I heard on the news that milk prices may sore in the new year. Here is a New York Times article. (click here)
Update, a compromise being reached on the farm bill? (click here)
One thing to keep in mind is, you can "save" and "pin" as many recipes as you want on the internet; but if the power goes out for a long time, how will you get to them? It's a very good idea to copy basic recipes for the foods that you have stored. It may even be a good idea to practice making some of these things and will give you more confidence in it.
I actually haven't stored any powdered milk yet because it seems so expensive, and I'm on a strict budget. At least it seems expensive to me since you are buying a box of something powdered as opposed to cans of evaporated milk for around 75 cents each. Then I thought, well silly girl, that could be one of your projects! Crunch the numbers and figure it out! Powdered milk is $7.78 for a small box (1 pound & 9.6 ounces) here at Wal-Mart. I live in a small town area, so we don't have a lot of big warehouse type stores or discount stores. I normally only buy powdered milk to make a copy-cat toffee cappuccino recipe to stretch out the store brand cappuccino that I like to buy. I don't drink white milk (just don't like it); so, if I have a recipe that calls for milk and don't have it in the house, I just use evaporated milk (1/2 water and 1/2 evaporated milk). Also, I live 30 miles from where I buy my groceries, so it's nice to know substitute recipes I can use in a pinch.
As usual, there is conflicting information on the shelf life of non-fat powdered milk. From what I've read, if stored properly in air-tight containers and/or mylar bags with an oxygen absorber, it can last anywhere from 10-25 years, which is a long time either way. Evaporated milk is supposed to be good for 1-2 years but is thought to be good for at least several years in an emergency situation. The taste just wouldn't be as good. You would have to use your own judgment.
So, I crunched the numbers. The box of powdered milk in my area, as I said above, is $7.78 for a small box, and a can of evaporated milk is around 75 cents (Not sale prices. Of course it's better when you can get it on sale). Anyway, if you use the powdered milk to make 1-1/2 cups of evaporated milk (equivalent), which is how much is in a can of evaporated milk, it came out to about 73 cents, so about the same price BUT powdered milk lasts much longer in storage. I like the evaporated milk much better for recipes, but I should start storing some powdered milk too. FYI, 1 cup of milk from powdered milk is about 24 cents.
Here are some recipes I tried:
I found this article on what you can do with the whey. (click here)
To take it one step further:
"Butter" from Dry Milk? ....not so much. I found this recipe for it and was really hoping it would work well as I love butter. I thought, in an emergency situation, if you had powdered milk stored but was out of butter and just wanted something with a buttery taste and consistency to put on your food, you could do this; but it didn't work well. I tried 1/2 a batch and it wouldn't thicken. I tried it again, just 1/4 batch since I didn't want to waste the ingredients, and used just a little less water and oil; and even after beating it with the electric mixer on medium for 15 minutes and then on high for another 5 minutes, it wasn't even as thick as sour cream and didn't taste very good. To be fair, I didn't have the butter flavoring to add; but still, I don't think it would we worth the while. That was with the electric mixer too, not the hand mixer if the power was out. Also, I tried to search for other recipes like it and didn't see much; so that's another big red flag to me that it doesn't work very well. You can try it if you like, 3/4 cup powdered milk, 1/3 cup water, 1/4 cup oil. Food coloring, salt, and butter flavoring optional.
Here are a few more recipes I didn't try yet:
1 quart (4 cups) reconstituted milk