Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Don't You Drink Milk?


I get this question a lot and I have many reasons why we don’t drink or buy much milk.

This took some major changes on my part because I think I was a milk-a-holic for a long time. I’d drink it at all three meals and sometimes an extra glass a day. I’d even drink it for thirst rather than reaching for water or juice. That’s how I grew up, that’s what I was used to and that’s probably one of the reasons I was 20 pounds overweight.

Well, maybe that and my love of chocolate.

But when I became a newly wed, newly pregnant, and newly unemployed housewife I realized we were going through 2 jugs of milk per week and that was just for Chris and I because our first child was nursing. And since our grocery budget back then was only $20 a week, one of the first things I had to rethink was the cost of how much milk we were drinking.

Now, 13 years and 3 more kids later, I hardly buy milk at all. I do have one son who is a giant milk drinker but we’ve worked out a deal that when he babysits his younger siblings we pay him with his very own gallon of milk which he immediately marks “Do Not Touch” with a permanent marker.

It will be a sad day when he finds out other people get payed money.

So for most of my baking I use powdered milk bought in bulk and reconstituted. For drinking we usually have iced tea, lemonade and water. And on the rare occasion when I buy a gallon of milk I have a little secret that the kids don’t know about. When the gallon is half empty I mix up a batch of powdered milk and fill the gallon back up. They’ve not ever noticed a difference yet.

Mwahahahaha!

In order to fill our calcium requirements we eat lots of yogurt, some cheese, fresh fruits and veggies, and take our vitamins.
*******Update******
Jess had a good question about the health benefits or lack thereof of not drinking enough milk for our children or while we are pregnant. Here's a great article that addresses it.

14 comments:

Mrs. Querido said...

That's a great idea for filling up the milk jug!

Never thought about using powdered milk for baking...

Loved the part about paying your son in milk...lol...don't you love it when kids are easy to please? :)

Jess said...

I'm curious to know what your doctor and pediatrician think of the powdered milk/vitamin route instead of reg. milk. Is it better for you this way? Maybe it is, I admit to not really having any clue. Did they have any qualms at all while you were pregnant? If they did, how did you respond? This isn't meant to be negative in any way. I'm really interested.

Betsy said...

I also use powdered buttermilk for baking--it keeps a long time in the fridge (in powder form), and then I can use just the small amount called for in a muffin or cornbread recipe. Works great! Have you thought about making your own yogurt? It's super easy with a yogurt maker and can be much cheaper depending on what kind of yogurt you buy. It also tastes soooo good

Cassandra said...

At 4 gallons a week....yes that was 4.....we are going to have to either buy a cow or cut out the milk. I have been using powdered milk to cook with and it helps. I may have to practice some of your "wisdom" and go fill up the jug while they are at school!

Stacey said...

I am not a milk drinker and honestly my kids can take it or leave it. The hubby used to drink a gallon a day by himself though. That was until I made him go to the market with me, once he saw the price he quickly converted to water! Regular milk (not organic) in our area is nearly 5 bucks a gallon 6-7 if you choose organic. Our Doctor feels that the kids eat healthy enough in other areas that as long as they are getting 4-8 ounces a day of any Dairy product they are fine. I think I will start doing the powdered though for cooking. My mom used to and I had never given it any thought until now. Thanks Gayle

Emily said...

I dislike milk, very much. But cereal just doesn't taste as good w/o it. That's my only reason to buying it, as YOU taught me about powdered milk in BULK at Winco.

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

I hate milk unless it is in ice cream or cheesecake. Thanks for backing me up here. ;)

We buy one gallon every week or two; mostly the girls use it for cereal. LOVE the idea of using powdered for cooking!

Therapy Mom said...

Our pediatrician said and I quote "the only good that comes from milk is Calcium"...so we take calcium chewables, eat a yogurt a day and eat cheese cubes every day. Thanks for writing about this hot topic.

WunderMom said...

You get more (and better) calcium anyway from the same place the cows get it: dark, leafy greens.

Did you know osteoporosis is pretty much unheard of in countries where they don't consume dairy at all? Yet it's quite common here and in Europe where we overdo the dairy products.

I don't buy jugs of milk anymore. I cook and bake with powdered milk and buy fresh goat milk from a friend. It is so delicious and the boys love it, but they only get one gallon every two weeks because it's $10 a gallon! Yikes! So they ration themselves.

Anonymous said...

If you check out the nutrition labels, powdered milk has just as many nutrients and is as healthy or healthier than regular milk. I'm starting to use it more in my cooking, too.

Kelli said...

Wow, we go through about 3 or 4 gallons a week-and that's with my husband and I not drinking milk (its a sacrifice 'cause we love it).

Kelli said...

ps, oh, and that's with using powdered milk to cook with and to make puddings with.

Michele said...

This is a really interesting post. We are not big milk drinkers either. I use it to bake and for other recipes or to make yogurt of kefir. I don't tolerate milk wellby itself and the only time my husband HAS TO have milk is with sweets or the occasional bowl of cereal. My two middle children drink it occasionally and the baby still drinks a couple bottles a day. We get raw milk from a local co-op and at $10 a gallon it's a health benefit for us, not a casual thing to mix with Nesquick, LOL. We buy 5 gallons per 2 weeks for a family of 6, most of that for the baby's bottles. We also eat a lot of cheese, yogurt, kefir and cheese as well as veggies for the calcium.

spb said...

I have used powdered milk in baking for years and it really keeps the costs down. Lately however, I have gotten this craving for milk when ever I hit a donut shop. It used to be coffee, but suddenly, all I want is a cold glass of milk. I might have to give your powdered milk in a jug idea a try! :)