[Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

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WaffleCone
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[Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by WaffleCone » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:04 pm

Why do retailers not sell 1/2 pint milks in quantity? All the other junk drinks are available but no milk.

We just got hit with the first week of school lunch expenses: $55 for 2 elementary aged kids. Normally they pack but the first week is crazy and we hadn't set up restrictions on their accounts yet.

Next week they'll be brown-bagging but one sticking point is the drinks. $1.10 for a milk and sometimes they want two. Why is it next to impossible to buy a case of 1/2 pint milks? I can't even find them at Costco or BJs and they sell obscene quantities of everything else oversized. I get that the shelf life is short but families would buy this if it was available. Am I missing something? I've been told I need to setup a commercial account with a diary which sounds ridiculous.

We've tried sending them in with various refillable containers which aren't cheap, and over time leak or get damaged or lost. They're boys, it happens. Plus the time spent cleaning them if they forget to clean them. Putting it in used water bottles is just eww.

Is there a conspiracy of lunch ladies to corner the market here?

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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by AlohaJoe » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:13 pm

I found some on Amazon after four seconds of searching.

https://www.amazon.com/Horizon-Organic- ... B000LKVB52

A few more seconds will turn up the same product at Costco but that's left as an exercise for the reader.

In general "why don't companies do X" can be answered with "because the market for doing X is too small to be worth it".

7eight9
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by 7eight9 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:24 pm

And I read this thread because I was thinking that you were wondering where to buy pony bottles of beer.

Interesting article titled Where did the tiny beer come from? --- https://punchdrink.com/articles/where-d ... come-from/
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bikesandbeers
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by bikesandbeers » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:32 pm

I used to get shelf stable chocolate milk boxes when I was little. The fresh at school paper containers always tasted better. I think the refrigeration was always the issue.

The only place I can think of besides schools with little half pints is my local donut shop. If you dont have a wholesale dairy close, maybe you could piggyback from a local donut shop or somewhere else with a regular delivery?

jjbiv
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by jjbiv » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:39 pm

Check Restaurant Depot (if you know a restaurant owner as access to the warehouse-style store is restricted) or with a local dairy. This is primarily a food service item but you should be able to purchase some.

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WaffleCone
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by WaffleCone » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:45 pm

AlohaJoe wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:13 pm
I found some on Amazon after four seconds of searching.

https://www.amazon.com/Horizon-Organic- ... B000LKVB52
I don't want to get into a milk debate. This is ultra-pasteurized milk that doesn't need refrigeration and has a slightly different taste and texture than traditional milks. I know I can get this, powdered milks, and other "milks". To be clear, I'm asking about the 1/2 pint or 1 pint containers in the paper cartons that every school sells for lunch.
AlohaJoe wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:13 pm
In general "why don't companies do X" can be answered with "because the market for doing X is too small to be worth it".
Wondering if anyone with knowledge of dairy could shed some light here. I know of many people who would buy a 6 or 10 pack. It would move quicker than some of those other containers in the milk aisle. I suspect there is some kind of USDA sticking point, maybe with labeling, that makes it not cost effective but would like to know what.

Small Savanna
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by Small Savanna » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:52 pm

I'm going to sound like a geezer, but $1.10 for an 8 ounce milk is nuts. When I was a kid it was 3 cents for white and 4 cents for chocolate. . .

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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by jlawrence01 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:04 pm

Small Savanna wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:52 pm
I'm going to sound like a geezer, but $1.10 for an 8 ounce milk is nuts. When I was a kid it was 3 cents for white and 4 cents for chocolate. . .

School lunch milk was generally subsidized by the federal and state governments.

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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by stoptothink » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:00 am

jlawrence01 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:04 pm
Small Savanna wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:52 pm
I'm going to sound like a geezer, but $1.10 for an 8 ounce milk is nuts. When I was a kid it was 3 cents for white and 4 cents for chocolate. . .

School lunch milk was generally subsidized by the federal and state governments.
An entire gallon of milk is <$2.50 here. There are 16 1/2 pints in a gallon.
Last edited by stoptothink on Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

livesoft
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by livesoft » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:15 am

Love the rant, but ...

Teach the boys about saving the environment and maybe they will catch on to re-usable milk containers. When I was a boy we had glass thermos bottles that kept our milk from home cold. Then later plastic Thermos bottles. Ask your mom about that.

Last night I froze 3 drinks that I am taking with me this morning on an outing. One can freeze milk.

Besides, aren't your kids making their own lunches? You could have a few minutes with a funnel of "Let's fill milk bottles and freeze them for the next week" if you wanted to. And you can get them used to drinking unsweetened soy milk, too. And if they lose them, tough. They get to drink water from the drinking fountain at school. That won't kill them unless you live in Flint or Newark.
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criticalmass
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by criticalmass » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:37 am

WaffleCone wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:04 pm
Why do retailers not sell 1/2 pint milks in quantity? All the other junk drinks are available but no milk.

We just got hit with the first week of school lunch expenses: $55 for 2 elementary aged kids. Normally they pack but the first week is crazy and we hadn't set up restrictions on their accounts yet.

Next week they'll be brown-bagging but one sticking point is the drinks. $1.10 for a milk and sometimes they want two. Why is it next to impossible to buy a case of 1/2 pint milks? I can't even find them at Costco or BJs and they sell obscene quantities of everything else oversized. I get that the shelf life is short but families would buy this if it was available. Am I missing something? I've been told I need to setup a commercial account with a diary which sounds ridiculous.

We've tried sending them in with various refillable containers which aren't cheap, and over time leak or get damaged or lost. They're boys, it happens. Plus the time spent cleaning them if they forget to clean them. Putting it in used water bottles is just eww.

Is there a conspiracy of lunch ladies to corner the market here?
We just put milk in a (plastic) thermos and enjoy. Clean thermos at end of day, reuse, refill with whatever kind of milk you want. Better quality and minimum environmental impact. We've never had an issue with a normal lunch thermos getting damaged, and it's nearly impossible to lose a thermos in the lunchbox, and a good responsibility lesson too. Why use single-use packaging instead of reusable?

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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:28 am

criticalmass wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:37 am
WaffleCone wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:04 pm
Why do retailers not sell 1/2 pint milks in quantity? All the other junk drinks are available but no milk.

We just got hit with the first week of school lunch expenses: $55 for 2 elementary aged kids. Normally they pack but the first week is crazy and we hadn't set up restrictions on their accounts yet.

Next week they'll be brown-bagging but one sticking point is the drinks. $1.10 for a milk and sometimes they want two. Why is it next to impossible to buy a case of 1/2 pint milks? I can't even find them at Costco or BJs and they sell obscene quantities of everything else oversized. I get that the shelf life is short but families would buy this if it was available. Am I missing something? I've been told I need to setup a commercial account with a diary which sounds ridiculous.

We've tried sending them in with various refillable containers which aren't cheap, and over time leak or get damaged or lost. They're boys, it happens. Plus the time spent cleaning them if they forget to clean them. Putting it in used water bottles is just eww.

Is there a conspiracy of lunch ladies to corner the market here?
We just put milk in a (plastic) thermos and enjoy. Clean thermos at end of day, reuse, refill with whatever kind of milk you want. Better quality and minimum environmental impact. We've never had an issue with a normal lunch thermos getting damaged, and it's nearly impossible to lose a thermos in the lunchbox, and a good responsibility lesson too. Why use single-use packaging instead of reusable?
This ^^^

Also don't see why filling used water bottles is unacceptable, beyond that buying water in bottles is bad for the environment.

As to why stores don't stock 1/2 pts, many reasons including too much space taken up, too slow moving, leak too easy, ...
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by Tamarind » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:04 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:28 am
criticalmass wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:37 am
WaffleCone wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:04 pm
Why do retailers not sell 1/2 pint milks in quantity? All the other junk drinks are available but no milk.

We just got hit with the first week of school lunch expenses: $55 for 2 elementary aged kids. Normally they pack but the first week is crazy and we hadn't set up restrictions on their accounts yet.

Next week they'll be brown-bagging but one sticking point is the drinks. $1.10 for a milk and sometimes they want two. Why is it next to impossible to buy a case of 1/2 pint milks? I can't even find them at Costco or BJs and they sell obscene quantities of everything else oversized. I get that the shelf life is short but families would buy this if it was available. Am I missing something? I've been told I need to setup a commercial account with a diary which sounds ridiculous.

We've tried sending them in with various refillable containers which aren't cheap, and over time leak or get damaged or lost. They're boys, it happens. Plus the time spent cleaning them if they forget to clean them. Putting it in used water bottles is just eww.

Is there a conspiracy of lunch ladies to corner the market here?
We just put milk in a (plastic) thermos and enjoy. Clean thermos at end of day, reuse, refill with whatever kind of milk you want. Better quality and minimum environmental impact. We've never had an issue with a normal lunch thermos getting damaged, and it's nearly impossible to lose a thermos in the lunchbox, and a good responsibility lesson too. Why use single-use packaging instead of reusable?
This ^^^

Also don't see why filling used water bottles is unacceptable, beyond that buying water in bottles is bad for the environment.

As to why stores don't stock 1/2 pts, many reasons including too much space taken up, too slow moving, leak too easy, ...
May I suggest what my wife and I use for carrying beverages and often foods to work: a mason jar with a solid plastic lid rather than a canning lid. Freezer safe, machine washable, unlike a thermos.

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Nate79
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by Nate79 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:12 am

Is school lunch really $55 per week for 2 kids? That seems really expensive.

cheesepep
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by cheesepep » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:21 am

Wow. I am not that old but far from elementary school and I paid 15 cents for a chocolate milk every day. 1.10 is insane.

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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by livesoft » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:27 am

Tamarind wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:04 am
May I suggest what my wife and I use for carrying beverages and often foods to work: a mason jar with a solid plastic lid rather than a canning lid. Freezer safe, machine washable, unlike a thermos.
There are a zillion options. I'm not sure what kind of water bottles the OP dissed. I use water bottles for bikes. They are dishwasher safe and can also be frozen. They might be called sports bottles in your area.
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by mw1739 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:37 am

Nate79 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:12 am
Is school lunch really $55 per week for 2 kids? That seems really expensive.
Glad I'm not the only one thinking that's high. That works out to $5.50/day per kid. I just looked up my kids school: $2.70 for lunch and $0.50 for milk. My kids are free to get milk, but 90% of the time drink the water we send with them.

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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by cherijoh » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:54 am

Tamarind wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:04 am
RickBoglehead wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:28 am
criticalmass wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:37 am
WaffleCone wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:04 pm
Why do retailers not sell 1/2 pint milks in quantity? All the other junk drinks are available but no milk.

We just got hit with the first week of school lunch expenses: $55 for 2 elementary aged kids. Normally they pack but the first week is crazy and we hadn't set up restrictions on their accounts yet.

Next week they'll be brown-bagging but one sticking point is the drinks. $1.10 for a milk and sometimes they want two. Why is it next to impossible to buy a case of 1/2 pint milks? I can't even find them at Costco or BJs and they sell obscene quantities of everything else oversized. I get that the shelf life is short but families would buy this if it was available. Am I missing something? I've been told I need to setup a commercial account with a diary which sounds ridiculous.

We've tried sending them in with various refillable containers which aren't cheap, and over time leak or get damaged or lost. They're boys, it happens. Plus the time spent cleaning them if they forget to clean them. Putting it in used water bottles is just eww.

Is there a conspiracy of lunch ladies to corner the market here?
We just put milk in a (plastic) thermos and enjoy. Clean thermos at end of day, reuse, refill with whatever kind of milk you want. Better quality and minimum environmental impact. We've never had an issue with a normal lunch thermos getting damaged, and it's nearly impossible to lose a thermos in the lunchbox, and a good responsibility lesson too. Why use single-use packaging instead of reusable?
This ^^^

Also don't see why filling used water bottles is unacceptable, beyond that buying water in bottles is bad for the environment.

As to why stores don't stock 1/2 pts, many reasons including too much space taken up, too slow moving, leak too easy, ...
May I suggest what my wife and I use for carrying beverages and often foods to work: a mason jar with a solid plastic lid rather than a canning lid. Freezer safe, machine washable, unlike a thermos.
They also sell plastic Mason jars so no risk of dropping a glass jar.

I have some 1 cup plastic wide-mouth containers with screw on lids with a freezable gel in the lid. Something like that might work. Even if OP coud find the commercial half-pints there would be the issue of keeping it cool. Romm temperature milk? Yuck!

setancre
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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by setancre » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:09 am

Does the school give you an itemized statement showing the lunch purchases? For my son it is all electronic, the kids have a lunch account that we fund, and the kids give the cashier their PIN to pay. Since my son was not handing anyone dollar bills, it took him a while in early grade school to fully understand that snacks, etc., which quickly run up the charges and are not free. His lunch price just went up this year to $2.90 including one milk, but an additional drink and pack of chips could double the price. One time he generously bought snacks for his entire table! We started taking the cost of snacks out of his weekly allowance last year, and he got the picture quickly.

fru-gal
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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by fru-gal » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:27 am

Whatever happened to thermoses and lunchboxes. Not plastic, please, you can probably buy metal ones on ebay if they don't make them any more.

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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by cheese_breath » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:29 am

Why does it have to be dairy? Soy and almond milk comes in small containers, and the vanilla flavor is really tasty.
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Brianmcg321
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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by Brianmcg321 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:31 am

Is water an option?
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JoeRetire
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by JoeRetire » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:35 am

WaffleCone wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:45 pm
I don't want to get into a milk debate. This is ultra-pasteurized milk that doesn't need refrigeration and has a slightly different taste and texture than traditional milks. I know I can get this, powdered milks, and other "milks". To be clear, I'm asking about the 1/2 pint or 1 pint containers in the paper cartons that every school sells for lunch.
Will your children have their brown bags with milk in a refrigerator until lunch time?

If not, I'd either have them purchase cold milk, or carry a thermos so that the milk stays cold. Seems worth the cost to me.

In my locale, you can purchase small milk containers (usually 1 pint) in disposable plastic bottles. Both plain and chocolate milk. They are in a refrigerated chest next to the checkout lines at the supermarket. I'm not sure you'd see much, if anything, in cost savings though.
Last edited by JoeRetire on Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:58 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by BanquetBeer » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:46 am

Tamarind wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:04 am
May I suggest what my wife and I use for carrying beverages and often foods to work: a mason jar with a solid plastic lid rather than a canning lid. Freezer safe, machine washable, unlike a thermos.
We dishwasher our kids thermos all the time? It’s rated for hot - if it only lasts 3 years instead of 5 I’ll be ok with that (we’re at 2.5 now)

But a bottle and straw brush make hand wash quick.

I also curious - will they be refrigerated until lunch? If not - I wouldn’t want to eat it. If it’s in a cooled lunch box - not hard to keep a bottle with it.

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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by researcher » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:01 am

Brianmcg321 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:31 am
Is water an option?
EXACTLY!
Why do your kids need to drink milk at lunch during school?

I've got 2 kids in elementary school and they both drink water for lunch from a washable/insulated kids drink bottle.

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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by stoptothink » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:03 am

setancre wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:09 am
Does the school give you an itemized statement showing the lunch purchases? For my son it is all electronic, the kids have a lunch account that we fund, and the kids give the cashier their PIN to pay. Since my son was not handing anyone dollar bills, it took him a while in early grade school to fully understand that snacks, etc., which quickly run up the charges and are not free. His lunch price just went up this year to $2.90 including one milk, but an additional drink and pack of chips could double the price. One time he generously bought snacks for his entire table! We started taking the cost of snacks out of his weekly allowance last year, and he got the picture quickly.
At my daughter's school it is all electronic as well and they assume everybody is going to eat breakfast and lunch at school so on the first day every child is charged. We have to call and confirm that she did not eat the school food and have the charge taken away. There's also been a few other times when she was charged (I got an email notification that she has a negative balance) but they had no record of her eating the food. She takes a lunch every single day, with a thermos for water, but there have been many times where she decided that she didn't want what was packed and ate the school lunch instead. We take the money directly out of her piggyback and make her pay it in person the following day. Its happened countless times, but it still hasn't sunk in. I've actually asked if there is a way we can get her account restricted so she can't buy food, but of course they acted like even making that suggestion that was child abuse.

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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by lthenderson » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:17 am

mw1739 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:37 am
Nate79 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:12 am
Is school lunch really $55 per week for 2 kids? That seems really expensive.
Glad I'm not the only one thinking that's high. That works out to $5.50/day per kid. I just looked up my kids school: $2.70 for lunch and $0.50 for milk. My kids are free to get milk, but 90% of the time drink the water we send with them.
For our kids, it is $2.55 per day and that INCLUDES a milk of their choice. There is no way I can compete with that by making sack lunches of equal nutritional value and that is assuming my time obtaining and preparing said sack lunches is considered free.

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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by stoptothink » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:30 am

lthenderson wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:17 am
mw1739 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:37 am
Nate79 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:12 am
Is school lunch really $55 per week for 2 kids? That seems really expensive.
Glad I'm not the only one thinking that's high. That works out to $5.50/day per kid. I just looked up my kids school: $2.70 for lunch and $0.50 for milk. My kids are free to get milk, but 90% of the time drink the water we send with them.
For our kids, it is $2.55 per day and that INCLUDES a milk of their choice. There is no way I can compete with that by making sack lunches of equal nutritional value and that is assuming my time obtaining and preparing said sack lunches is considered free.
My daughter's daily bagged lunch is ~$1 and far superior nutritionally than the options at the cafeteria.

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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by DarthSage » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:51 am

We did milk at home, juice at school. Sometimes individual juice, sometimes in washable containers. Kids stopped drinking juice with lunch a few years back (they're 16 and 13), now they bring refillable water bottles.

They also haven't purchased a school lunch (or milk) in the 4 years we've lived here. Previous kids/previous schools, I'd allow one hot lunch a week, sometimes two. The hot lunches were pricey, and my kids prefer bringing from home.

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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by miamivice » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:56 am

To answer the OP's question, I would write to whomever is the milk producer in your area. They'll have a website, and use the contact us feature. Ask them where you can buy 1/2 pint milk. They should be able to write back and tell you who sells or distributes the product.

I've always had great luck with contacting folks and asking them questions....

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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by greg24 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:04 am

WaffleCone wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:04 pm
Why do retailers not sell 1/2 pint milks in quantity? All the other junk drinks are available but no milk.
Milk is perishable.

Large quantities of half pint milk must not sell very well. Supply and demand.

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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by NoVa Lurker » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:17 am

In defense of OP, I have also been surprised that the only small-package milk option at every store is the Horizon stuff, which is way more expensive and just doesn't taste as good as 'regular' milk. Our kids (3rd grade and kindergarten) only get 25 minutes for lunch at school, and apparently the lunch line can take 10+ minutes when the food is 'good,' so we make lunch for the kids every day. I would love if they could buy, but they don't eat fast enough. They get water in a thermos. Not very fun, but healthy and cheap! We would send them with 1/2 pint milk cartons if we could buy them cheap, but they're just not available. And I hate cleaning milk out of straw thermos contraptions, so we'll stick with water!

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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by researcher » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:07 am

NoVa Lurker wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:17 am
They get water in a thermos. Not very fun, but healthy and cheap! We would send them with 1/2 pint milk cartons if we could buy them cheap, but they're just not available. And I hate cleaning milk out of straw thermos contraptions, so we'll stick with water!
Giving the kids water is the simple solution for the OP.

They don't need to drink milk for lunch.
Water is better for them, cheaper, and less of a hassle to pack.

If they really love/must have milk, give it to them with an after-school snack.

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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:10 am

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:30 am
My daughter's daily bagged lunch is ~$1 and far superior nutritionally than the options at the cafeteria.
Can you list that out? I brown bag it and half a pound of lunch meat for the week comes out to a little under a dollar a day.

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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:20 am

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:00 am
jlawrence01 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:04 pm
Small Savanna wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:52 pm
I'm going to sound like a geezer, but $1.10 for an 8 ounce milk is nuts. When I was a kid it was 3 cents for white and 4 cents for chocolate. . .

School lunch milk was generally subsidized by the federal and state governments.
An entire gallon of milk is <$2.50 here. There are 16 1/2 pints in a gallon.
Indeed. I get annoyed if the gallon is more than $2.00. It's supposed to be $1.98, dang it!
barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:10 am
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:30 am
My daughter's daily bagged lunch is ~$1 and far superior nutritionally than the options at the cafeteria.
Can you list that out? I brown bag it and half a pound of lunch meat for the week comes out to a little under a dollar a day.
I brown-bag it to work, too. I buy those half-pound lunch meats, which are a bit under $4. Those bags of meat last a good two weeks, though, so it's like $0.40/day on the meat (peanut butter would be cheaper, but I'm not a fan of it). Then two slices of bread from the cheapest loaf available. Small handful of crackers/chips/pretzels (whichever is cheapest at the time of purchases - and it's usually crackers). Apple. Lunch for a dollar.

To OP, growing up, we always had Capri Sun in our sack lunches. There was a period of time when it was Squeeze-Its, though. Perhaps one of those is cheaper than milk?
Last edited by LiterallyIronic on Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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dodecahedron
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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by dodecahedron » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:21 am

researcher wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:07 am
NoVa Lurker wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:17 am
They get water in a thermos. Not very fun, but healthy and cheap! We would send them with 1/2 pint milk cartons if we could buy them cheap, but they're just not available. And I hate cleaning milk out of straw thermos contraptions, so we'll stick with water!
Giving the kids water is the simple solution for the OP.

They don't need to drink milk for lunch.
Water is better for them, cheaper, and less of a hassle to pack.

If they really love/must have milk, give it to them with an after-school snack.
Absolutely! If you want them to have the nutrients in milk at lunch, you could include a few cubes of cheese, string cheese, or a small container of Greek yogurt in their lunch box,

stoptothink
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by stoptothink » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:24 am

barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:10 am
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:30 am
My daughter's daily bagged lunch is ~$1 and far superior nutritionally than the options at the cafeteria.
Can you list that out? I brown bag it and half a pound of lunch meat for the week comes out to a little under a dollar a day.
My 7yr old's lunch is a PB&J, apple (sometimes a banana or orange), an ounce of raw nuts, and a thermos of water. A loaf of sprouted bread is $2.59 (makes ~12 sandwiches), 40oz. of natural PB is ~$3 (makes easily 40 sandwiches), jar of all-fruit spread is $2.09 (makes maybe 15 sandwiches). So a sandwich is ~$.45, an apple is about $.33, and an ounce of raw almonds/walnuts/pecans is $.25-.$.45.

Yeah, that beats a slice of pizza, fries, and a milk carton at her school for $2.75.

barnaclebob
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:47 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:20 am
I brown-bag it to work, too. I buy those half-pound lunch meats, which are a bit under $4. Those bags of meat last a good two weeks, though, so it's like $0.40/day on the meat (peanut butter would be cheaper, but I'm not a fan of it). Then two slices of bread from the cheapest loaf available. Small handful of crackers/chips/pretzels (whichever is cheapest at the time of purchases - and it's usually crackers). Apple. Lunch for a dollar.

To OP, growing up, we always had Capri Sun in our sack lunches. There was a period of time when it was Squeeze-Its, though. Perhaps one of those is cheaper than milk?
Half a pound of meat lasting two weeks would be like one slice per sandwich. That's a little too skimpy for me.

7eight9
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by 7eight9 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:01 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:24 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:10 am
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:30 am
My daughter's daily bagged lunch is ~$1 and far superior nutritionally than the options at the cafeteria.
Can you list that out? I brown bag it and half a pound of lunch meat for the week comes out to a little under a dollar a day.
My 7yr old's lunch is a PB&J, apple (sometimes a banana or orange), an ounce of raw nuts, and a thermos of water. A loaf of sprouted bread is $2.59 (makes ~12 sandwiches), 40oz. of natural PB is ~$3 (makes easily 40 sandwiches), jar of all-fruit spread is $2.09 (makes maybe 15 sandwiches). So a sandwich is ~$.45, an apple is about $.33, and an ounce of raw almonds/walnuts/pecans is $.25-.$.45.

Yeah, that beats a slice of pizza, fries, and a milk carton at her school for $2.75.
Just curious - where are you getting 40 oz (2.5#) of natural peanut butter for ~$3.00. That is a spectacular price.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.

rkhusky
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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by rkhusky » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:19 pm

When I was in school we got little plastic bags of milk that we had to pierce with a straw, trying not to puncture the bottom.

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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by F150HD » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:52 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:47 pm
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:20 am
I brown-bag it to work, too. I buy those half-pound lunch meats, which are a bit under $4. Those bags of meat last a good two weeks, though, so it's like $0.40/day on the meat (peanut butter would be cheaper, but I'm not a fan of it). Then two slices of bread from the cheapest loaf available. Small handful of crackers/chips/pretzels (whichever is cheapest at the time of purchases - and it's usually crackers). Apple. Lunch for a dollar.

To OP, growing up, we always had Capri Sun in our sack lunches. There was a period of time when it was Squeeze-Its, though. Perhaps one of those is cheaper than milk?
Half a pound of meat lasting two weeks would be like one slice per sandwich. That's a little too skimpy for me.
Just use smaller slices of bread and fold the meat multiple times to give the illusion of more meat.

JoeRetire
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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by JoeRetire » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:29 pm

NoVa Lurker wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:17 am
I would love if they could buy, but they don't eat fast enough. They get water in a thermos. Not very fun, but healthy and cheap! We would send them with 1/2 pint milk cartons if we could buy them cheap, but they're just not available. And I hate cleaning milk out of straw thermos contraptions, so we'll stick with water!
What is a "straw thermos contraption"?

Hopefully you clean the thermos where the water (and backwash) was? I don't understand how that would be different if it previously contained milk instead of water.

JoeRetire
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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by JoeRetire » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:37 pm

WaffleCone wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:04 pm
Why do retailers not sell 1/2 pint milks in quantity? All the other junk drinks are available but no milk.

Next week they'll be brown-bagging but one sticking point is the drinks. $1.10 for a milk and sometimes they want two.
Oakhurst Vitamin D Milk, 1 Pint
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Oakhurst-Vit ... t/22210812

Borden Vitamin D Whole Milk, 8 oz
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Borden-Vitam ... z/47455702

Also consider home delivery:
https://www.google.com/search?q=home+mi ... ry+near+me
Last edited by JoeRetire on Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by ladycat » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:49 pm


Starfish
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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by Starfish » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:28 pm

What's wrong with water from the school's fountain (or in a bottle)?
I know medical advice is off limits, but their dentist will be very happy. For a while at least.

getthatmarshmallow
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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:25 pm

One vote for a Thermos. Better for the environment, not a pain to store in the fridge, and less expensive.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:29 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:47 pm
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:20 am
I brown-bag it to work, too. I buy those half-pound lunch meats, which are a bit under $4. Those bags of meat last a good two weeks, though, so it's like $0.40/day on the meat (peanut butter would be cheaper, but I'm not a fan of it). Then two slices of bread from the cheapest loaf available. Small handful of crackers/chips/pretzels (whichever is cheapest at the time of purchases - and it's usually crackers). Apple. Lunch for a dollar.

To OP, growing up, we always had Capri Sun in our sack lunches. There was a period of time when it was Squeeze-Its, though. Perhaps one of those is cheaper than milk?
Half a pound of meat lasting two weeks would be like one slice per sandwich. That's a little too skimpy for me.
My mistake. I checked the fridge. They're one pound bags. I get about three slices per sandwich.

IMO
Posts: 531
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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by IMO » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:12 am

WaffleCone wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:04 pm
Why do retailers not sell 1/2 pint milks in quantity? All the other junk drinks are available but no milk.

We just got hit with the first week of school lunch expenses: $55 for 2 elementary aged kids. Normally they pack but the first week is crazy and we hadn't set up restrictions on their accounts yet.

Next week they'll be brown-bagging but one sticking point is the drinks. $1.10 for a milk and sometimes they want two. Why is it next to impossible to buy a case of 1/2 pint milks? I can't even find them at Costco or BJs and they sell obscene quantities of everything else oversized. I get that the shelf life is short but families would buy this if it was available. Am I missing something? I've been told I need to setup a commercial account with a diary which sounds ridiculous.

We've tried sending them in with various refillable containers which aren't cheap, and over time leak or get damaged or lost. They're boys, it happens. Plus the time spent cleaning them if they forget to clean them. Putting it in used water bottles is just eww.

Is there a conspiracy of lunch ladies to corner the market here?
So if it's $1.10 for a half pink of milk and they each may get two ($2.20 to $4.20 day), if they eat lunch at the same time then you're probably better off sending them with 1/2 gallon or even a gallon of milk. Just partially freeze it so it is kept cold until lunch. I'm kidding (or am I?).

They can sell the extra for 25 cents a cup. Everybody wins.

onourway
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Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Post by onourway » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:48 am

Give them a thermos.

Like investing, the simplest answer is usually the best.

stoptothink
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Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:41 am

7eight9 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:01 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:24 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:10 am
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:30 am
My daughter's daily bagged lunch is ~$1 and far superior nutritionally than the options at the cafeteria.
Can you list that out? I brown bag it and half a pound of lunch meat for the week comes out to a little under a dollar a day.
My 7yr old's lunch is a PB&J, apple (sometimes a banana or orange), an ounce of raw nuts, and a thermos of water. A loaf of sprouted bread is $2.59 (makes ~12 sandwiches), 40oz. of natural PB is ~$3 (makes easily 40 sandwiches), jar of all-fruit spread is $2.09 (makes maybe 15 sandwiches). So a sandwich is ~$.45, an apple is about $.33, and an ounce of raw almonds/walnuts/pecans is $.25-.$.45.

Yeah, that beats a slice of pizza, fries, and a milk carton at her school for $2.75.
Just curious - where are you getting 40 oz (2.5#) of natural peanut butter for ~$3.00. That is a spectacular price.
Myprotein.com. I've got it for as cheap as $2.55/40oz. jar before using their rewards program and 7% cashback using Rakutan and Rakutan CC (was actually 11% back last time, as it was a double rewards day)- so, I've actually gotten it for <$2/jar. I'll wait for a deal and then buy 25+ jars at a time.

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