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Sweating the small stuff

A while ago, we were at the grocery store and several of my children were begging me to buy them some cups of Yoplait yogurt. I don’t usually buy these for them, but for some reason, I felt vaguely guilty that time. Maybe I had turned into one of those miserly moms that obsessed about stuff that really didn’t matter.

So, when I got home, I did some calculations and ended up feeling quite justified in my no-Yoplait policy.

In my area, cups of Yoplait usually cost $.50 on sale(they’re $.75 otherwise). If the five of us(the kids and myself) ate a cup of Yoplait five days out of seven, the cost per week would be $12.50.

Over the course of a year, that adds up to $650. On yogurt.


And this is even assuming that I could manage to procure that much yogurt at the $.50 price(if I had to pay $.75 for each container, the yogurt would cost us over $975 in a year..the horror!).

If I make my own yogurt, a week’s worth costs us $4, saving us $11 a week. Over the course of a year, this will save us $572 compared to the $.50 Yoplait cups.

Yeah, sweating the small stuff is totally worth it. $.50 here, $1 there, $5 over there…it all adds up when you look at things in the space of a year instead of in the space of a day.

To encourage myself, I do this with a lot of things.

I count up how much money I save by cutting my son’s hair, by air-drying my laundry, by eating in instead out, by potty training($115.53 so far!), by packing my husband’s lunch, and, of course, by making yogurt!


Because honestly, sometimes I really don’t feel like giving my son a haircut, and I really don’t feel like cooking, and I really don’t feel like hanging my laundry up to dry, so I need some inspiration to keep trucking along.

So, the next time you feel like it’s not worth it to give up your latte or your pizza delivery or any number of other things, consider the annual cost and you’ll likely find yourself freshly motivated. 😉

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Monday 12th of January 2015

I know this is an old post but I wanted to chime in. Awesome job you are doing! I do lots of these things myself and they really add up.

But more importantly I work fulltime and have 3 kids( 2 with Autism) and still make my own bread, laundry detergent, yogurt, jams, etc. It really doesnt take all that much extra time when you factor in the trips to the store. Plus no extra impulse buys and you save on the cost of fuel to even get to the store.

I spend about 45 minutes a night on cooking, most of which is while I am making dinner anyway, and a couple hours on the weekend to make some stuff ahead or refill the detergent jars, etc. My kids help with some of it and we have neat science lessons.

Anyone can save oodles of money if they are motivated. ANYONE. Try one recipe and see how it works. Every bit helps.


Monday 13th of January 2014

Does your cost for homemade factor in flavoring or is it just the cost of milk?


Monday 13th of January 2014

That's for the plain version. For the vanilla, the cost would be slightly more...a tablespoon of vanilla and however much sugar you use (a cup or less, though). So, the extra cost is fairly minimal.


Wednesday 20th of November 2013

There is only one commercial brand of yogurt that I can stand to eat and that is the one that says in the contents paragraph, "milk, yogurt culture". It is more expensive than Yoplait and difficult to find. Plain, home-made yogurt is sweet, delicious on its own and far less expensive than store brands with all that junk in them. By the way, home-made low-fat or non-fat yogurt is also excellent and who cares about it being a little runny? YUM!

Penny Markle

Wednesday 26th of June 2013

Hi Kristen Thank you for your yogurt recipe. I just tried it and it turned out awesome!! I love to save money on grocery's so much so that this year I have a 8x10 green house, 9 half barrels knee high full of fresh vegies strawberries, raspberries etc to enjoy. I just started using a juicer so I will be enjoying fruit yogurt smoothies etc. Anyway Thank you for the recipe and I enjoy reading your posts.

Ryann @ a home for my heart

Saturday 18th of February 2012

I love doing this! You get a balanced perspective when you do the math and look at the big picture. Thanks to this (and your other yogurt posts) I'm becoming convinced that I need to (and can) try making my own yogurt. Thank you!

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