Thursday, October 9, 2008

The great milk experiment

I ran this experiment about a year ago and so the info is no longer accurate, but the idea is good and I thought it would be useful to people who are trying to find ways to cut cost. The general idea is, do your research! Find deals by really looking at the entire situation!

Goal: To find the better all around price for milk throughout one month

Category 1: WIC (lower income provided food)

Category 2: Grocery store shopping

Category 3: Reed’s Dairy home delivery

Category 1:

Average price for 1 gallon of 2% milk: n/a

At 8 gallons of milk per month: n/a

Category 2:

Average price for 1 gallon of 2% milk: $3.29-4.02

At 8 gallons of milk per month: $26.32-32.16 (Averaged to $29.24 to compensate for when you can’t find a deal)

Category 3:

Average price for 1 gallon of 2% milk: $3.40

At 8 gallons of milk per month: $27.20

Add delivery fee 2x per month: $2.50

Total cost: $29.70

At this time, the clear winner is of course WIC. But, since not everyone qualifies, we have to look at the other categories. Category 2 is the marginal winner here. But, we’re not done with this experiment yet. We need to add in the outside factors. Two major factors include the cost of gas (which can be nonexistent if you walk to the grocery store--- plus the benefits of the exercise) and the cost of the “extra” incidental items that are picked up along the way. While I am not yet finished with this experiment, these are my unofficial findings so far:

Category 2:

Cost of Gas: $1

Cost of incidentals (on average) per visit to purchase milk throughout the month: $10

This increases the total monthly cost to: $51.42 (if you pick up milk 2 times a month)

Now Category 3 is the clear winner. But, Category 2 can still win if self control is learned and applied AND instead of driving to the local store, walking.

1 comment:

Becca said...

category 4: mix your milk.

Step 1: I buy whole milk, which may be as much as 50 cents more expensive, but there is more MILK per gallon.

Step 2: pour half of one gallon into an empty gallon, so you have two gallons that are half-full.

Step 3: add one cup powdered milk mix (I buy it in bulk at WinCo, but have bought the Great Value brand at Wal-Mart as well).

Step 4: add water to fill, leaving a little space at the top so you can shake the gallon well.

Step 5: shake.

I have estimated that, with three kids and the amount of milk we consume, I save about $30 per month on milk alone. Plus, I am no longer a "milk miser." I let my kids drink milk at every meal if they want. It also helps me to rotate through my pwdered milk storage, which is great because powdered milk does not keep as long as other dry storage food items.