How To Make Homemade Yogurt


Me and the kids visited some of our homesteading friends the other day, and they were telling me how they make their own yogurt. They explained how much cheaper it is than buying store bought containers, and that you don’t even have to have a yogurt maker to do it!

This whole time I thought I had to have some fancy machine to make the yogurt for me. So hearing how easy it is to actually make it, even from store bought milk, I thought I’d give it a shot.

They make theirs a different way than what I did. Melissa, if you read this post I’d love it if you could tell me again how you do yours!! Here is what I did:


Homemade Yogurt: With No Yogurt Maker!

  • 1 qt. whole milk
  • 3 Tbsp. plain Dannon yogurt

I set my oven on the lowest setting it would go, which was 160*. As the oven preheated, I mixed my ingredients well in a casserole dish. I covered the dish with foil. When the oven was ready, I turned it off and put my dish in to sit. It sat there all day, about 12 hours (I actually forgot that it was in there!).

That night I pulled it out and it was nice and ready. It’s a little runnier than store bought, but that’s normal. You can add powdered milk to it to make it thicker if you like. It tasted much like store-bought plain yogurt, which I don’t like very much by itself. It will be good for smoothies though!

So, here’s the breakdown:

Cost of the milk: $2.39/gallon = approx. $0.60 for the quart used

Cost of the yogurt: $2.08/32 oz = approx. $.10 for the 3 Tbsp used

Total cost of 1 qt. homemade yogurt = $.70!

Cost of 1 qt. store bought yogurt = $2.08

So, we can definitely see that it’s much cheaper to make your own!!

A few pointers for next time:

  • only buy a small cup of plain yogurt as your starter, instead of a huge one. Now I have an almost full container of store bought yogurt, plus another quart of the homemade stuff! Guess we’ll be eating a lot of yogurt next week!
  • buy Organic. It may cost a little more initially, but the homemade yogurt you end up with will still cost significantly less than continuing to buy store bought, and it will be better for you.

If you are like me and don’t like plain yogurt, you can sweeten it with sugar, honey, ripe fruit, or jelly.

Do you make your own homemade yogurt?? I’d love to hear how you do it, and any recipes you may have!

About Kendra 1103 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.


  1. We make ours in the Crock Pot. My kids like it thick, so I add a unflavored gelatin packet to the mix. I also add a bit of lemon oil, for flavor.:o)

  2. i used Stevia extract as a sugar substitute because i am diabetic. Stevia is really sweeter than sucrose.*`.

  3. I found you today via Money Saving Mom (I think), and I’m so excited! Great blog, and I am going to try the crockpot yogurt recipe tonight.

  4. I purchased a yogurt maker at a thrift shop for $2. I haven’t used it yet though! It says in the directions that if you mix dry milk powder in it helps to thicken it. Right now i have been enjoying coupons and getting yogurt from the store almost free, but making my own yogurt is in the plans!

  5. We freeze our store bought yogurt in ice cube trays. Each cube is about one Tbls. Just pull out the number of cubes you need. Thaw in a small cup in the fridge I usally do this right before bed in the morning it is thawed and ready to use as starter for my next batch of yogurt. Buying the quart of yogurt and freezing like this makes your yougurt even cheaper. You can also save some fresh yogurt you just made and use as starter I believe this is called chaining. I have read it is best if you only do this a few times and then start with the store yogurt again. Reason being the yogurt thins a bit each time. I believe I learned most of this in The Tightwad Gazette 3rd addition? You can also make your own yogurt cheese by straining you yogurt through a cloth, and seasons and whatever you like for a spead something like cream cheese. When you strain your yogurt save the liquid (whey) it has lots of vitmins some people water plants with it, you can use it for baking bread, or lactofermenting vegtables for even healthier foods Sally Fallon wrote a book called Nourishing Traditions that talks about lacto fermented vegtables. Hope you find some of this useful. I enjoy reading your blog:0). Blessings

  6. I made yogurt in my crockpot a while back and my kids hated it (even with fruit and honey) so I ended up just using it in my baking in the place of milk. It is wonderful in coffee cakes, quick breads and even biscuits.

  7. if you are just using it for smoothies anyways, you should put it in ice cube trays and freeze it so it wont go bad and will be quick and easy for use in said smoothies 😉

  8. My husband came up for a great way to keep my yogurt warm for the 6 necessary hours. Our chicken egg incubator! It’s perfect. I use a whole gallon of milk which makes about 9 1/2 pints of yogurt and the incubator holds every bit of it.

  9. I also use the link that Alex left in the comment above for making homemade yogurt in the crockpot. Also, you can use your homemade yogurt for your starter the next time, so except for the first time you make it you shouldn’t have to buy more yogurt. You can also freeze the yogurt in ice cube trays and thaw just enough cubes to use as a starter as well. I always blend in frozen fruit, bananas and stevia, plus a little milk in my blender to make smoothies since I’m not a big fan of plain yogurt.

  10. lol congrats! i kept getting mine wrong… and took till the 4th try till it would set up. but its worked every try since then.

    my recipe is different though….

    you heat the milk to between 180 and 200 on the stove, then let it cool to 110 to 120 before mixing in the yogurt (1/2 cup of previous batch, or 1/2 small container). then you turn the warm oven off when you put it in, and its ready in 3-5 hours, but sits up a bit more after a n hour or two in fridge. (and canning jars work really well for this… pints especially.. easy to store in same container it set up in.)

    i add a cup of powdered milk to 1/2 gallon of milk when warm, but only if i’m using lowfat milk. the whole milk usually doesn’t need it.

    if you dont like it that runny, you can also put it in a coffee filter or cheesecloth in a colander to let more whey drain out to make it thicker or greek style.

    i always add something to mine, even if just sweetener or honey… but usually add both stevia and fruit.

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