Last, but certainly not least, I am going to discuss ways to save money buying dairy products. This is a fun one, because there are great ways to coupon your way to big savings on milk, cheese, sour cream, yogurt and eggs.
:: Regularly troll for clearance stickers in Safeway’s dairy section.
:: Learn how to make your own dairy products. You usually only need regular milk, cream and/or a starter — I use clearanced dairy to save even more!
It’s so easy to make your own yogurt (don’t tell me it’s too much work until you’ve tried it!). I’m able to make organic yogurt for about $.75 per 32 oz. tub — over $2.50 savings from Fred Meyer and New Seasons. Not sure what to do with plain yogurt? Oh, how about 101 Ways to Enjoy Plain Yogurt?
Try making your own sour cream — all you need is cream, buttermilk and a canning jar. Don’t have buttermilk? You make it when making butter!
:: Know your dairy prices. This is a good category to know which store has the lowest prices on which items your family uses. Costco is my go-to store for shredded cheese if there’s not a sale (and I do not shred my own cheese) — about $2-3 per pound depending on how the market is fluctuating at the time. Safeway used to have the cheapest price on rBST milk, but they raised the price significantly, so now it’s New Seasons. Note that all dairies in Oregon and Washington produce rBST-free milk.
:: Know the difference between “sell by date” and “day it’s going to mold date.” I discussed this in my clearance post, but it’s worth repeating here:
Almost all dairy products can be safely consumed well after the date printed on the package. Our family is constantly using out-dated cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, butter and yogurt. My theory is that God gave me a nose and a tongue for an actual purpose. If it smells or tastes bad, we don’t eat it. If it smells and tastes fine, it probably is safe.
Don’t throw your dairy products away based on the date printed on the container.
:: As always, stock up when it’s on sale. I purchased a case of Tillamook butter during a previous and stuck the whole box in the freezer. I have a dozen or so bags of shredded cheese in the freezer from when we were able to get it for free a few months ago.
What are your thoughts on saving big on dairy products? Leave a comment!