Grocery Shopping Notes # 5: The “Price of Milk” Dairy Edition

January is always an expensive grocery month because I don’t go anywhere, do anything  or buy anything in January! Therefore, I stay home and indulge in good meals.

Our greatest ongoing expenses are probably dairy and bread. Canada has nearly the highest dairy prices in the world since the industry is supply-managed. At our house we go through:

  • 2 litres of skim, 1 litre of 2% and 2 litres of soy milk every week, for a total of $10.38/week (OK, the soy is not real dairy)
  • 2 – 750 g containers of 1% yogurt and 1 – 650 g container of 2% yogurt, for a total of $9.67/week
  • 1 – 500 g block of cheddar at sale price of $5.99

So our dairy bill is $26.04/week for 2 people, and the milk is just for coffee, cereal, cooking and baking – we don’t drink it by the glass very often!

I have just invested in a yogurt maker and made my first 2 litre batch, for the price of 2 litres of milk ($3.99). Buying the same amount of 1% yogurt would cost $7.97, so making it is half the price. I know you can make yogurt without an electric yogurt maker, but having done it once, I appreciate not having to fuss with jars and temperature monitoring!

I know many people don’t buy any dairy and they feel better without it, but I am not one of them. I have always felt much healthier when I have lots of dairy, maybe because I eat vegetarian meals half the time and it helps me keep up on protein. But then, my parents and all of my grandparents were big dairy consumers too, so maybe it’s an ancestral and/or cultural thing.

We also go through:

  • 1 loaf whole wheat bread $3.19 (the only brand with no HFCS)
  • 1 loaf rye bread $3.99
  • 1 package of 6 English muffins $3.29 (sometimes on sale for $2)
  • 1 package of 6 crumpets $1.77

every week, for a total of $12.24/week, plus the occasional bagels, rolls and pita bread. I definitely want to make my own whole wheat bread, the cost of which should be minimal.

Between dairy and bread products, we are spending almost $40/week for just two of us. With yogurt making and bread making, I should be able to bring the grocery bills down enough to splurge on other things!

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