Measuring Bulk Butter

I like to buy butter in bulk because it is cheaper than buying sticks. The problem is that it comes in large blocks that are difficult to measure, but the savings is so great I can’t pass it up. If you have avoided purchasing butter in bulk because of the convenience of the sticks, try this tip which makes measuring a snap.

Fill a clear measuring cup with water.

Slice off butter and place it in the measuring cup until the water is displaced to the correct measurement.

For example if you need 1/2 cup of butter, fill the measuring cup with 1 cup of water. Add butter until the water reaches 1 1/2 cups. Remove butter and use in the recipe.

This tip also works when measuring shortening and peanut butter.

My mom taught me this trick years ago, thanks Mom!


  1. I have never seen butter in bulk in a bag like that before! Where was that from?

  2. My mom taught me to measure “gunky” ingredients that way too!

  3. Probably not quite as precise, but…

    I purchase butter in bulk too. Actually, a lot of 1 lb butter bricks at once. We keep them in the freezer to keep them fresh until we need them. When I take them out of the freezer, I always set the timer for 30 minutes and at that point the butter is just defrosted enough that I can slice it cleanly into 4ths. I try to keep one package of 4ths (divided by wax paper) in the refrigerator for when I need it to cook/bake with, so when I use the last 4th, I get a new brick out to thaw.

    Thanks for the tip! It’ll come in handy on those days I’ve forgotten to thaw my butter ahead of time.

  4. One of my Physical Science students did this two years ago. He used a bottle of medicine instead of butter. lol It didn’t work so well for him.

    I use one of those push-up measuring cups for my bulky items like this. 🙂

  5. Brilliant! Great tip, thanks for posting.

  6. What an ingenious idea! I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing!


  7. Ty Toni I passed up purchasing butter in bulk over the weekend for this very reason. I could kick myself now LOL Oh well i can start next month when I go back to Sams Club. Tell you mom thank you from me too.

  8. This is a great tip. Now I can start comparing bulk butter with the local sales to see which is cheaper. Thanks!

  9. Great tip. Is it sad that I recognized the butter label? If there was a game show where you had to match packaging to stores I would do fairly well on it,

  10. I always thought butter was so cheap! How much are the sticks for where you live? It is about 40 cents for a box of 6 sticks here.

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      Are you talking butter or margarine. Butter is about $2 pound for 4 sticks (1 pound), bulk butter is about $1.39 a pound, so unless I have a coupon I try to buy in bulk.

    • I’ve never seen a package of butter or margarine that had 6 sticks, only 4.

  11. Brilliant! Now to hunt for bulk butter…. 😉

  12. This is GENIUS! And I consider myself a bona finde genius recognizer, so that is saying something!

  13. Who would of thought 😉 What a great idea!
    I guess now, I will start buying butter in bulk.

  14. Neat tip! I’ve never even seen bulk butter – I wonder if they have it at my grocery store and I’ve never noticed.

  15. I can’t remember the last time I bought bulk butter. I don’t think my store carries it because I would definitely notice the cheaper box. Even at Sam’s, I don’t know if they have the solid 1lb bricks or not. I’ve only seen (or purchased) the 4 lbs (16 sticks) of butter.

    Neat measuring trick though.

  16. okay, that really is the best tip ever. i’m glad you can come up with all the good ideas so i don’t have to tire out my own brain cells.

  17. Excellent idea..I’m not sure I’ve actually seen it in bulk in a store, only online, but I will be on the lookout now that I know how to measure it! I am interested to know where Lauren lives–I’ve never seen 6 sticks in a pack and never so cheap –even for 4, even for margarine. If ever I pass through her hometown I may have to stock up!

  18. It never occurred to me to buy butter in bulk. Maybe because I’ve never noticed it in the supermarket. This is a really neat trick, so I feel empowered to try a block of butter if I come across it in the grocery store. Thanks!

  19. At Kroger you can usually get sticks of margarine for free, with a good sale and a coupon since they double coupons. Aldi’s sticks are about 49cents a pack too, I think. At this stage in our growing family, we try to get what we can for free to cheap. I’m sure butter is the best but it’s not something I want to spend money on right now, when I can get other stuff for free and I just cook with it. (We rarely eat it, per se, on biscuits or anything). Last week, I got sticks for free—6 packs of them–at Kroger–and froze them. Those will last me for months.

  20. Now I feel a little silly for not thinking of this. So simple, but as usual I over-complicate things. Thanks for the tip.

  21. OK. You’re smart. Totally using this.

  22. I quit making peanut butter cookies because of the messy measuring cups, but now I think they might go back on the menu! Great tip, thanks!

  23. That is BRILLIANT! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

  24. LOVE the tip! thanks for sharing 🙂

  25. awesome trick!! thanks

  26. At my Costco the price is the same for the lb blocks and the 4 sticks. that’s interesting that it’s different where you are!

  27. I buy my butter in bulk too from Sam’s Club, but I buy the one that’s already quartered in sticks. Next time, I will buy the unquartered bulk butter and use your method. Thanks for sharing!!

  28. I’ll have to remember this. I buy my butter in 1lb bricks (they’re slightly cheaper that way in my grocery store) and I slice it in half lengthwise, flip it over and slice it in half lengthwise again. That gives me four sticks of butter, which each stick equals 1/2 cup. I’ve gotten pretty good at this, even though it drives my husband nuts. He doesn’t know what to do with the butter until I’ve divided it up. 🙂

  29. What a great tip! Physics, eh?

  30. Where I live in Canada butter is sold in 1lb bars at all stores. You have to hunt to find butter in sticks and pay a premium for them. Canadians must like butter 🙂

  31. Ohmagosh! I completely forgot about this. My Grandmother, my Mother & my home ec teacher all taught me to measure butter/crisco/lard that way & because I usually buy my real butter in sticks I completely forgot. Thanks for bringing back some great memories.

  32. What an awesome idea! I don’t know where to find butter in bulk, as we don’t have a costco here, but I’m definately going to have to look into this!!

  33. Another Canadian here who has never bought sticks because they are hard to find and much more expensive… here all butter is packaged in 1 lb blocks like that but they all have convenient measurements on the side so you know where to cut the butter…
    you can also cut it into four equal pieces and each will equal a stick… (or 1/2 cup/ 1/4 pound)

  34. Thanks for the tip! I make butter a lot and freeze it. I also buy my bulk butter from the Amish sometimes. It comes in rounds like cheese.

  35. Only reason this makes me nervous is that baking is precise. But saving $ on purchase is gr8. Just hate to waste other ingredients in recipe. I’m a gr8 cook but definitely not a gr8 baker.

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