Unveiling the Secrets: Where to Find Buttermilk in the Grocery Store

Looking for buttermilk in the grocery store can sometimes feel like a game of hide-and-seek. Despite its status as a kitchen staple, its packaging closely resembles that of regular milk, leaving many shoppers wondering: where exactly is the buttermilk hiding?

Well, fear not! I’m here to guide you through the aisles. Your first bet is to check the dairy section, usually nestled beside other dairy delights like butter and cream. But if you strike out there, don’t throw in the towel just yet. Take a stroll over to the refrigerator section; some stores like to cozy up bottled buttermilk next to yogurts.

And let’s not forget about powdered buttermilk, a baker’s best friend! You’ll likely find it hanging out in the baking aisle, ready to elevate your cakes and biscuits to new heights.

But what if your search yields no results? Don’t worry – I’ve got your back. Keep reading for insider tips on the best places to score buttermilk, both in-store and online, along with some savvy pointers for buying this versatile ingredient.

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What is Buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product that is traditionally derived from the liquid left behind after churning butter. It has a slightly thick consistency, creamy texture, and a tangy, acidic flavor. Although it is called “buttermilk,” it doesn’t actually contain butter. Instead, it is a byproduct of the butter-making process.

Traditionally, buttermilk was made by allowing cream to naturally sour and ferment over time. Today, most commercially available buttermilk is made by introducing lactic acid bacteria to low-fat or skim milk. This bacterial fermentation process converts the lactose (milk sugar) in the milk into lactic acid, giving buttermilk its distinctive tangy taste.

Buttermilk is often used in cooking and baking for its unique flavor and its ability to add moisture and tenderness to various dishes. It is a common ingredient in recipes for pancakes, biscuits, waffles, fried chicken, and cakes. The acidity of buttermilk also helps activate baking soda, making it an essential ingredient in recipes that require a leavening agent.

In addition to its culinary uses, buttermilk is also known for its probiotic properties. The fermentation process introduces beneficial bacteria, which can support a healthy digestive system.

It’s worth noting that there are different types of buttermilk available. Traditional buttermilk, also known as “cultured buttermilk,” undergoes a longer fermentation process and has a thicker consistency and stronger flavor. There are also variations like low-fat buttermilk or skim buttermilk, which have reduced fat content but still provide the same tangy flavor.

Overall, buttermilk is a versatile and flavorful ingredient that adds a unique touch to a wide range of recipes, making it a popular choice for both professional chefs and home cooks alike.

Where to Find Buttermilk in the Grocery Store:

Dairy Section

The most common place to find buttermilk in the grocery store is in the dairy section, typically alongside other milk products like regular milk, cream, and butter. Look for it in refrigerated cartons or bottles.

Refrigerator Section

If you can’t find buttermilk in the dairy section, check the refrigerator section of the store. Some stores may stock bottled buttermilk next to yogurt or other refrigerated dairy products.

Baking Aisle

Powdered buttermilk is a convenient option for baking, as it has a longer shelf life than liquid buttermilk. If you’re looking for powdered buttermilk, head to the baking aisle where you’ll find it alongside other baking ingredients.

Specialty or International Foods Section

In some stores, especially larger supermarkets or specialty grocery stores, buttermilk may be located in the specialty or international foods section. This section often features products from different cuisines and may include buttermilk used in specific culinary traditions.

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Where to Buy Buttermilk Online

If you prefer the convenience of online shopping, you can also purchase buttermilk from various online retailers. Here are a few options:


Amazon offers a vast selection of buttermilk, ranging from traditional liquid buttermilk to powdered options. You can choose from various brands and packaging sizes, and enjoy the convenience of doorstep delivery with Amazon Prime.

Walmart Online

Walmart’s online store is another convenient option for purchasing buttermilk. They offer a variety of options, including both liquid and powdered buttermilk, and you can have your order delivered to your home or opt for in-store pickup.


Instacart partners with local supermarkets and grocery stores to offer same-day delivery of buttermilk and other groceries. Simply add buttermilk to your virtual cart, select your preferred store, and choose a delivery time that works for you.


Similar to Instacart, Shipt allows you to order groceries, including buttermilk, from your favorite local stores and have them delivered to your doorstep. You can schedule deliveries as soon as within the same day, making it a convenient option for last-minute needs.

Thrive Market

Thrive Market specializes in offering organic and natural products, including buttermilk. They carry a curated selection of high-quality buttermilk options, and you can enjoy discounted prices as a Thrive Market member.

Local Dairy Farms

Many local dairy farms now offer online ordering and delivery services for their products, including buttermilk. Check out the websites of dairy farms in your area to see if they offer online ordering options.

With these online retailers, you can easily purchase buttermilk from the comfort of your home and have it delivered directly to your doorstep. Whether you prefer liquid buttermilk for baking or powdered buttermilk for convenience, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from online.

Tips for Buying Buttermilk

  • Check the expiration date: When purchasing buttermilk, be sure to check the expiration date to ensure freshness.
  • Consider the type: Decide whether you need liquid buttermilk or powdered buttermilk based on your recipe and storage preferences.
  • Look for low-fat options: If you’re watching your calorie intake, opt for low-fat or fat-free buttermilk varieties.


In conclusion, while finding buttermilk in the grocery store may initially seem like a challenge, armed with the right knowledge, you’ll be able to locate this essential ingredient with ease. Remember to start your search in the dairy section, where you’ll likely find buttermilk alongside other dairy products. Don’t forget to explore the baking aisle, as some stores place buttermilk substitutes or powdered buttermilk in this area. Lastly, keep an eye out for the refrigerated or frozen section, especially in stores with a wider selection of specialty items.

Next time you embark on a culinary adventure that calls for buttermilk, be confident in your ability to find it in the grocery store. Whether it’s for pancakes, biscuits, or a tangy marinade, buttermilk will no longer remain elusive.

Happy cooking and baking!

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