Shop Smart for Milk and Milk Products

You can save money on milk and milk products in many ways. Fresh milk in larger containers often costs less than milk in smaller containers. You may save 10 to 20 cents per quart when you buy milk in 1/2 or 1 gallon containers. It's important to be sure that you can use the larger amount without wasting it. Choose skim or low fat milk instead of whole milk for less fat and calories. Often low fat milk costs less than whole milk or 2% milk.

You can also save money when you buy nonfat dry milk powder. A box of nonfat dry milk powder will often cost less than fresh milk. When you use powdered milk in cooking, you save money. You can also stretch your milk dollars when you add reconstituted powdered milk to fresh milk. Buy nonfat powdered milk in the largest package size you can store and use without waste. If you store nonfat powdered milk in a cool, dry place it will stay fresh and safe for several months.

Cheese and yogurt have calcium and other nutrients found in milk. If you eat these foods instead of drinking milk, you may add extra costs. Most cheeses cost about twice as much as a serving of milk. Yogurt costs about three times as much. Natural cheeses, especially those marked aged and sharp, often cost more than processed cheese.

Cheeses that are grated cost more than the same amount of cheese in a wedge or stick. Fruit flavored yogurt costs more than plain yogurt and usually has added sugars. Instead of buying four 8-ounce containers of yogurt, you may save money by buying a larger 32-ounce container. Try adding your own fruit to plain or vanilla low-fat yogurt.

To cut down on fat from milk and milk products, try low fat frozen yogurt and low fat milk instead of buying ice cream and whole milk all of the time. Add evaporated skim milk or whole milk to your coffee or tea instead of cream. Low fat cheeses and yogurt will help you cut down on fat and calories in your diet, too. Since even low fat cheeses have more fat than some milk products, you may want to eat them less often.

Adapted from: "Your Money's Worth in Foods," Human Nutrition Information Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Home and Garden Bulletin 183, September 1994.

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