This Dairy Tips Super Page contain frugal tips for saving money on Dairy Purchases such as cheese, milk, butter, and margarine!
The problem with freezing cheese!
I came across the frozen cheese problem as well. If you freeze it, then thaw it, it can’t be sliced – it crumbles.
The solution to frozen/defrosted cheese crumbling
Here in Sweden, cheese is sickeningly expensive, but I needed to have hard cheese a couple of mornings each week.
Freezing it was no problem, but how to thaw it was. The trick is to let it “sweat it out” at room temperature. I set it on the counter on a plate and cover it with plastic wrap. Leave it out until it comes to room temperature and starts to sweat. Then put it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. It will be easy to slice after that.
Editor’s Dairy Tips Note:
Thanks to Jim’s suggestion we’ve done this “reconstituting” of frozen cheese and it works. We varied it a little, instead of covering it with plastic wrap, we covered it with a clean, moist cotton dishtowel and allowed it to come to room temperature. The result was the same – it sliced beautifully. Steve & Annette
Cutting the Cheese and Saving
Watch how we sliced 20 pounds of cracker-sized cheese for appetizers for our daughter Abbey’s wedding. We found a way to do it quickly, consistently and less expensively than buying pre-sliced cheese from the grocery store.
Steve is cutting the cheese on our 30 year old Oster Meat slicer.
You can pick up your own home meat slicer on Amazon, then have many different versions and prices, but some are less than $50.
A home meat slicer will save you a boodle!
Read how we save hundreds of dollars a year using our home slicer here.
Dairy Tips – Savings with Milk
Since my husband and I are empty nesters now we were in a quandary for how to get good prices on milk. The best prices are for the gallon size, but we could not drink all of that before it turned sour. And we couldn’t eat that many sour milk pancakes either. So we buy the gallon containers and then pour the milk into quart size plastic containers to put into the freezer. This has worked perfectly for us and turned out to be a great solution. Kathy Wright – Scottsdale, AZ
Spreadable Butter – Cheaper
I purchased a container of spreadable butter and saved the container when it was empty. Then I purchased some real butter and mixed it in my blender with milk—this stretches it and makes it spreadable, just like the manufactured kind, only this is real butter!
I’m so glad my grandmother taught me this trick! Here are a couple of other options:
Spreadable Butter – OPTION 2
Use canola oil to stretch the butter:- 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
– 1/3 cup canola oil
(or any flavorless oil you prefer) This is a higher calorie option as
oil is 100% fat whereas butter is
only about 80% fat.
Spreadable Butter – OPTION 3
– 2 sticks of butter
– ¼ cup oil
– ¼ cup water
Cop’s Mom – Oklahoma
Discounts at Closing Time
If you shop in smaller shops, bakeries or butcher stores you can be lucky and get extreme discounts shortly before closing time or if you buy the end-pieces of sausage or cheese. Christina – Cologne, Germany
Editors’ Note: We were recently visiting Steve’s Dad in Chicago and shopped at a really cool store called Caputos Market. Their prices were very competitive and the produce was terrific, but the thing that caught Steve’s eye was in the deli section. They had packaged up the heels and ends of various cuts of lunch meat or cheese and sold it at a huge discount—$1.29 per pound for Black Forest Ham and Prosciutto—it was the deal of the century . . . and it’s a regular practice at Caputo’s. We’re wondering why more stores don’t have the same policy.
Dairy Tip for Cheese—Shred It Then Freeze It!
I saw you on TV recently when a caller commented about cheese spoiling within a month. Not so! Here’s what I do. I shred chunks of cheese and freeze it flat in small zip lock bags. I just pull it from the freezer and use it in as a topping for a dish, in scrambled eggs . . . etc. Nothing goes to waste and it stores really easily. Roberta O. – Plainsboro NJ
Better Butter Control
I can get so much more out of my butter or margarine by using this simple tip. Most wrapperson sticks of butter or margarine are marked to cut the stick into 8 tablespoons. I get more “mileage” out of my butter or margarine by taking the new sticks and scoring (or marking) the top of each stick into 12 to 16 pieces with a knife. This helps me with portion control and makes my sticks last almost twice as long. This is really helpful as I’m on a very limited budget. Joan T. – Estsero, FL
My Spreadable Butter Recipe
You just have to change the cool water in the reservoir every couple of days. “Soft” butter costs about $3.00 for 8 oz. One stick of butter is .75 or less. The price of the butter keeper paid off in about a couple months. You can find them online.
BTW. I don’t use margarine, my childhood friend’s dad worked for a margarine manufacturer and he refused to serve margarine to his family. enough said! Bobbie S. – Elgin, IL
If you have any Dairy tips for saving money please share it in the comment section.