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The Price of Milk Might Decline in 2008

This article was written by in Consumer. 15 comments.

In 2007, the price of milk at the grocery store increased 12%. Spending on milk accounts for 12% of the “average” American household grocery budget, so this was a significant increase.

This year, the agriculture industry is predicting that milk prices will level out or even decrease thanks to an increase in supply. However, some analysts believe that any reduction in wholesale prices may not find its way to the grocery shelves.

I’m not an “average” American household. I purchase food for myself only. Not only that, I’m lactose intolerant, so I only use small amounts of milk in cooking, and I never drink the stuff.

cowI buy Lactaid brand 2% reduced fat milk, usually one quart per month. Today’s retail price at my grocery store for this brand is $4.19 for a half gallon. This is compared with the Tuscan Farms brand of milk (including lactose) at $2.69 for a half-gallon.

My milk is more expensive, but I don’t buy much of it. That limits my exposure to last year’s price increase.

Did you feel pain in the wallet last year as a result of increased milk prices and did you cut back on your milk purchases?

Image credit: fiskfisk
Holy cow! Consumers get a milk break [CNN Money]

Updated January 16, 2010 and originally published March 12, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Curtis

There are 3 of us in our house. And one of those 3 is a soon to be 9 year old boy who not only looks like he’s 12, but is already wearing men’s size shoes. So, yeah, we go through a lot of milk.

However, we also buy the non-fat, dried milk as well. Our last purchase it was about $12 for a box that makes 40 quarts (10 gallons). So, for $1.20 a gallon, we add our own water and don’t have any of the milk fat and most of the calcium. You get used to it pretty quick. I’ve noticed the price go up some, but not too much.

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avatar Frugal pursuit

I was raised on a dairy farm and love milk. Regardless of the price, I did not change the amount of milk I drank (4-6 gallons/month). However, I did jump on sale prices for milk quicker than I did previously.

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avatar Mrs. Micah

Prices were jumping just as I got married and we got settled into our new ways of doing things. But I drink much less milk now than I did when living with my parents. Probably has to do with the price jump. But I don’t know if I’ll drink more if it goes down.

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avatar Nitin Rao

I come from India and for sure the price of milk is giving tough competition to the crude basket at the rate at which it’s rising. J

More on the emerging Indian Economy here.

Nitin @ My 2dimes

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avatar Yana

I went through my receipts for February, and we bought 11 gallons of milk for a total of $33.34. We’ve felt the pain of the price increase, but have not cut back. I generally drink one glass a day when I make myself hot chocolate. The rest is drunk by my husband, mostly in coffee. He puts a little coffee in his milk ;) Now that we have more to worry about more than chlorine in our tap water, increasing our bottled water purchases may cause us to give up food!

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avatar Lazy Man

I’m excited about the possibility of cheaper milk. I don’t drink a ton of milk, but I’m trying to drink more as it’s healthier than other things out there.

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avatar Becca

Oh my gosh yes it has affected us! We had been buying 3 gallons of milk every two weeks. This has recently jumped to 4 gallons every two weeks, and there are only two people that drink it. My husband probably drinks 3 of the 4 gallons a week on his own. We joke about needing our own cow. Right now, there is an awesome sale for 2.29 a gallon. We live in Utah and have a dairy in-state, which happens to be hormone-free, and this helps so much. The “usual” price is $2.50, but for a while we were paying $3.00 a gallon. We tried the dried milk route, but we spent more per gallon, so we stick with the real stuff. We budget at least $10.00 for milk. (We only shop every other week, and try to keep our spending between $50-$100, so you can see what a huge expense this is.) I am relieved the price is maybe going down. I hope it does.

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avatar SingleGuyMoney

I used to drink Lactaid but switched to Dairy Ease. It’s about a $1 cheaper and taste as good as Lactaid.

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avatar Rev

Nope I drink soy milk.

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avatar Margo

Milk has always been expensive at my grocery store, but they’ve held the line between 2.29 and 2.79 per half gallon. I can see how this would hurt a family.

However, I’ve noticed the price increase of EGGS more than anything else. I only buy them for baking – thankfully – but I recall getting the half dozen package for 49 to 69 cents…now it’s 1.49. I’m surprised I haven’t heard more complaining about the cost of eggs!

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avatar No More Spending

I currently spend £6.50 ($14) per week on 20 pints of milk. I buy this from my local Aldi as it is the cheapest place.
The price has increased by £1.15 per week in the last 4 months. An over 21% increase.
There are a lot of things I have cut back on to clear my debt but cutting back on milk for my family is not an option.

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avatar Jason

For my family with three growing kids under 6 we go through about 3-4 gallons of milk a week. Cereal, cooking, drinking, these things cant really be cut back too much. Just one of those pains you have to deal with and make cuts in other places. We no longer purchase pop (coke,pepsi etc.) at the store.

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avatar shouldbeworking

We’ve been hit fairly hard by the increase in milk prices(my wife is constantly complaining about the price). We are a family of five with three growing boys who like their milk. It is not rare for us to go through a gallon of milk a day. I would say it definitely has had an effect on any “extra” money we have for entertainment.

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avatar lwfaith

I have 7 living in my home. The milk price increase has changed everything. I buy no one gallon of milk instead of the 4 i did each week. I buy less cereal for the kids because no milk for it so why buy it. at this point it is getting to the only place they will get milk is at school. The prices of food and gas have gone up so much that now we ration everything. however this year instead of having as hard of a time we are farming what yard we have. it is just to bad i can’t afford a cow or i would do that also. And we know that the lower price won’t reach us. they think we are use to it so they won’t bring it down.

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avatar Elizabeth Salsgiver

I am a student at the University of Vermont in the CREAM program (cooperative for real education in agricultural management), and I have seen firsthand how hard it is for dairy farmers to make any profit. Two of the large local dairy farms are making literally no money–they wake up, work all day, and go to bed having earned absolutely nothing. The CREAM barn, with free labor from the CREAM students, barely makes ends meet every year. I realize that milk prices can make the cost of living hard, but you also have to remember that milk prices are already unbearably low for the farmers who produce it. Lowering the cost could end the existence of small dairy farms.

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