The ideas in this post may not be of immediate use for you. Many of you will say, it would take more time than the savings provide. That may be true for where you are today, but you never know what information you may need in the future. Just mentally file it away for reference.
Regardless of cost, powdered milk should be a part of your emergency pantry. It really doesn’t matter whether the emergency is caused by a personal crisis like a job loss or a national disaster. There might be zombies wreaking havoc outside, but by golly no one is getting rickets on my watch.
There is a big difference between nonfat instant dry milk and whole dry milk. The fat in whole dry milk can go rancid quickly, making storage impractical.
Nonfat instant dry milk has a shelf life of approximately one year, there will be a slight degradation in taste and nutrition after this time, but it’s not dangerous to consume. Dry milk should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place. Both vitamins A & D break down with exposure to light, keep this in mind if you choose to divide a large box of dry milk into smaller quantities.
How much money can you save using powdered milk?
It depends. Just like regular milk, the price of dry milk fluctuates, but having several boxes in the pantry can offset the occasional, temporary price spike.
Since powdered milk is cheaper to ship and store, the price difference can really become dramatic when oil prices increase. If however grain has a price spike, both powdered milk and fresh milk will experience an increase due the cost of feeding dairy cattle.
Prices are as of November 16, 2010, they will be updated quarterly.
Currently I can buy a 640z or 4lb box of non-fat dry milk for $15.63. The box of dry milk is the equivalent of 5 gallons of milk after it’s reconstituted effectively costing $3.13 per gallon. Right now a gallon of milk is currently running between $3.75 and $4.22 a gallon.
At this time, each box of nonfat instant dry milk represents about $3.10 in savings.
Yes Heather, we get that, but powdered milk is disgusting to drink.
I tend to agree, which is why we don’t drink dry milk as part of our daily diet. In an emergency we’d switch.
Do not expect to make an immediate conversion from drinking fresh, whole milk to reconstituted milk overnight without a mutiny. It’s not the same thing.
If your food budget is extremely tight, a gallon of whole milk can be stretched with nonfat instant dry milk. For best results, use a 50:50 ratio of whole milk and reconstituted milk. You’ll need to mix the two in a clean, empty gallon jug. (2 quarts each, shake well, and keep very cold)
But what about right now, how can I save some money with powdered milk?
To save money with instant dry milk, use it for cooking.
It’s a straight substitution with reconstituted dry milk and regular milk in recipes.
When building a food pantry, it often makes more sense to purchase ingredients in bulk rather than single servings of convenience items. Use the following recipes to reduce the variety of items you need to store in your pantry, while saving money.
A generic label, 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk is $1.99. You can make your own sweetened condensed milk with $0.59 worth of dry milk and $0.46 of other pantry staples.
Sweetened Condensed Milk Recipe
Equivalent to 14oz can, generic label =$1.99
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup sugar ($0.22)
- 3 TBSP butter ($0.24)
- 1 cup nonfat instant dry milk powder ($0.5)
- dash salt
Briskly whisk the ingredients together and bring to a full boil (start over low heat and gradually increase). Remove from heat and allow to cool before use or storage.
Evaporated Milk Recipe
Equivalent to 12oz can, generic label = $0.84
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 1 cup nonfat instant dry milk ($0.59)
Place the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously.
Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe
Use 2 – 3 TBSPs in place of a single packet of hot chocolate mix
- 2 cups nonfat instant dry milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 tsp salt
If you toss in mini-marshmallows, put it in a cute, glass jar with a label, this makes a great, inexpensive Christmas gift.
Did you know you can also make your own cottage cheese with nonfat instant dry milk? I’m going to experiment with that this week. If it works well, I’ll add the recipe here. Have you tried it?
Do you personally use powdered milk, whether as part of an emergency pantry or to cut costs in the kitchen?