My blog bio reports that making yogurt is one of my forms of procrastination. This is partly true. But that's not the only reason I make yogurt. I mostly make yogurt because I'm cheap and picky. I have a favorite yogurt: Stonyfield Farms. It's tasty, has lots of great yogurt cultures, and is low in sugar. Now if you know me well, or even just a little, you know that I like sugar. A lot. It's just that I try to segregate it. Sugar is wonderful in sugary foods: chocolate, ice cream, cookies. I'm not a hug fan of it in foods that are supposed to be healthy: yogurt, cereal, bread, etc. So I can control the amount of sugar the girls eat if I make my own yogurt. Because we can go through a quart of yogurt in a few days. If BestestHusband and I also eat it, we can polish off a quart in one sitting. Seriously.
Now, the problem with high-quality yogurt is that it's expensive. The yogurt is definitely worth $4 a quart. But that's a price point that makes me want to ration it. Which isn't ideal either, because yogurt is good, good for you, and one of those foods I WANT the girls to ask for.
So let's do a little math.
One quart of Stonyfield Farms yogurt = $3.99 at Stop and Shop. This seems to be a standard price.
The way I make yogurt, I use one gallon of milk, and sometimes a small container of yogurt to get my fresh cultures (I can use some leftover yogurt from a previous batch, but frequently it's all gone, and I have best luck with new stuff.)
One gallon of milk = $2.99
One 6oz. container of yogurt (for starter cultures) is usually $0.99, but can be on sale for less.
So milk + small container of yogurt = $3.98 for 4 quarts of yogurt.
So 4 quarts of store-bought yogurt = $15.96.
And 4 quarts of home-made yogurt = $3.98.
That's about a $12 savings. For 15 minutes of active hands-on time. I don't count the 6 hours of culturing time, as I don't have to be home, or awake, or even thinking about the yogurt. Ok, so maybe I think about it and make sure it stays warm enough. But now that I have a system, I don't think about it too much.
And I didn't bother buying a yogurt maker, I just use a big pot. I'm cheap like that.
|Big pot of culturing milk.|
|My tools: whisk, thermometer, ladle, containers to put the finished product in.|
And so now, I can feed my family healthy yogurt with wild abandon. We swirl honey into it (yes, I know that's sugar, but I can control it myself), stir chopped strawberries or blueberries into it, and use it for baking.
And yes, I make yogurt instead of cleaning. I like to have something to show for my efforts. So sue me.