Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Powdered Milk Question

I got this e-mail question in my inbox...

Hello,

I just have a quick question about using dried milk for drinking. I want to try mixing store milk with the powdered stuff, but how long does it stay good? If I mix up a batch does it last a week or closer to 48 hours. Everyone I have ask says I should use it with in 24 hours! If you occasionally mix it with regular milk for drinking it must last longer then that. Thanks for any help.

Lara T.

I scoured the internet because I wanted to know the answer too! And the sum of what I found is this...

Dry milk is just like liquid milk. When it's dry and sealed in an airtight container in a dark cupboard it can last months. But when it's reconstituted and turned back into its liquid form it reactivates and lasts just as long as store bought gallons do.

Store bought liquid milk usually has a sell date on it and can last up to 7 days past the sell date. If it passes the smell test it's still good.

It takes approximately 6 days to get from the cow to the store and then the sell by date is usually 4 to 6 days after that. Then if your milk can last up to 7 days past the sell date, we are looking at 17-19 days from cow to human before it goes sour, as long as it's been properly refrigerated.

And even if it does go sour you don't necessarily have to throw it out. Just google "sour milk" and you'll see that lots of people use it to bake with or let it curdle to make cottage cheese.

But the question of price comes up so I did a little figurin'.

An average gallon of liquid milk is between $3.50 and $4.50. (Does that sound right for your area?) It costs me $2.50 to buy enough powdered milk in the bulk section(12.8 ozs) to make a gallon. To me, that's worth it

9 comments:

magpie said...

Cool, thanks for the tip!

Suzan said...

I have to jump in with a comment about powdered milk. I grew up in a large family and my mother bought whole milk and mixed it half & half with reconstituted powdered milk most of my life. She mixed the dry milk with water and got that cold. Then she added it to the whole milk. Though we used the milk in a few days, it never soured. I think 2 or 3 days would be perfectly ok if you are starting with fresh whole milk.

Jennifer said...

Is powdered milk really less expensive then regular milk?

Lisa said...

Milk in my area is about 2.75 a gallon to 4.00 a gallon where i am so powdered milk isnt really cheaper for me if i buy milk for 2.75. I can get powdered milk for $5.30 a box to make 2 gallons which equals out to $2.65 a gallon. It depends a lot on what store you buy milk at and what state you are in i quess.

maudie-mae said...

Powdered milk is good for making evaporated milk. If your recipe calls for 1 cup of evap. milk, take a cup of milk and add half a cup of powder to it to make it the strength of evap. milk. Keep the half again ratio for whatever amount you need. It's cheaper than buying the evap. milk and takes less space in your cupboards that you need for more important things like chocolate chips.

noelle said...

I always have a big box of powdered milk on hand that I use for baking. We ran out of "real" milk this morning and i never even thought about mixing powdered milk for the cereal. hm.

I also keep a tub of powdered buttermilk on hand, too. I love the taste and texture of buttermilk pancakes, but I don't want to have to use a quart of buttermilk in a specific amount of time.

Tiff said...

I remember using it as a child to. It tasted more like skim milk than anything. But that was years ago. Not sure what it tastes like now. But if it saves us money. I'm all for it!

Frugal Finds said...

Great info!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a stay at home mom, one income, kinda gal. So I'm always looking for ways to save or stretch our dollars. You have inspired me & educated me in so many areas. Thanks!

I always keep powdered milk in the pantry for when we go camping. It's a lot easier to mix a little water bottle of it up-than waste or spoil a 1/2 gallon. I'd never thought of baking with it. After reading your blog, I decided to give it a whirl one Sunday afternoon. I like to batch bake, when I can & had 2 quarts of farm blackberries & 2 pints of fresh blueberries to use up. I made batches of muffins & pancakes. Now I have more than enough in the freezer & a healthy start to busy week days. It was a great savings for me. Thanks again!