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Homemade Greek Yogurt

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Annie can kick back the yogurt. Seriously. Applesauce and yogurt are her two favorite foods. If she even sees it on the counter, you’re a goner. If you had plans for that yogurt in a recipe, you’re outta luck. I’m going to have to start hiding yogurt in a paper bag like it’s liquor or something. And she really, REALLY likes Greek yogurt – but I DIDN’T……have you noticed that it’s a lot more expensive than regular yogurt? But following the fashion of most of my kitchen capers, I decided I would save money and make it myself (also going to show y’all how to make your own yogurt here in a week or so). It’s really very easy and will save you money that you can use at yard sales.

You’ll need cheesecloth and yogurt. That’s it. Are you surprised? You should know by now that I’m really not into difficult stuff. You can buy cheesecloth just about anywhere. It’s easy to find at fabric stores – mine is from Hancock Fabrics. You can use plain yogurt or flavored yogurt. Our family favorite happens to be plain ole vanilla…..and I’m a Dannon fan.

You’ll need to get a colander/strainer. They’re actually the same thing. I love how stuff has more than one name. I’m Mommy. I’m Stacy. I’m Crazy. Yep, they’re all the same. You’ll need to find a bowl that the strainer fits down in. You want it to catch a little bit so that it’s sorta sitting down in there but with space at the bottom. Is that clear as mud?

You need to have damp cheesecloth. For me, this translated as – get it wet and then ring the snot out of it. So that’s what I did.

Now, line your strainer colander. My cheesecloth was skinny so I had to use two pieces. You need it to cover all the holes.

Just pour your entire container of yogurt down into that cheesecloth. You don’t need to stir it or anything, just let it plop right in. Now, wash the container. Just do it.

You’ll need to cover it. Of course I used a shower cap. We don’t want anything to get in it. “Waiter, what’s this fly doing in my soup?”

Now, pop it in the fridge. Here’s the important part. If you leave this mixture about 4-6 hours, you’ll have a sour cream texture. If you leave it 8-12 hours you’ll get Greek yogurt…….if you leave it longer than that you’ll have yogurt cheese. YUMMY! I was going with Greek yogurt though, so I let mine drain about 10 hours.

This is 10 hours later. See how it’s smaller? You’ve strained it so that it’s nice and thick and creamy, just like Greek yogurt should be.

And this is what came out – whey. Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey. But, you don’t want to drink this. It’s sour…’s what gives the yogurt its familiar TWANG. But, we’re not going to waste this liquid gold. Oh no. That would just be wrong. There are tons of uses for whey. You can add it to your smoothies for extra protein…..because after all, you can buy whey powder at the store. You can season it and use it as a marinade for meat. It can be used in place of vinegar if you’re pickling something (Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers). It can be added to your compost pile (one day I’m going to have my own pile of compost!) or you can drink it if you like to pucker. Mine is in the refrigerator to use in place of water for my next batch of bread.

***If on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, do not use this whey for smoothies! It is not the same as whey protein powder.***

We washed our container so that we could use it to store our new Greek yogurt in. I know it looks like a lot less, but think about how much money you saved……and you can still use the whey.Now, how easy was that?

NOTES (6/23/13): The real savings in Greek yogurt is to make your own yogurt from a whole gallon of milk and then strain it. Here are how the numbers work out from Kroger:

-Homemade Organic Greek Yogurt from a gallon of milk = $3.50/quart

Store bought Organic Greek Yogurt = $5.99/quart

-Homemade Regular Greek Yogurt from a gallon of milk = $1.65/quart

Store bought Regular Greek Yogurt = $3.79/quart

Store bought Regular Plain Yogurt strained into Greek = $3.76

THM Compliant: Use plain 0% yogurt and make your own Greek version for cheaper! Sweeten with stevia and extracts as desired. This is a FP. I make mine with Homemade Yogurt


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About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.


  1. I love doing this…coffee filters work in a pinch too!

  2. how about making yogurt? I bet you’ll like that too, cause I know how much you like saving money. And my friends say it isn’t hard at all.

  3. Great tip. I love doing this. However, those plastic containers are just not healthy. I avoid all plastic. They are sprayed inside to make them “food safe” but, with washing, that coating is removed. Please put your yogurt in a lovely glass canning jar. It looks so much prettier, too!

    • :-) That’s a rather old post – I do use jars now.

      • Well then! Thank you for not humiliating me in public-haha. If it comes up on my computer today – then, in my little mind, it was written today. I am still adjusting to how blogs work, even though two of my daughters have their own blog.

        • Stuff on the internet is so confusing…and I”m not sure I was dating posts back then. :-) No worries…sometimes I link to old posts and forget to update them. Oops on my part!

  4. Gina Marie says:

    Hi Stacy! Does this greek yogurt have the same protein content that store bought greek yogurt would have? Just curious if you know or not. Thank You! I am a mother of 5 and REALLY enjoy your frugile recipes :)

    • Gina, yes it does. It’s the process of straining out the whey that makes it richer in protein…because there is less liquid, the protein becomes concentrated. :-)

  5. I have a gallon of goat’s milk in the refrigerator… will be working the old fashioned way this weekend… but, after this… your way WINS!!!!!

  6. Hi, Stacey! I’ve been reading the THM book (and lost 10 lbs in 8 days so far….anyway, I remember from the book that the reason you drain the whey off the yogurt and why Greek yogurt is preferred for that eating plan is that the yogurt whey carries most of the sugars our of the yogurt. So you might not want to put the whey into certain smoothies. I believe the whey powder you want to put in smoothies is whey protein powder rather than whey powder. At my bulk store they’re different, at least so the staff says.

    I’m following you now, for THM tips! 😀

    I just noticed below you wrote this is an old post. It’s not dated on my computer–anyway, that means you probably already know the above, but maybe others reading would find it helpful.

    • :-) Yep! I posted this in 2011, but I still link to it a lot. That was WAY before THM. I use Swanson’s Premium Whey Protein Powder in vanilla. Good stuff!

      • Yeah, I have to see what whey protein powder that fits the plan I can find around here. For the moment I use fat free or low fat cottage cheese for the protein in my smoothies.

        By the way I miscounted. It was 12 lb in 8 days! Crazy!

        Thanks for the reply

        • I love using cottage cheese in smoothies! Dashing Dish has some great recipes. The only protein I can find around here is Jay Robb and it’s $$$$. So, I order the Swanson Premium Whey from Swanson Vitamins – it’s GOOD!

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