Lifestyle | Tips and Tricks

Freezing Dairy Products to Stretch your Grocery Budget

Freezing Dairy Products to Stretch your Grocery Budget

Have you ever tried Freezing Dairy Products to Stretch your Grocery Budget?

While shopping with a friend one time I seen a great deal on butter and scooped up at least a dozen and put them into my cart. My friend gave me the oddest look, she had no idea that butter could be frozen.

The shock was on me when someone later told me that you could also freeze milk. That information was awesome to hear, since it seems we are running to the store for milk many times a week.

Shopping during sales and preventing perishables form spoiling are a great way to stretch your grocery budget. Did you know that many dairy products can last in the freezer, and later re-thawed in the fridge for use?

Milk

  • Pasteurized homogenized milk can be frozen for up to 1 month while Non-fat and low-fat milks will freeze better than whole milk. Take note that liquids expand when frozen, so be sure to remove about 1/3 cup of the milk before placing in the freezer. When thawing, be sure to shake your milk well to remix the fats.

Butter

  • Butter can last for 6-12 months in the freezer, yet Unsalted butter can lose its flavor over time so it should only be frozen for 3-6 months.

Cheese

  • Hard cheese can be frozen for up to 4-6 months. They may become dry and crumbly after thawing, so they are then best used for cooking and not slicing. Myself, I shred the cheese and separate about 2 cups into each freezer bags – perfect to use for casseroles, tacos, lasagnas and pastas!

Cream Cheese

  • Cream cheese can be frozen for up to 4-6 months. Since it loses a bit of the creaminess once thawed, mix well and best used for baking and cooking.

Cottage Cheese

  • Cottage Cheese can be frozen for up to 1 month.

 

 

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60 Comments

  1. Cheese doesn’t even last long enough in our household to be frozen. We do however freeze butter since I only use it for baking and so always stock up when it is on sale.

    1. we go in stages, Becky. Sometimes our cheese should be frozen it seems!
      I’m with you on the butter though, best to buy on sale for future use!

  2. I have frozen all dairy products except cottage cheese. I never even thought to freeze it, but now I will because I can buy extra when it’s on sale.

    1. I had an accident with my fridge, it is one of those new fangled fancy gadgets that has 4 doors and two can be freezer or freezer/fridge combo while the upper half is fridge. Well a button was pushed and the bottom fridge became a freezer…freezing milk, cheeses, cottage cheese and sour cream etc.

      The milk and cheese & sour cream were fine…but the cottage cheese defrosted terribly!!! maybe it was the fat content?? But it defrosted into itty bitty chunks, I ended up tossing it because I could NOT stomach it at all!!!

    1. I’ve bought the activia dessert yogurt when it was 50% off since it was going to expire soon and then froze it. It made for a great cool treat!!

      1. Tammi, it’s a little crystally (is that even a word?? lol) when it thaws but if you stir it well it’s really good. However, what I usually do is spoon it into popsicle type moulds and we eat it frozen… DELICIOUS, very creamy and low in fat and calories. You could also take the single serve containers and poke a little slit in the top of each, insert a wooden popsicle stick and freeze.

  3. This is my first time heard that dairy products can be frozen. How is the taste? I will try and see if my daughter likes it. Thank you for the tips.

  4. I always freeze shredded cheese. I didn’t know about milk. I knew about butter, but for some reason don’t do it. Thanks for the tips.

    1. I would love to have the freezer room to freeze milk jugs, I seen a great sale of 1.49 for 4L the other day! Alas, my freezer is too full!
      🙁

  5. I knew about milk and learned about cheese a few months ago. I find milk does not turn out right after thawing. But like you said to shake it i would have to do. But i don’t think we will be doing that anytime soon.

    Thank you for the tips and how long the products will last in the freezer.

    1. Londia, I need to get an extra fridge/freezer at some point. That’s when I’m really going to test the freeze-the-milk test. Right now we don’t have the space, But, I do know lots of people that do freeze it!

  6. These are really excellent tips, had no idea you could freeze cheese but I suppose that makes sense seeing as you get it on frozen pizzas and the like!

    But what I am wondering is can you freeze eggs?

    1. You can Louisa, but it is tricky. Since i wasn’t sure how they turned out, I didn’t include it in my list – but you can!

  7. Awesome tips… I get kind of giddy just thinking about a freezer full of butter though 🙂

  8. I knew butter & cheese can be frozen but I am a bit skeptical about liquid form (milk/cream) as I read from someone that after it thawed the shelf life will be within 10 days.
    And, the milk I bought is alway 4L plastic bags ($7.18) which is cheaper than I buy in 2L cartons ($4.38)
    Yep, milk in QC is expensive.

  9. I feel silly now. I froze breastmilk for all my children and it never once occurred to be to freeze cow’s milk. Well, now I know. Thanks for the tips!

  10. Thanks for this information. I’ve seen my mom freeze butter and I’ve done the same with cream cheese, but I didn’t know you can do that with milk. I will have to give it a try!

  11. I freeze butter. I love the idea of shredding cheese in one portion sizes to use for cooking. Thanks for the great suggestion!

  12. Awesome post! I’ve never froze butter or milk! But so good to know 🙂 My mom and I always buy red/green peppers, celery, mushrooms, etc…dice and chop them up into different sized baggies and freeze them. Great for cooking! And of course, bread hehe…especially buying it in bulk at Costco 🙂 Love that dairy products can be frozen too!

    Brandi
    http://www.yeewittlethings.blogspot.ca

  13. Great to know. I’m always looking for ways to not have to shop as often and buy more when somethings on sale.
    thanks

  14. I didn’t know you could freeze any of these things. Thanks for sharing.

    1. YES it can be frozen and can be frozen and it tastes just the same when thawed
      . Just shake it up to mix.

  15. Awesome! My mom froze milk when we were younger, but I had no idea you could freeze pretty much every other dairy product. I love the tip about shredding the cheese then freezing – so convenient and I’m totally doing that next grocery run. Thanks! 🙂

  16. I had heard of freezing milk and cheese, but I had no idea butter and cream cheeses could also be frozen! I love the idea of freezing bags of shredded cheese ready for cooking. Bravo!

  17. Wow-this is great info! Thanks so much for posting this! Our cream cheese goes bad all the time-now I know that I can freeze it!

  18. Great Info, I freeze cheese and butter but I did not know you could freeze everything else! I know unsalted butter should be frozen.

  19. I knew that you could freeze milk, cheese and butter, but had no idea how long you could do it. When I do freeze cheese it tends to get lost in the back ends of the never-to-be-seen-again frosty innards of the freezer where my delicate hands don’t want to dig. I even have gloves next to the freezer just for that, but it doesn’t help. I didn’t know you could freeze cottage cheese. Is that okay to just eat then as a side dish or do you have to use it in lasagna or something? There have been times I’ve bought too much of that on sale and some has gone past the expiration date. Thank you for the information!

  20. I honestly had no idea you could freeze dairy products, let alone milk. Mainly because they don’t have a very long shelf life. Thanks for the tip!

  21. Living in the dairy state of Wisconsin, I grew up knowing how feezable dairy products are. It’s great! My freezer is usually well stocked on the last great deal of butter! I often freeze milk and cheese to keep it from spoiling as well. It’s a tip I try and pass along to others because it is so helpful. I had a hard time believing there were people out there who didn’t know you could freeze dairy! But i’ve run into a few friends over the years who weren’t familiar with this tip. I guess it has a lot to do with how you grow up!

  22. Thank you for this tip! I didn’t realize you could freeze dairy products! And I just passed up buying LOADS of butter the other day (the organic kind was on sale!!!) because I didn’t know if I’d use it up in time. Woohoo! Back to the store for me!

  23. haha, I’ve had milk freeze from touching the back wall of my fridge overnight; I never thought about intentionally freezing it! 🙂 Thanks for the tip!

  24. Never tried to freeze cheese or cottage cheese, nice to know. My try freezing the milk next time because I like to drive an hour away and get raw milk, I wonder if freezing would hurt the beneficial enzymes. I might have to ask the farmer. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Hi there, I log on for your blogs like every week. Your creating style is witty, keep it up!

  26. I learned this last year and it has been an amazing way to save money! Our grocery store often has dairy on major clearance as the expiry dates near, so I stock up often and freeze for later. In addition to your list I also freeze sour cream. I make a lot of pasta casseroles that use cottage cheese and/or sour cream, so although the texture can change a little in the freezer, it never matters in the casseroles. Not only do I save money, I also almost always have my ingredients on hand when I need to make something in a pinch – I freeze everything in the quantities needed for the specific dishes I make, labelled accordingly, so that I know exactly what to grab for each meal prep. I love it! I wish I had discovered it earlier!

  27. I knew everything, but milk. I wonder if it’ll tear up the plastic it comes in…
    Thanks for sharing, Tammi! Every bit helps!

    1. Oh, and if I remember about it at the right moment 🙂 I try to freeze anything I think could be freezable in a very small amount then thaw and try the next day. And then I know for sure.

  28. Just an FYI , when you buy cheese already shredded, it’s coated in corn starch to keep it separated! Something no one needs. Shred your own, and does work great frozen!

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  33. I have frozen butter (I just throw the boxes right in the freezer!) and cheese (shredded, flash frozen and then put into ziplock bags) for ages now and love it!

    I have recently started freezing milk but I do NOT just put the whole jug in the freezer. We don’t drink milk to drink it – and I don’t think frozen/thawed milk is really ideal for drinking – IMHO 🙂 But I do use it for baking and cooking – in which case the thawed milk seems to work just fine!

    SO, what I do is look at what amounts of milk I typically need for common recipes. Like I need 1.25 cups for making one batch of pancakes, or I need 1.5 cups for making a particular white sauce we like, and so on. Then I fill various size Rubbermaid containers with the appropriate amounts, snap the lids on, and then I label them with pieces of masking tape I write on with date, etc. Make sure to leave a little extra room in containers for expansion!

    I either thaw containers in fridge overnight or I have also just popped the big milk “cube” out into a glass bowl and defrosted in the microwave – maybe 30 seconds at a time – checking and stirring.

    You can also freeze eggs! Easter time is a great time to stock up! I use silicone muffin pans – crack an egg in each one – scramble slightly and freeze. Pop the frozen cubes out and fill ziplock bags. Take out what you need for baking or even scrambled eggs and thaw in fridge overnight. A few seconds on defrost in the microwave works too.

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