Get the state’s best dairy for a fraction of the price!
When you think ‘Wisconsin,’ you think dairy. Cheese is a staple here, but keeping your fridge stocked with the highest-quality queso can cost you a lot of money–unless you know where and how to buy it. We did a little research and want to let you in on some money-saving secrets.
Tip #1: Double-check the type of milk and age.
The price variation from cheese to cheese generally comes down to two factors–how long it has aged and the type of milk used. The general rule of thumb is the longer a cheese ages, the more expensive it is. For example, a pound of cheddar from Ehlenbach’s Cheese Chalet that has aged for 18 months costs a little under $10 dollars, while a 19-year cheddar for the same weight will run you about $70 dollars! Similarly, milk from animals that are difficult for farmers to raise such as yaks or buffalo will hike up the price of the cheese made from it.
Tip #2: Order in-person when possible.
Like most other foods, cheese has a lifespan. The basic rules of economics apply to artisanal cheese too: if the amount of product sold by the producer exceeds the demand for it by consumers, the producer will need to lower the price until consumers are willing to buy. This means that cheese shops might have some brilliant deals on great quality cheese that needs to be sold right away–something you might only find if you go in person. If you’re flexible with your preferences, you can score a great deal on perfectly good cheese that got overstocked and has to get off store shelves.
Tip #3: Buy local and in-season.
Believe it or not, even cheese has seasonality, similar to produce! Summer is considered the best time to make cheese because the climate is at its best for peak milk production. Although there are certain cheeses that can be produced at different times of year (we recommend taking a look at this guide to cheese seasonality), if there is ever a time to invest in local, good-quality cheese, summer is the time to do it!
READ MORE: 3 Wisconsin Cheese Shops to Visit on a Budget
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