Milk Money

How to Save When Buying Milk

These days, families feeling squeezed at the grocery store aren't asking themselves if they've "Got Milk." They're asking, "Got milk money?"

As someone who goes through nine gallons of milk in an average week, buying two at a time to cut down on trips to the store, getting the best deal in high on my weekly shopping list. That's why we scoured dairy departments to find the best price for a gallon of milk. Here's what you need to keep in mind the next time you're shopping.

The cost of convenience
Picking up a gallon of milk while you're filling up your gas tank and picking up a lottery ticket makes life easy. And mini-marts attached to gas stations are on just about every corner, so you'll rarely have to hunt for a place to buy a gallon of milk. But it is cheaper? Watch and find out!

The in betweens
Discount chains, like Target, and even the pharmacy all stock milk. And while they're not necessarily the most expensive game in town, they're not the cheapest, either. If you have one close-by, superstores like Costco and Sam's run super specials on milks. Some shoppers snag two gallons for as little as $3.46 at Costco. But these stores require membership, and usually sell items packaged in massive quantities. So unless you regularly buy ketchup by the gallon along with milk, paying for a membership just to save on milk just doesn't add up.

Grocer knows best
Although the price varies with geography, one of the best deals in town is found at grocery stores that are part of a large chain. They're the ones able to boast the lowest price because they have the power of bulk buying, and like to pass that savings on to their customers. Actually, they like customers to stop in for the cheap milk and fill their carts with expensive novelty items strategically placed in the aisles leading to the dairy department all the way in the back of the store. Stick to your store's own label and you'll save a fortune on milk. Like anything, name brands are costly. Your grocer's brand (which has all the same nutrients, handling requirements, etc.) will run you as much as one-half less than a name brand.

Bottom Line
Look for generic no matter where you shop. It's packed with all the same nutrients as name brands, and is produced following the same guidelines. All that's missing is the heavier price tag.
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