After you have a plan for storing water, the next item on the list is milk. Milk can be stored in many forms and in many ways for many reasons.
- First if you find a bargain on fresh milk, don’t be afraid to buy several gallons. Before the ‘use by’ date separate the milk into smaller containers and freeze. It is possible to freeze a gallon of milk but very difficult to thaw it. Use small plastic storage containers, or Food Saver vacuum bags being careful not to let the milk be drawn into the vacuum sealer. I try to freeze in containers which are a quart in size or smaller. Another great storage product is canning jars. Canning jars come in several sizes, but the pint or quart wide mouth jars are excellent for freezing. (Just remember to leave a 1/2 inch of room at the top for the liquid to expand as it freezes.)
- When thinking about storing milk, don’t forget about powdered milk. Once in a while you can find a coupon for powdered milk which makes this an excellent way to stock up on powdered milk. While many find the taste of reconstituted powdered milk to be watery, usually if you make the milk the night before and serve with cereal or oatmeal most of your family will eat it. Powdered milk is great for having in the pantry because it keeps well without refrigeration and can be used for baking in an emergency or just to save the fresh milk you have on hand for drinking. Be sure to keep track of the ‘use by’ date on the package as milk is one of the products which can become rancid even when dried. If you buy a large box of powdered milk, simply divide it into smaller containers and freeze them until you need the powdered milk. I routinely keep my powdered milk in the freezer so I don’t have to worry about it spoiling. Since I use the powdered milk in baking I can use a small box fairly quickly but like to know that it is fresh.
- One of the newer ways to store milk is in the small individual aseptic boxes (think small apple juice boxes). While this is one of the most expensive ways to buy milk if you are going on a trip with children this solves the problem of how to carry milk without refrigeration and without having to buy the small bottles at the fast food restaurants. Just place them in a refrigerator or in an ice chest as you need them. These have been used in other countries for several years and when cold I am unable to taste much difference from fresh milk. The boxes do have expiration dates so please buy them in small quantities. The boxes can be frozen but you must remember to thaw them as you need them.
- Remember that using milk in several forms will help your budget while making sure you always have milk on hand for drinking and cooking.