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Milk shakes

No longer bolstered by congressional price supports, milk prices have been on a roller coaster lately. Northeast consumers pay an inflated rate of 5 to 11 percent because of continuing subsidies to the region's dairy farmers.

But nationwide, consumers can expect lower average costs.

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To skim milk costs in your area, consider these buying tips:

*Visit your local mom-and-pop stores; they often charge less than supermarkets.

*Buy in bulk if you can drink it in a week; two-gallon packs are a bargain.

*Purchase store brands, typically cheaper than name-brand milk.

Source: Consumer Reports

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society