Homemade Oat Milk Could Save You $200 A Year, But At What Cost?

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Oat milk — it's the latest "it" milk alternative, and there's really no secret as to why that is. Neutral-tasting, vegan, allergen friendly, and as creamy as ever, oat milk has won over the tastes of even the most loyal dairy milk drinkers. Whether it's in your coffee, cereal, or being dunked into by Oreo cookies, oat milk can go head-to-head with dairy milk in any scenario. Unfortunately, however, the same can't be said about the price.

Compared to the cost of buying a gallon of conventional dairy milk from the store, which the USDA found hovers between $4 to $5 depending on where you live, Oat milk price increases throughout 2022 have driven its costs to around $5 per half gallon (per Seeking Alpha, Quartz). This means that, in some cities, you could be paying more for a product even though case studies show that it requires significantly fewer resources to make. In fact, you could make it at home for just $1.

Epicurious broke it all down: if you buy a half gallon of Oatly every week, you're spending about $20 on oat milk each month, while making it at home would only cost you about $4. That adds up to about $192 of savings in a year, but (as is the case with many good things) there's a catch. To get the silky, smooth oat milk consistently similar to what you experience from those blue Oatly containers you buy at the store, you'll need a pretty fancy blender.

Making your own oat milk is a long-term investment

If you own a Vitamix blender already, you've probably already begun experimenting with making different kinds of alternative milks at home. Whether you prefer coconut, soy, rice, oat, almond, or macadamia milk, among the ever-growing list of other plant-based milks, a high-powered blender like a Vitamix will have them blended up smooth in a matter of minutes, but it will cost you a nice bit of change.

For oat milk, Epicurious estimates you'd be saving yourself $192 a year. However, a Vitamix can cost you anywhere from $300 to $500 (per Serious Eats), meaning that it would take you more than two years of making your own oat milk to pay it off completely. Even opting for the cheaper Vitamix ONE, which sells for $150 at Target, would end up taking you almost a year to make your money back on.

And unfortunately, you won't be able to use a food processor to make oat milk. You're welcome to try, but you're more than likely going to get an off texture. Using a high-powered blender will allow you to pulverize the oats completely, giving you a thicker and richer flavor. Though even using elite blenders, some still complain of a bit of a chalky texture, so you may find a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer useful here. If you're still debating whether making your oat milk at home is worth it, you may want to consider other factors beyond the costs.