If your boat doesn't have refrigeration, milk for cereal gets "interesting." Here are a couple of options!

Milk with No Refrigeration

If your boat doesn’t have refrigeration, milk for cereal gets “interesting.”  For baking and cooking, you can get great powdered milk (read my article about how to find the good stuff).  And if you have somewhere cold to keep it after it’s open, boxed milk is a great choice (read about it).

But if you don’t have refrigeration, you really need to find some sort of single serving milk or you’ll be throwing a lot away.  I know.  I’ve used just a cooler on several trips, each lasting weeks to months.

Good news:  if you do some searching around most large supermarkets (and possibly asking some questions), you can find individual servings of boxed milk and soy milk.  These don’t have to be refrigerated before they’re opened, and designed to be used all at once.

Grocery stores don’t seem to stock these in one consistent place — even amonst different stores of the same chain.  I’ve found them in the cereal aisle, with juice, and even with baking supplies.

Both the milk boxes and soy milk are intended for kids to take in school lunches and often come in strawberry and chocolate as well as plain or vanilla.  I can live with vanilla on my corn flakes but chocolate just doesn’t interest me one bit.

Since they’re intended for kids, they come with a straw and a little foil place to stick the straw in.  Rather than piercing the foil and trying to pour the milk out of the raggedy hole, I’ve learned to find an edge of the foil and just peel the whole thing off.  Much, much easier to pour without it going everywhere (generally including my shorts or t-shirt).

At the store nearest us, they comes in 4-packs.  And while not cheap, it’s less expensive than throwing away three-quarters of the one-liter boxes.  Each box contains one cup — a generous amount for one bowl of cereal or two kind of skimpy bowls.  We generally allow one per person and just drink any that we don’t use on our cereal (if you take milk in your coffee, that’d be another good use for the extra).

If you’re struggling to store more food (or all your food!) without refrigeration, please take a look at my eBook: Storing Food without Refrigeration. For just $10, you’ll learn how to keep meat, vegetables, fruit, milk, butter, cheese, eggs and more so that you can have great meals (as well as saving money on spoiled food and stuff that no one wants to eat). See what the book covers and buy now.

Storing Veggies without Refrigeration Quick ReferenceAlso, a while back, I made a cheat sheet for storing veggies without refrigeration — notes on how to store various things and how long they’ll last. It’s really just the tip of the iceberg as far as storing food without refrigeration goes, but I’m happy to share it.

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  • Nick Maggio Sr on Facebook
    Posted at 12 October 2012 Reply

    We use box milk all the time at home,boat,RV and it is so great and life saver

  • Living Aboard on Facebook
    Posted at 13 October 2012 Reply

    I am getting used to it now!!

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 21 March 2013 Reply

    If you have a Trader Joe’s, they have individual serving boxed milk in packages of four. The milk is good enough to drink plain and one box is enough for cereal for two days. It is also rich enough for coffee.

  • Candy Ann Williams on Facebook
    Posted at 22 June 2013 Reply

    I ALWAYS have Nido ‘entero’ on board now thanks to you!!

  • Patricia Senese Rademacher on Facebook
    Posted at 22 June 2013 Reply

    Great suggestion!! We use a very large 4 day cooler, and can’t wait to see how your suggestion of Reflectix works. We usually only stay away for 4 – 7 days at a time, with one re-icing, so it would work perfectly. Love your site, thanks for all the great suggestions.

  • Laura Mushrush O'Shurak Werner on Facebook
    Posted at 22 June 2013 Reply

    This is the only way I buy milk. Winn Dixie carries the one cup sizes in the baking section.

  • The Boat Galley on Facebook
    Posted at 22 June 2013 Reply

    Thanks for the info on where WD has them . . . it’s so hard when you’re traveling and have to go to a different chain. Most things are in the same general places, but some foods seem to move all over! 🙂

  • Cheryl Geeting on Facebook
    Posted at 24 June 2013 Reply

    I’m a cereal fanatic …. thanks for the info!

  • Dave Skolnick (S/V Auspicious)
    Posted at 17 March 2014 Reply

    I often find the cup sized boxes in the baby food aisle.

  • Curtis Cary
    Posted at 17 March 2014 Reply

    You can buy individual servings by the case thru Amazon.

  • Bruce Steven Harmer
    Posted at 15 October 2017 Reply

    We have done lots of multi day sailing trips and camping trips without refrigeration and limited cooler space. We always bring the soy or almond milk tetra pac size that is about a litre. It’s small enough that we almost always use it up between cereal and coffee but if there is some left I have found that it will last until the next morning breakfast without refrigeration as long as it kept in a relatively cool place.

  • Jim Fleming
    Posted at 15 October 2017 Reply

    What about a blender or food processor, some soy beans, almonds or other nuts soaked over night. Blended with water then strained (preferably using a fine mesh ‘nut milk bag’). Fresh plant based milk made to order.

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 15 October 2017 Reply

      Well, if you don’t have a refrigerator, I doubt that you have a powerful blender or food processor. But yes, theoretically you could do that.

    • Jim Fleming
      Posted at 15 October 2017 Reply

      mortar and pestle??

    • Neil Dransfield
      Posted at 17 October 2017 Reply

      Jim Fleming if you had a deep fryer you could have donuts for breakfast and do away with needing milk for cerial

    • Steven Smith
      Posted at 17 October 2017 Reply

      Neil, let it go brother, let it go.

    • Neil Dransfield
      Posted at 17 October 2017 Reply

    • Neil Dransfield
      Posted at 17 October 2017 Reply

      Steven Smith We will never give up our freedom to have deep fried food

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