Holy cow! The cost of milk is going up, but our paychecks aren't keeping pace. Record milk prices are expected this year, with multiple factors coinciding in the marketplace threatening to continue the trend. Even Starbucks is raising prices and blaming it on the cost of milk.
Your gut reaction might be to skip the milk, yet that could be penny-wise but pound-foolish. We all know milk is a great source of calcium and protein, and just 24 ounces a day can take care of most of our calcium needs. Remember, too, that calcium -- especially that from milk -- helps control weight.
Here are tips for squeezing more value from your milk.
Do the Math
If milk is $4 a gallon, an 8-ounce glass is only 25 cents. Three glasses, which supply a significant amount of the protein and nearly all the calcium and Vitamin D your body needs each day, cost just 75 cents, notes Stephanie Smith, RD, with the Western Dairy Council. Compare that with bottled water, soda or fancy coffee. "Dairy products remain a great nutritional value," she says.
Go for the Gallon
Check expiration dates and get the freshest. If you consume those three 8-ounce servings each day, you'll finish the gallon in 51/3 days, well before the milk would spoil under normal circumstances.
Bodybuilder tip: Check the label to make sure you buy fat-free or 1% milk to minimize your fat intake. Whole milk has nearly 8 grams of fat per cup.