Yep, that’s yogurt. Yogurt that I made. Honey-flavored. A bit runny. But I did it all by myself. Well, I boiled the milk & mixed in the honey & feeder yogurt myself. I used my new yogurt-maker, a gift from a friend who’d given up on making her own yogurt & wanted the appliance out of her apartment.

I never even thought about making yogurt until last year. It seemed like every French kitchen I want into had a yogurt-maker tucked on the back of a shelf somewhere. And the yogurt section at the grocery? Lawdy. Huge. Un.Be.Lievable. We had hands-down the best yogurt of our lives there (made all the better by the gorgeous clay pots the came in). I was at first severely disturbed by the thought of growing bacteria in my own kitchen. The more families & friends I met that had done it, the more curious I became.

The process is a bit time-consuming, but mostly you just leave the lil’ guys alone for the day & let them do their thing. Rather than take you through the process, I wanted to make this a mini-study of sustainability & self-sufficiency. Is it cheaper for me to make yogurt? We’ve stopped buying it for the sake of sticking to our commitment to local/organic food, learning to eat more in-tune with the seasons & more plentiful resources. Almost $2 for one cup of yogurt didn’t seem logical.

But that still means that making our own yogurt would require organic milk. I wasn’t sure how the savings would stack up. Here’s what I found.

My yogurt-maker has space for seven glass jars. That’s seven, six-ounce yogurts. At the store, that would be almost $14. Even if we wait for the Greek kind to go on sale for $1, that’s $7 for the same amount of yogurts that I’d be making. Doing it the at-home way, I spent:

  • <$3 for 42 ounces of organic whole milk
  • $1 for a seven-ounce cup of yogurt to use as my starter
  • <$1 for honey, which we used as our sweetener (5 tablespoons)
  • roughly one hour of my time
  • whatever amount of energy it took to run the appliance for eight hours

I would say the energy was less than $3, and I use the weekend for weekly food preparations regardless, so I don’t see the time as a cost–I was simultaneously making cookies & packable lunches. All in all, we came out ahead, & we get the satisfaction of knowing we made it ourselves. Plus, next time we won’t have the cost of the starter yogurt. We can use one of the seven we made!

I see it as a win. If you don’t want to buy a yogurt maker, this guy seems to have it all sorted out with things you’d have around your home:

I opted out of the dried milk, to save money & things I would have to store/use before they go bad. (Though it would give me an excuse to make hot chocolate mix from scratch…) I was beginning to wonder if the dried milk would get me closer to the Greek yogurt texture, which I love. Then, I saw this video:

Amazing! Now we never have to pay for those overpriced brands again! Even if you don’t make your own yogurt, get a tub of the plain, cheap stuff & make it fancy & thick for free. I would never have thought to use these basic kitchen supplies to get rid of the whey. Who knew? (This friendly woman, obviously.)

I’m going to mix in some granola & banana & get my morning going. I hope you enjoy your breakfast as much as I am!


About meganbetz

human geography PhD Student at Indiana University; wife, reader, writer, baker, gardener
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