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Monday, December 3, 2012

A bargain is not a bargain if you have to throw some of it out

I bought this gallon jug of chocolate milk on mark down about 10 days ago. I often pour off about half and freeze for a treat later on. But this time I just didn't do that, thinking my kids would drink this all up quickly. Well, as things happened, they just didn't drink it all that quickly.

Two nights ago, I noticed that we were past the sell-by date on this gallon of chocolate milk, so I knew I needed to get this used up very soon. I served glasses of the chocolate milk with dinner, but there was still over a cup left.

Then yesterday morning, I thought I detected a very, very faint souring. I have a nose that any perfumer would envy. I can smell things that the rest of the family can't. So, I knew this wasn't spoiled milk, just milk about to turn. I decided to make this into cocoa for breakfast. I blended the remaining milk with some water, cocoa powder, sugar and vanilla. It made a very tasty cocoa. But still I had about 3/4 cup of this cocoa remaining. This is the chocolate milk that will not go away!

In the afternoon, I went ahead and made today's breakfast. I used the remaining cocoa for the liquid in chocolate-chocolate chip pancakes. Waste averted -- yummy pancakes that I had planned to serve with berry coulis (frozen raspberries, blueberries, strawberries from last summer). Well, as life happens, the berry coulis didn't get made. But, wouldn't that have been delicious?! Anyways, we had the chocolate-chocolate chip pancakes with maple syrup, and they were tasty, especially when I got a bite with a melty chocolate chip.

And now, the chocolate milk that would not end is finally gone.

Have you ever bought what you thought would be a bargain, but it turned out that you couldn't use it after all?


  1. I bought one of those large Costco bags of grated cheese, thinking I'd save lots of money. I didn't use it all in time, and after a few weeks I found mold in the bag. Ugh! Never again!

    1. Hi Delicia,
      I haven't seen your name in the comments before. If you're new around here, welcome! If you've been around for a while, and are just now de-lurking, I'm glad you introduced yourself.

      Thanks for the reminder on the cheese. I have a bag of pizza cheese right now in the fridge that's opened. I'll go pack into containers in a bit, and freeze.

      Anyways, about storing cheese -- those bags of grated cheese mold very quickly once opened. I've had opened bags keep for a couple of weeks, but more often the mold begins at about 1 week. If you have a vacuum sealer, you can repackage and seal, and this will prolong the life of the cheese. Otherwise, I just package the cheese in used Cool-Whip containers and freeze. Once thawed you can just use it as is.

      For block cheese, wrapping in waxed paper seems to keep mold at bay longer than plastic wrap for me. And vacuum sealing block cheese is also highly successful.

      Thanks for chiming in with a comment!

  2. It seems as if your chocolate milk problem happens here a lot. We will get something that gets gobbled up, and then I get some more of it and it's gobbled up. Then another time, I buy the same thing, and no one eats it. I guess they get tired of it, or as my son said when he was younger, he had a taste change.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      That happens here with bananas. We go for weeks where it seems I can't keep enough bananas in the house for appetites. Then one suddenly, one week the bananas just sit and sit and sit, until all brown and shriveled. I know I can bake them into something. But if I wanted baking bananas, I could have just bought the already over ripe ones, at a discount.

      I guess with the chocolate milk this time, they'd just tired of it. They did like the chocolate pancakes, though!

    2. I have had good luck with freezing bananas. The juice separates from the banana, but I just include all of it in with baked goods or a smoothie/shake. If I don't have time to bake, sometimes that's the easiest "rescue" for me.

    3. Hi Kris,
      Have you ever frozen a banana in it's peel? I saw on Frugal Girl that's how she freezes extra bananas.

      When I freeze them, I slice them and fill 1 cup containers. And with the frozen bananas, I like to run them still frozen through the food processor, for a natural, fat-free "ice cream". Really pretty yummy. I add some vanilla extract and it's good enough to top with a spoonful of chocolate syrup for a sundae.

    4. Nope, I do a container. I have an "elephant milk shake" recipe that I make for the kids and I prefer to use a frozen banana (rather than an unfrozen one and add ice cubes) because it seems to have a more traditional thick shake consistency. (it also takes milk, peanut butter, and a little chocolate syrup--sometimes I have made it for their lunch!). I love your idea of using a frozen banana as ice cream. Healthy AND yummy!

  3. Oh... the Costco dilema! I once bought an enormous bar of cream cheese with the intention of using it to make lasagna (I use cream cheese instead of ricotta and make 5 lasagnas at a time to freeze for later use.) But it took a week or so to get around to making it and by that time the entire thing had gone moldy. UG.

    1. Hi Cat,
      Oh no! I've done similar things. And what always gets to me is that if I had known that I wouldn't get to it for a week, I would have just frozen the ingredients to begin. But the pages on the calendar just have a way of slipping by, until it's too late, or almost too late. I'm staying up late tonight simply because I ran out of days to make my 1/2 gallon of whole milk into yogurt. It was today or never! And I didn't realize that until I came home in the evening! Rats!

  4. I just put a large bag of cheese in the freezer because I didn't have any plans to use it right now and didn't want it to go bad. You put that chocolate milk to good use, Lili. :)

    1. Hi Belinda,
      when you freeze shredded cheese, do you just freeze the whole large bag? And you can probably chip out what you need as you need it, right? I hadn't thought to freeze it in the whole big bag until you just mentioned it. For some reason I had it in my head that I needed to freeze it divided into containers, in amounts that I might use up in two or three days once thawed. Silly me!

    2. This probably goes against all food safety regulations, but I have frozen and thawed the same bag of mozzarella cheese several times and we have yet to visit the emergency room. :)

  5. When I want to make some smoothies without dairy I tend to buy some cheap orange juice. so after I`ve made smoothies, there`s usually a lot left. and then I just forget about it. until it gets that yucky taste, and I have to pour it out. this happen every time!! It`s so annoying!

    1. Hi blondeonbudget,
      I can imagine how frustrating that would be.

      You can freeze the leftover orange juice. Just pour it into 1 cup containers (like used yogurt containers), and freeze. The bonus would be that when making your smoothies, the juice would add a frostiness, as it would be mostly frozen, or, you could thaw it in the microwave just before making a smoothie.


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