A few year’s ago I came to the slow and painful realization I was lactose intolerant. Thought I was dying every time I ate something containing lactose until I figured it out. Note to fellow readers, if you have piercing stomach pain and farts that make your nose hairs curl along with watering your eyes and clearing a room-you might be sensitive to lactose.

A curious case of price per ounce…

I started buying Lactaid milk for my cereal and coffee. Lactaid milk is expensive. The sizes offered at Kroger were a standard half gallon and a strange look-a-like a gallon but isn’t 96 fl oz container. The half gallon or 64oz was $3.72 and the 96 fl oz container was $6.24. For the MFers like me who are price and budget bloodhounds, this doesn’t add up. The half gallon was 5.9 cents per ounce and the larger container was 6.5 cents per ounce!

Being the helpful customer that I am, I brought it to the attention of a person stocking the section. They did a price check and verified the two items were priced correctly. I told them I would prefer to buy one of the larger items instead of two of the half-gallon sized, but that would be more expense. They got their manager.

I explained the scenario to the manager. I conveyed the fact that while the items were priced correctly according to their system, that I did not want to buy two products when I could purchase the larger item. The manager looked at me like I had lost my mind and was wasting his time. Clearly, I was a crazy lady who had nothing better to do than argue about the price of milk.

I got two half gallons of Lactaid milk.

The savings a year are probably slightly ridiculous to most people. Approximating 52 gallons a year, or 104 half gallons x $3.72 = 386.88 vs 70 of the larger containers x $6.24 = $436.80. Saving $49.92 for the year. I don’t view this a ridiculous. MF views this as an opportunity for free money.

The above example of saving money was when I first discovered I was lactose intolerant. I now put Lactase drops in regular milk and save even more! The only place I’ve had luck finding them is through Amazon. When using Amazon for new purchases, I usually price check through camelcamelcamel.com to make sure I am getting the normal to low price!

The two pack is cheaper ($39.95) than the single bottle ($21.95). I use around 30 drops per gallon, shake it up, and let it sit for around 24 hours. Presto, glorious lactose-free milk and without the pain!

Each bottle contains around 375 drops of the enzyme which can treat 12.5 gallons of milk. Therefore, the two pack is good for treating 25 gallons. For our household annual consumption of 52 gallons of milk, I need 4.16 bottles of lactase drops and spend $83.10. Right now I buy milk at Costco for $1.98 per gallon and if it stays this cost annual we spend $186.06 on milk. Regular milk plus the cost of the enzymes equals $269.16! The savings from switching from Lactaid milk at ($386.88 per year) to using the drops in a regular gallon of milk is equal to $117.72!

If I never questioned the price per ounce and continued to purchase the larger container of Lactaid milk, I would still be spending $436.80 per year on milk. I love finding little ways to save throughout the year! Then, I really like calculating the savings as they continue throughout my lifetime.

  • 1-year Large container to drops savings: $167.64
  • 5-year savings: $838.20
  • 10-year savings: $1676.40
  • 50-year savings: $8,382.00

Additionally, and to change the topic…What if you apply this same attention to detail to every purchase you make throughout the year?

Switching from groceries to an Employer provided benefits package. This year I decided I was going to look at the Vision Insurance provided during open enrollment. I have great vision but have astigmatisms which make light emitted from electronic devices migraine level painful. Open enrollment came around and to my horror, the vision insurance doesn’t even cover its own cost! Blasphemy!

The lowest tier health insurance my company offers covered a 100% of a routine eye exam. The maximum allotment for glasses frames is $150 annually. The price for the insurance is $6.38 for 24 paychecks which drum roll please is $153.12. I would essentially be paying $3.12 for a piece of paper that says I have vision insurance. That’s my $3.12, and I’m going to keep it in my savings!

Just the two examples above save me $170.76 per year. I look for small ways to save on 99% of the things I already purchase and by the two examples above I save just by pausing to question if there is a better way and (gasp!) using math. In the example of milk at Krogers, they ALREADY DID THE MATH FOR YOU!


If you can find a hundred ways to save on small things you already do in life, you can potentially save a few thousand dollars every year!

Got (lactose free) milk?
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