What is the Best Kind of Milk for Food Storage?

Photo by: Salim Virji

Todd’s Note: I don’t think the average person realizes how much they utilize milk and dairy products.  If you don’t own a milk cow or goat, in an emergency/crisis event, you might quickly wish you had access to some sort of milk.  Luckily, there are options for our food storage!

Milk is something that most families consume in generous amounts. However, when it comes to storing it, most of us realize pretty quickly that fresh milk won’t last more than a couple of weeks at most. As a result, milk is often an item that is frequently omitted from a family’s emergency food storage. But why should we let a short shelf life prevent us from storing an American food staple? Something that is not only delicious and versatile but that also contains healthy vitamins and minerals such as large amounts of calcium? Here are some alternatives to help you to complete your food storage in the best way.

Frozen Milk

If you cannot stand the thought of having a non-cow’s milk in your food storage, you can actually lengthen its shelf life by freezing it. This will allow you to keep it for up to three months, so you will have to rotate your supplies every quarter. You might also want to try freezing just one carton first to test it out. The consistency can change slightly upon thawing, and it is not to everybody’s taste. If you like it, you can then work on filling up your supplies.

Powdered Milk

Powdered milk is probably the best milk for food storage. Not only is it as close to real milk as you will get, especially in taste and texture, but it is cheap and much easier to store taking up very little space. The regular shelf life for powdered milk is about 18 months, but if it is packaged properly, it will be good for much longer than that. It also doesn’t need to be refrigerated, which helps with storage. Instant milk is also an option. It is almost the same as powdered milk, but is created through a freeze-drying process.

Soy milk

Whether you have an allergy to lactose or dairy, you want an easier storage option, or perhaps you simply like the taste, soy milk is a popular alternative. The good thing about soy milk is that you can actually produce it at home. This makes it a good last resort for emergencies. Nutritionally, it has almost as much protein, less fat, and no cholesterol, when compared to regular milk. There is a different taste, so it is another one that you will want to try out first. Soybeans have a shelf life of about 18 months.

Rice Milk

Rice milk is a bit harder to come by than soy milk, but some people prefer the flavor. It is another milk that can be homemade and is free of cholesterol and lactose. It does contain more carbohydrates than regular milk however. Rice milk also has a thinner consistency than dairy or soymilk. It has about a nine-month shelf life.

Almond Milk

Thanks to a creamy consistency and added flavor, almond milk is a popular milk alternative. It is also something that you can make yourself, tastes good in drinks or with fruit, and has an average shelf life of about a year.


About the Author: Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.


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Todd Sepulveda

I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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16 thoughts on “What is the Best Kind of Milk for Food Storage?

  1. Practical Parsimony

    I tried freezing milk so I could buy once a month. It took a week for one gallon to thaw. It thawed slowly, so some of the milk started aging. I tried pouring off milk as it thawed for my children to drink. Some of the milk was creamier; the later milk was like water. Half gallons are also slow to thaw. I finally tried freezing milk in pint and half pint Ball Jars for Freezing. It was a better option the freeze this way.

  2. JayJay

    Try a quart of Gossner Foods milk in a container from Dollar Tree. Stated shelf life 7 months, but I just used a quart from my storage and it was bought 18 months ago. 🙂
    I also have evaporated milk that can be mixed with water.

    Yes, frozen sucks.

    I also read to incorporate powdered milk in with your regular milk to make that milk last longer and not taste like powdered milk.

  3. londerella

    All of these are readily available in huge quantities at every supermarket in the UK in the long life section for bottled drinks. Even coconut milk is now avail in long life or fresh. I imagine it’s all more available in the States than you think. Just check the dairy free aisle or Amazon.

  4. Deanne

    Powdered milk has come a long way….Thrive has the best tasting powdered milk, we drink it all the time. Since there are only myself and my husband and we don’t use much, but it is what we use most of the time. My grandkids can’t tell the difference.

  5. Marianne

    Try thawing frozen milk by putting your jug in a pan of water on the stove. Don’t turn it up to high, you don’t want temp to exceed 160, and let it thaw out. Shouldn’t take to long & put it in fridge after.

  6. Diane Tibert

    Knowing we’d need milk (which can be turned into butter, yoghurt, ice cream and soap) we opted to raise goats. This spring will be our second season with milk, and we’ll have two goats to milk. Even my ten year old learned how to milk last year, so he’ll have the skill.

    We learned about freezing goat milk last year, but I didn’t do it to drink the milk. I plan on making goat milk soap with it.

  7. mark

    Milk Storage

    Try this everyone get cans of condensed milk. and store. To make milk mix a one to one of water. One part condensed milk to one part of water makes Milk.

  8. Adrian

    What? He didn’t include Gossner Milk? UHT Milk lasts a long time, and one of the locations that produces it is about a hour away from Salt Lake City..Just about everyone in Utah knows Gossner both cheese and milk..Wonder if it was personal preference or he just didn’t know…

  9. halfkin

    NO Where have I found powdered milk to be inexpensive. It is more expensive than fresh milk.
    Yet I do believe it is the best long term storage if you drink milk.

  10. kent

    i grew up in Indiana,getting snowed in was an annual thing, so Mom always kept milk on hand….but since we didn’t like the taste, she also had a tin of Quick or can of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. We got chocolate milk for days….never could tell the difference between it & real milk…

  11. Paul

    I found this interesting. In the early 1900s some milk delivery men, or the people they delivered to, would place a silver dime in the milk container to prolong the life of the fresh milk. Apparently it was a makeshift colloidal silver solution. Not sure I would do this today as I am not an expert on this subject.

  12. Rambuff

    A quick note: You do NOT, repeat: DO NOT use, save, store or consume SOY milk or any other soy products, with the exception of “Soy Sauce”. There ARE NO more sources of commercially available or used soy beans…they are ALL genetically modified organisms.
    The soy can and WILL cause severe long-term health disorders; most notably soy is VERY full of female hormones, and has been linked to men losing their deep voices, testicular problems, etc.

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