When there’s a stock-up price on milk, I can’t pass it up. We don’t have small kids at home anymore, but my grandkids frequently visit, so keeping a gallon (or gallons when there’s a great deal) of fresh milk from spoiling is a challenge. Reason #1 to find a way to save money when purchasing milk: cost-wise, a gallon is a better buy versus a smaller size. CVS, Walgreens and Harris Teeter frequently have gallons of milk for $2.99 while Ibotta & Checkout 51 feature additional savings. According to OChef, milk expands approximately 9% when frozen, so it’s recommended to remove up to 1 1/2 cups of milk prior to freezing. If any of you are doubting the safety of this, check out the Favorite Freezing Foods website for additional information.
Things to consider before freezing milk
- Do you have available space for storage? Milk takes up a lot of space, so assess the amount of storage you have available before purchasing.
- How quickly will you need milk? If you’re stocking due to a sale price, chances are you can keep out one gallon to drink and freeze the rest.
- Are you satisfied with the texture after thawing? Because of fat separation, milk may not have as smooth a taste as you’re accustomed to.
- Is appearance important? Milk turns yellow when frozen due to the separation of fat, but returns to its original color upon thawing.
When you freeze milk, a separation of fat components occur. I prefer 2% milk as it freezes and thaws better. Whole milk doesn’t blend as well after thawing, which is important for texture quality.
Test freeze a gallon
This allows you to determine how your freezer temperature performs when freezing milk and whether or not your method will be successful. Test freezing will also let you know if you like the texture after milk is frozen and thawed.
- Freeze sealed and take your chances. If there’s room in the jug for expansion, it should freeze fine unopened.
- Pour out 1 1/2 cups of the milk prior to freezing to allow for milk expansion.
- Divide milk into two containers prior to freezing. Doing this allows you to stretch your milk purchase even further.
- Plan accordingly: Remove milk from the freezer one day prior to needing it. You can’t rush the process as it needs to thaw naturally.
- Thaw in the refrigerator: Milk can take 24-48 hours to thaw thoroughly. Plan to shake the container about every 2-3 hours while thawing. This will tell you how much of the milk is thawed.
Taste the savings
- Plan to use within 2 months: I typically buy a gallon of milk and freeze it immediately. Leaving milk in the freezer for longer than 2 months can lead to the absorption of flavors from other items in your freezer—yuck!
- Continue to shake milk prior to pouring: I personally can’t tell the difference in taste or texture from 2 % fresh milk or frozen milk. I consistently shake the milk as we use it as it helps to keep the components mixed.
This is a guest post by Tammy from North Carolina.