Five Ways to Save...
In the Dairy Department
by Stephanie Nelson, CouponMom.com
1. Try store brands. Brand-name and store-brand milk, cheese, and butter all have to meet the same USDA requirements. My comparison shop of dairy at my local supermarket revealed that store brand prices were an average of 39% less than name brand dairy products.
2. Bigger is not always better. Resist the siren song of a 5lb. block of cheese on sale if there is no reasonable chance that you will use it all. Don’t assume that the larger package is always the better deal. Compare unit cost of various sizes of dairy products such as 16 oz. tubs of cottage cheese vs. 24 oz. tubs. Smaller may be the better deal especially if you throw in sales and coupons.
3. Here’s a grate idea for saving money! My $5 hand grater paid for itself long ago. Block cheese is often less expensive than shredded cheese per pound. It takes only a few minutes, the grater is easier to clean that the food processor and it saves the unneeded expense of convenience packaging.
4. Use your freezer. Margarine and butter can be frozen. Cheese keeps longer than other dairy items, load up when the price is attractive. Unlike meat, it doesn’t need to be frozen right away. Block cheese consistency can change after freezing, so you may want to consider shredding beforehand and divide it into smaller bags for the amount you need each week. Toss in a spoon of flour to your freshly shredded cheese before freezing and shreds will come apart easily when you thaw it.
5. Store properly to avoid waste. Don’t store milk in the door of the refrigerator where temperature fluctuates the most. Store all of your dairy products in the back of the refrigerator. Use saran wrap to tightly wrap opened blocks of cheese or store in airtight containers. Only buy cream cheese and cottage cheese when you know you will use them to avoid turning the fridge into a penicillin lab.
Stephanie Nelson is the Coupon Mom. Her web site, www.CouponMom.com, has 6 million members, and she is established as the nation’s top expert in couponing across the country. Stephanie has been on every major national television talk show and taught millions how to save money for the past 11 years. She has been called ‘”the rock star of the recession” by the Washington Post and her book, The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half, is a New York Times best seller.