Can You Freeze Milk? Yes!

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One way to save money on groceries is by stocking up on deals which is easy enough to do for dry goods and meat, but what about fresh dairy products like milk? The shelf life is not very long and there’s only so much you can drink before it expires. Here’s a tip: You can freeze batches of milk to use for later! Here’s how…

Fresh Milk In A Glass Pitcher

Fresh Milk In A Glass Pitcher

It makes sense that you will first need to remove a bit of milk from the containers before freezing since liquids expand when they’re frozen, but I’ve found that it’s not necessary. Just popping full cartons or plastic jugs in the freezer without first emptying a bit out has worked fine for me.

According to an article I found in the Seattle Times, as long as the container has about 1 1/2″ inches of headspace it should be fine (otherwise remove a bit before freezing). To test this for yourself, put a container of milk in a plastic bag and then freeze it. If you find the container will hold the contents without bursting, you’ll know for next time (assuming you buy the same brand/size). If it does burst, the mess will be contained in the plastic bag for easy cleanup.

When you’re running low on milk, remove a carton from the freezer and refrigerate. Depending on the content weight, it will need a day or two to thaw. Shake the container well before drinking since it can separate after freezing.

We’re not big milk drinkers in my family so it’s mainly used in cooking and baking (and for breakfast cereal), we don’t notice a difference in quality once it’s been frozen and thawed but if you’re a milk aficionado–your opinion might differ.

Tips:

  • Freeze the milk when it’s as fresh as possible, you want to freeze it before the expiration date but also allow time to consume it once it thaws.
  • According to the article I linked to above, low-fat and non-fat varieties freeze best.
  • How long can it be frozen? For best results, stick with amounts that will be used within 4 to 6 weeks but I have come across mentions of a three month window.
  • Did you know eggs can be frozen too?

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Published: October 15, 2009

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18 Comments to “Can You Freeze Milk? Yes!”
  1. crossn81 says:

    We love doing this. We are able to get the cost benefit of purchasing the gallon and then freeze several old pasta sauce jars full and rarely throw spoiled milk away.

    • Severina says:

      What a great idea…I was more concerned with the “aftermath”…how long is it good for after it’s thawed…great article and great comments/suggestions! Also…I freeze leftover spaghetti for later, too. Freezes well!!

  2. Jackie @ Lilolu says:

    This is a great tip! My family drinks a lot of milk so I often have to get two containers of milk but it takes up a lot room in the fridge. Keeping one in the freezer would be great!

  3. Parker says:

    Will this work with Soy milk?

    • TipNut says:

      Parker I haven’t tried freezing soy milk so I can’t say for sure, but I think you should be able to freeze it. You’d want to really shake it up after it thaws though.

      • Tiffany says:

        No! Don’t freeze soy milk. It completely ruins it. My daughter is lactose intolerant, so she drinks soy and our fridge got too cold in the back and partially froze the milk. When it thawed, it was seperated and chunky. It also had a bad smell. I do not reccomend this.

    • susan says:

      yes you can freeze soy milk. i buy extra when on sale & freeze it. i get the Silk brand & must remove some from container for the freezing expansion.

    • niver says:

      Parker, please try not to drink soy it is not healthy, I did not know this myself for a long time. It contains a anti-nutrient compound which prevents the uptake of vital nutrients and minerals from other foods we eat. Do some resarch on this I know you will feel better I did.

  4. The Amazing Spider-Ads says:

    The Best thing about this is that it’s already recommended keeping jugs of frozen liquid in your freezer if you have the room, to save electricity… so by keeping my milk in the freezer, I get to save TWICE!

  5. Luke Chalupowski says:

    Sounds good I will have to try this.

  6. Leann says:

    I’ve been throwing away so much milk!!!! I never knew this! Thank you!!!

  7. HippyDude says:

    You might want to try a small container of milk first as a test. That will save money if the entire container of whole milk begins to separate after the freezeing/thawing cycle.

  8. backblocks101 says:

    We freeze the surplus from our Jersey house cow in 3L plastic containers and use it when she dries up between calves. We are currently using milk that was frozen more than a year ago and its as good as the day it was frozen. To restore it back to original milk “mouth feel” we pour the thawed milk into 2x 1.5L jugs and heat each one in our 1100W microwave for 4 minutes then stir it. This just heats it slightly too hot to hand-hold the jug but does not boil it but allows the milk components that had separated during freezing/thawing to recombine when stirred. We do this at breakfast time and everyone loves the warm milk on their cereals. The unused milk that remains in each jug gets put in the fridge for normal use during the day. It settles with the cream forming a firm seal on top but we ignore this and pour the milk out from underneath the top layers. The cream layer will later dissolve in hot water for cleaning the jugs for the next day. It could probably be used for some purpose.

  9. jjmorgan says:

    I learned the hard way that it can’t be frozen in glass jars. Ill try the plastic containers now.

  10. terry says:

    Yes, milk can be frozen in glass jars. I have used quart, pint and half-gallon canning jars for over forty years, with breakage only occurring when not enough room is left for expansion of freezing milk. Freezing it upright also prevents expansion problems. Once frozen, you can then store it however you want. I have used both fan-forced and chest freezers with no difference in thawed quality, even though there is more of a freeze-thaw cycle in fan-forced freezers, and frozen milk will store well for at least a year. Whole milk does turn grainy, but the microwave trick above works fairly well. We just usually use the grainy whole milk to make yogurt.

  11. LuluBata says:

    Last week I froze milk out of necessity, not by design. My refrigirator broke and I had two bottles, so I stuck them in the freezer as is and, wow, the milk tastes like it always does!

  12. Kyra says:

    Once a week our local grocery stores have milk on sale that’s within a few days
    of the sell-by dates. It’s a good time to stock up on milk and freeze it for
    future use.


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