Improving one’s personal finances takes some changes. The easiest ones to make are the ones that don’t seem like sacrifice, or aren’t too big a sacrifice.
In our efforts to build up our savings again, we’ll try changing our milk habits. Switching from lactose-free milk in the carton to powdered milk may be a change that isn’t too hard to swallow. Other members of my family have been using powdered milk for a while and are used to it.
I usually drink a protein shake for breakfast. When I’ve tried the shake with powdered milk I did notice the difference, but it wasn’t a huge difference, and it’s something that I could probably get used to. The shake takes a little bit longer to make because I’m putting an extra scoop of something in the shaker, but that’s about 10 seconds.
I’ve also heard that, even though there’s nothing really special about powdered milk, it doesn’t seem to irritate people who are lactose-intolerant as much as regular milk from a carton does.
Even with the Dairy Cliff averted for the time being, we still stand to save a bit of money doing this. Here’s how it breaks down.
Two estimates help figure out yearly savings
To figure out the dollar amount of switching from one food item to another, we’ll need two estimates. The first estimate is quantity: How much milk will we drink in a year? The second estimate is unit cost: What is the cost per serving both for regular milk and for powdered milk?
The first estimate is straightforward. The members of my family drink about 5 cups of milk a day. That’s about 1,800 cups per year.
The second estimate is also straightforward. Our milk from a carton is $3.78 per half gallon, or $0.47 per cup. The most economical box of powdered milk we could find was $18.85 for 80 servings (a serving is one cup). This is $0.24 per cup, or a little more than half of the cost of milk from a carton.
So, our 1,800 cups will cost $846 if we use milk from a carton, or $432 if we use powdered milk.
That’s a savings of almost $400 per year. That’s not chump change. It will help us quite a bit toward shoring up our savings accounts again.