Day: July 11, 2017

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

08:21 – It was 67.2F (19.5C) when I took Colin out at 0710, hazy but bright.

The installers are supposed to show up later this morning to get our downstairs floor installed. They’re putting in LVT, Luxury Vinyl Tile, that looks just like hardwood but has the immense virtue of being entirely waterproof. That’s the last thing remaining downstairs, other than getting the ceiling light fixtures replaced and everything cleaned, dusted, and moved back into place. The work crew may also install the ceramic tile in the master bathroom upstairs, although that’s a much lower priority.

Followup email yesterday from Kathy.

She forgot to mention that, on their way to Sam’s Club Saturday, they decided to take a detour and stop at the Walmart Supercenter in Norton, Virginia, where they routinely shop once a month or so. It’s about 30 miles and 45 minutes from where they live. It doesn’t stock the bulk stuff they wanted–large bags of flour, sugar, etc.–whence the Sam’s Club run.

But it does stock some stuff they wanted to try before they bought it in quantity, including the Great Value instant dry milk, Nestle Nido. and Keystone meats. The latter was actually cheaper there, at $5.58/can versus $6.28/can on-line. The trouble was, the store didn’t carry all of the meats Keystone offers, and they had only a few cans in stock of the ones they did carry. So they bought all of the Keystone Meats 28-ounce cans that were on the shelf, and test containers of the milks.

The Walmart Great Value instant dry milk costs about $3.62/pound, versus a buck or so less for the LDS dry milk, but Kathy was concerned about what I (and Angela Paskett) said about it not being very good to drink. They picked up a can of Nestle Nido to test as well. It runs about $4.37/pound, which isn’t a huge difference, but Kathy is mainly concerned about shelf life, since they don’t have much freezer space. Kathy was pleased that both milks are already packaged for LTS. The Nido comes in a can, albeit a foil-layered cardboard one–and the Great Value in a foil pouch inside the cardboard box. The Nido had a best-by date 14 months out, and the GV instant dry milk about 17 months. She figures both will remain usable for far longer, even just sitting on the pantry shelf.

They made up a quart/liter of each Saturday evening, and stuck it in the refrigerator. They taste-tested it Sunday morning with breakfast. She and Mike agreed that the GV instant dry milk wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great, either. It reminded them of regular skim milk, which neither of them particularly cares for. The Nido was better, much richer than the 2% fresh milk they normally drink, and much better than the non-fat dry milk. They plan to give the LDS dry milk a pass and order an as-yet undetermined mix of the GV instant dry milk and the Nestle Nido dry whole milk.

Kathy says that if she wasn’t concerned the Nido would have a shorter shelf-life than the non-fat dry milk, she’d order all Nido. Mixed according to directions, the Nido yields 53 cups (3.3125 gallons) per can. Presumably, since it’s labeled as “whole milk”, that provides a butterfat content up around 5% or more. She says they’d probably be happy using a can to make up twice the nominal amount, which would make the Nido actually cheaper than the GV instant non-fat dry milk and for that matter little more per gallon than she pays for 2% milk. I suggested that since the Nido costs about the same per gallon as the 2% fresh milk they usually drink, she should just go ahead and stock up on it and start using it exclusively, assuming they like the diluted version. She knows the Nido will last 18 months and probably longer even at room temperature. Since they’re not going to be storing several years’ worth of dry milk, why not just buy a bunch and rotate it? I also suggested that she buy at least three small cans of Nido, stick them on the pantry shelf, and open one after 12 months, another at 18 months, and the third at two years. That way, she can get a direct comparison of older versus fresh Nido and determine real-world shelf-life for herself.

And–I was waiting for this to happen–Kathy wants me to put her in contact with Jen, Brittany, and the rest of the Prepper Girls. They’re going to take over the world, I tell you.

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