how frozen milk saves me money

>> Friday, May 15, 2009

At a recent poor point in my life, I decided to see where all my money was going.

I looked at bank records and noticed that I spend a LOT of money on food. I was seeing charges from the grocery store up to 8 times a month. What's with that?

Of course, I blamed this on my husband. But I looked carefully and realized I was also to blame for the obsessive shopping. I know. I was shocked, too.

I saw two huge charges every month and then 6 smaller, but substantial charges scattered throughout the month. I thought back and remembered running of milk around some of those times.
Apparently we buy really expensive milk, because each stop cost us an average of $45! Not including the $4 a gallon gas we used on each trip.

The key then, I thought, is to ONLY buy milk when we run out. So we tried that for awhile and found our average then went up to like $48 per milk trip! Madness, I tell you!

I actually kept the receipts so I had some data to look at. Now when we ran out for milk we knew we were trying NOT to spend a lot so we only bought stuff "on sale". And that added up.

Then I knew it was time for drastic measures: no more buying milk.

Well, OK not THAT drastic, as I do have kids. But we could not afford to run out of milk in between those two major shopping trips we did per month.

So with some trial and error I discovered we use 12 gallons of milk per month. So, now at each shopping trip we buy 6 gallons. Since the dates on the milk do not always last two weeks and we also cannot support that many gallons in our fridge, we freeze the milk.

I figured if I could freeze breast milk, then frozen cow's milk must be fine, too. And it is. It does take almost two days for it to defrost in the fridge, so we have to be a bit organized about it. But otherwise it's been fine. The kids actually prefer the milk in a slushie-like state.

We do spend a bit more in those two shopping trips a month, but overall I figure we save about $180 a month by freezing our milk!

Please comment and let me know what you think of this crazy concept of freezing milk to keep our spending selves out of the grocery store.


Sheila May 15, 2009 at 5:24 AM  

I know from experience how running to the store for fresh fruit mid-week costs me $80. And there have been times when I got home and had forgotten the item I went for. Freezing milk is a good idea.
We did it in the winter when our children were small, and with only one car, and bad (really bad!) weather, we were unable to get out.
A friend at the time also suggested buying powdered milk, and after making it up, mixing it half and half with fresh milk. I didn't try it, but she said her children never knew the difference.
My mother grew up in Britain during the 20's and 30's, and the through WW2 and had many ways of saving money and feeding us well.

Maggie Madison May 15, 2009 at 6:25 AM  

Sheila, I would love to hear more about how your mother taught you to save money on food. Sometimes I think we missed a lot of those lessons from the Depression, here in the states.

Ronnica May 15, 2009 at 12:18 PM  

That's great that you found a way to cut your grocery bill down! Since it's just me, I pretty much have to look to other ways to cut (like not going out to lunch, like I just did).

Maggie Madison May 15, 2009 at 4:29 PM  

Ronnica--there are times I long for those days! But seriously, not eating lunch out also saves big bucks. I think I estimated I saved between $1,000-1,500 per month when I began bringing my own lunch. However, going out to lunch is so fun I do splurge every so often.

Kelsi July 25, 2009 at 1:16 PM  

We FINALLY got a freezer so now I can try this! Thanks for the tip