1. Limit Milk Consumption
Well, duh. But if you are like my family, we were giving our kids almost unlimited quantities at mealtimes. Sippy cups lead to guzzling, so the toddler now gets a half-full mug at the table. Research indicates the amount they need per day is only about two cups. At one meal a day, try introducing the best drink of all- water. (Start them on water early. My youngest prefers it since, starting at six months and in addition to breastmilk, I just gave it to him all the time.)
2. Buy Milk in Unexpected Places
Check sales ads for drugstores- I have found better milk prices at CVS at times. If you are close enough to one, the word is that milk is usually lower in Indian stores.
3. Try Farm-Fresh Milk
Also known as raw milk, some states actually have laws against the fresh-from-the-cow white stuff since it is unpasteurized. You may not want to give this to very small children. With all that said, know that this stuff tastes amazing (of course- it has the cream!)
4. Buy Marked Down Milk
If you drink as much as we do- a half gallon a day at times- you will consume marked down milk before the expiration date. Usually this is just a couple of days out, so save a bundle and bottoms up. Stockpiling tip: pour out a little to keep in the fridge and you will have enough head space in the jug to freeze it for later.
5. Dilute Milk
This is a debatable practice, but you can buy whole milk and dilute it with water (fluoride water if you get water from a well.) Dilute slowly, with mostly milk in the mix, and gradually add more water each week until you have the desired savings without sacrificing taste. Good for diners who are consuming more than their fair share. Not good for children under age two, who need 100% whole milk.
Bonus tip: Look for the $1.50 off Smart Balance milk coupon in your Sunday paper, which appears to be out the middle of the month lately. My store offers super doubles, which means free milk! Last time, I swung by there three times for nine free half-gallons!
Please do share your money-saving tips in the comments! And stay tuned next week for how to save money on juice.