My mother made milk once a week when I was growing up. That’s right, I said she made milk. From powder. Almost three decades later, as I buy TWO GALLONS of milk a week to feed Lucy (okay, Hubs does the grocery shopping 95% of the time, but you know what I mean), I realize how much money my Mom must have saved feeding us powdered milk.
Just how much did she save with powdered milk?
This might be a good time to say that she never, ever drinks milk. I didn’t know anybody else who drank powdered milk, but it tasted fine to me as long as it was cold. (She made it with warm water so help the powder dissolve. Woe the child that poured warm, still-foamy milk onto their cereal.)
My dad made wooden recorders for a living and my mom raised us at home. We had one beat up white Saab, and most of my clothes were hand me downs. In case you can’t read between the lines, we didn’t have extra money. Powdered milk was just one more way my mom fed us with her limited resources.
At my local Stop & Shop, I checked prices for a comparison.
Gallon of regular milk $3.99
Large box of powdered milk $5.99
My Stop & Shop does not sell organic powdered milk, so I am not comparing organic milk prices.
Let’s compare the numbers by calculating how many gallons a box of powered milk makes.
The package says a 25.6 ounce box of powdered milk makes eight quarts of milk. There are four quarts in a gallon, so eight quarts equals two gallons. A $5.99 box of powdered milk makes two gallons of milk, or $3 per gallon. That’s $1 cheaper than buying liquid milk. Doesn’t sound like a lot, right?
But my mother’s savings depends on how much milk we drank. I confess I do not remember exactly how many boxes of powdered milk we drank each week, but considering she had seven children, I’m going to conservatively estimate that she bought two boxes per week. That’s the equivalent of 4 gallons of milk.
How much does drinking powdered milk save?
4 gallons of regular milk x $4 per gallon = $16 a week
4 gallons of powdered milk x $3 per gallon = $12 a week
My mom saved $4 a week feeding us powdered milk. Over the course of the year, that adds up to…$4 savings per week x 52 weeks in a year = $208. Not too shabby mom!