Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Milking a Bean

Much to my bank account's dismay, we use a LOT of milk.  Not only milk, though, but a lot of SOY milk as well.

After a bit of math and calculations about how much each of our children eat or drink of what type of milk, I discovered (and will spare you the calculations) that we spend close to $35 every month on soy milk alone.  James is allergic to casein (milk protein).  Wesley and James both get the same 'smoothies', therefore most of them are made with soy milk to keep from 'accidentally' having James get milk.  Lynae and Emma both get upset stomachs from milk, so also drink soy.  It's a lot of soy milk.  Micah, Aleksa, Kristopher, and Brianna still drink regular milk, but I can't buy a cow, so I went about trying to find a way to make soy milk instead.

A friend of ours who is also parenting a special needs child gave me a quart of 'home made and home canned' soy milk, and let me tell you... the kids didn't notice a difference.  I, personally, don't care much for soy milk... however I'm not the kids, so I was still thrilled!

I waited a while, but eventually worked out the calculations of whether it would be worth it to buy a soy milk maker.  I VERY quickly found out that it WOULD!

With the cost of soy beans and the amount of milk that they make, it costs about $1/gallon (beans and additives) to MAKE soy milk, and $5/gallon to BUY it.  That meant that aside from the price of the actual soy maker, I would have a savings of about $28/month.  That's $336 a year.  The soy milk maker cost $100.  That's about 4 months worth of 'savings' before we REALLY see any savings, but in the long run, it should save us over $200 in soy milk alone in the next year.

Today I got my soy beans (GMO free) and set to work making milk!  I made up the boys' smoothies for the next 2 days and made some milk for the other kids to drink as well.  Though I understand it is better when you soak the beans first, I was anxious to start and made some 'dry bean' milk today while starting some beans soaking as well.

Now that I know how to milk a bean (which, by the way, will also make milk with any other type of nut, bean, or rice), maybe I'll start looking in to that cow...


  1. Hmmm, sounds very interesting. I didn't now that one could actually make soymilk "homemade". Maybe you could start producing this, and start selling it? Or is it a lot of work?


  2. I love it when you can find ways to save! The GMO free will be better for them also.

  3. Meredith,
    My first grandchild (2 months old) was allergy tested today and found to be allergic to Casein, corn, peanuts and walnuts. My daughter is nursing her and she was having HORRIBLE GI and skin issues, the worst right after my daughter had some peanutbutter. They are just happy she can have soy, so I will be telling her about your milking beans! Thanks for sharing

  4. I had no idea that you could buy a soy bean milker! Oh, and I bet your neighbors would think you're nuts if you got a cow :-) How about a goat? ;-)

  5. Wow, that's really cool! So glad you have found that option, to make it. There are only 3 of us in our household, and we still joke about buying a cow. I think we go through a gallon every 2 days, and when we go to visit my parents they always say, "oh, we have milk here, so no ned to pick any up" and when I get there they have, like, a pint. Gotta laugh...

  6. Wow, that's impressive! Didn't even know you could buy such a machine. We use primarily organic cow's milk which is super expensive and a little soy milk, also expensive especially when you live somewhere that it's not popular. I like the idea of getting a cow - put it in the backyard, teach the kids to milk it and I've saved $50 a month and no more mowing the grass either. Seems like a win/win excepting all that cow poop. :)