so much for this post. I have always wondered if it is okay to freeze milk. Now, I will really look forward to when milk is on sale.

  3. Flexo // Thursday, January 29, 2009 2:17:00 PM  

    Lactose-free milk is also a little more expensive than traditional whole, low fat, or no fat milk, but will last significantly longer than tradition in the refrigerator if sealed properly. Tastes sweeter, though.

  4. ~Dawn C // Thursday, January 29, 2009 2:24:00 PM  

    Jackie~
    Just make sure that when you unfreeze it you shake it a bit since the milk can separate. Once shaken it tastes like it usually does.

    Flexo~
    Thanks for the info, good to know other alternatives.

  5. RayInPR // Thursday, January 29, 2009 3:56:00 PM  

    Just paid $5.60 for a gallon of light milk here in Puerto Rico. The price is set by the government, so it's about the same everywhere.

  6. ~Dawn C // Thursday, January 29, 2009 4:06:00 PM  

    RayInPR~
    Wow, that seems high. What is the standard of living like there?

  7. Anonymous // Monday, February 02, 2009 5:51:00 PM  

    Milk is always buy one get one free. I have never had a problem with it in the freezer. Also, I freeze margarine for a lot of months and it's fine. I stock up during the holidays when it's cheap and use is most of the year.

  8. Anonymous // Wednesday, February 11, 2009 9:43:00 AM  

    I find that the half gallon containers do much better in the freezer (and stack nicer). Gallon jugs have a tendency to crack as they freeze, then when you thaw them it's a big milky mess.

  9. ~Dawn C // Wednesday, February 11, 2009 9:47:00 AM  

    @feb 11 anonymous
    I have never had a gallon of milk crack on me, yet. I usually open it up and pour out a glass to give it room to expand and that also allows me to have room to shake the milk as it thaws.

    @feb 2 anonymous
    Cheese is great in the freezer, I have noticed that it is easier to grate out of the freezer, crumbles better.

  10. debra // Sunday, January 03, 2010 1:05:00 PM  

    my local grocery store often has milk at a deep discount days before it is going out of date. i make a weekly round and pick up several gallons at a time (usually from 0.99-1.25/gal)once i get it home, i pour off a glass worth from each gallon and label them with my purchase/opened date and they goes into the freezer with the most current use by date next in line. rarely have i noticed a difference in taste. cracking does happen so i set each hallong in a pan in the fridge to defrost.