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Milk bottles started to be replaced by cartons in the early 1970s when supermarkets took over from the milkman. Since then, milk consumption and waste have been increasing significantly. Avoid wasting milk with these tips on buying, storing, and serving it.


  • Choose long-life milk if it will not be consumed immediately.
  • Alternatively, make your own plant-based milk to reduce waste.


  • Keep milk in the cold part of the fridge (not the door). Closed in its original container.
  • The flavour is better if the milk is kept in opaque and sealable containers.
  • Consume pasteurised milk one week beyond the sell by date and in the freezer for up to three months.
  • Shelf-stable carton milk unopened keeps for six months and opened, for seven to ten days.


Homemade condensed milk

Makes up to 1 medium jar

Condensed milk is a great way to use and preserve that excess milk. Add it to your tea or coffee instead of milk and sugar. It’s frequently used in cakes in Asian and South American desserts, drizzled on ice creams and fruit. Filipinos often dip saltine crackers in condensed milk as a snack or quick afternoon tea treat - you can replicate this using salted crackers or, even easier, toast.


Homemade condensed milk step 1

Step 1: Mix 2 cups of dairy or coconut milk, 1 cup of white sugar, a pinch for sea salt and baking soda.

Homemade condensed milk step 2

Step 2: Add the mix to a heavy saucepan (this ensures even cooking). Stir well.

Homemade condensed milk step 3

Step 3: Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook till thickened, stirring frequently for 15-20 mins to prevent burning.

Homemade condensed milk step 4

Step 4: It’ll thicken further as it cools. If you would like to make it thicker, the quickest way is just to add more sugar. It is suggested to add up to 100 g and then let it dissolve and cook for few minutes more. The longer it cooks, the thicker it will get.

Homemade condensed milk hero

Spoon into a clean jar and allow to cool. Seal and refrigerate. Serve with breakfast French toast and vegan spotty banana pancakes.



Store in the fridge or freeze in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Zero waste tip

To turn your condensed milk into dulce de leche (caramelised milk), cook for 2-3 hours of frequently stirring to prevent burning. It will turn a golden caramel-like colour.


Recipe by Margaret Sevenjhazi from Bottomfeeder.

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Page last updated: 09 Feb 2022