Greek yogurt experiment

July 19, 2010 at 8:50 am 13 comments

In case you missed my post yesterday, we are having a boy!  I have been hanging on to this piece of information ever since our ultrasound because I wanted to tell my family and friends first before telling the Internet.  Now I am happy that everyone who should know, now knows.  Phew!

Last night, I tried an experiment involving yogurt.  I’ve been told that to create a thicker, Greek-style type of yogurt inexpensively, you can take regular, plain yogurt, and let it thicken by putting it in cheesecloth and letting the excess moisture drain out.  I have been meaning to buy cheesecloth for ages, but keep forgetting!  On the weekend, I was talking about this with friends and they recommended using a disposable coffee filter.  I don’t have these either (I use a reusable filter), so a friend gave me some to try.  I love friends who support my frugality by giving me free stuff! 😉

Once I got home, I taped a coffee filter to a mug and put just enough yogurt in that it wouldn’t break the filter (this did happen with my first attempt unfortunately!).

Immediately, the coffee filter became moist.  I left this in the fridge for a few hours, and then scooped it out.  It was definitely thicker, but this method only makes a couple of tablespoons of yogurt at a time!  I tried again by just adding yogurt every couple of hours.  Once it will full, I had a good serving and a half of thick yogurt!

It was noticeably thicker, although I’m not sure if the protein content changed.  Probably not by much.  I will have to do some research about how to make this process more efficient.  If I can make my own thick yogurt, I could save a bundle.

I used some of this yogurt on today’s breakfast!  I started with Overnight Oats made with 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup 1% milk, and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds left in the fridge overnight.

Then I added the yogurt, a small handful of Kashi Go Lean cereal, 4 sliced strawberries, a handful of blueberries, and a spoonful of peanut butter.  It was very tasty.

This weekend, I also had an enlightening conversation with my girlfriends about maternity leave benefits.  I think I have been underestimating how much I will receive during my year-off.  With this piece of information, I immediately went out on a shopping spree.  Uhhh…I wish!  Instead, I just clapped my hands and got excited to save even more money.  Hello, my name is Robyn, and I am addicted to budgeting.

Because of the new leaf I turned over last week, I didn’t spend too much.  You will notice the lack of coffee purchased!

The Monday Rundown

Small coffee $1.28
Gas $20.00
Lunch $20.00
Café Mocha $3.75
Milk and yogurt $8.00
Total for week $53.03

(That first coffee was purchased before I decided to stop buying coffee 😉 )

I am lucky in that my brunch yesterday was paid for by a friend, and my picnic offerings were budgeted into the grocery bill that my husband paid for.  It was a relatively inexpensive weekend.

I am still reading the book The Complete Tightwad Gazette (at over 900 pages, it is taking a while!).   I am learning a lot of great ideas and one is “the cost of the wow factor”.  The idea is that some splurges are worth it because their cost for the amount of “wow” you receive is a good deal.  Take, for example, a trip to Hawaii.  On a scale of 1 to 10, the “wow factor” for this trip is probably a 9 and the cost for two people is $3000.  Let’s take another trip, this time a four day camping trip a few hours away from home.  On a scale of 1 to 10, the wow factor may be 5.  The cost of the trip?  $400.  It has less of a wow factor than Hawaii, but also a much smaller cost.

9 wow factors = $3000.00.  Therefore, the cost per wow factor is $333.33

5 wow factors = $400.00.  The cost per wow factor is $80.00

By this equation, you get more bang for your buck with the camping trip.

This is an interesting application to use when debating whether a splurge is worth it.  You may find that the more expensive choice still has a greater cost-per-wow factor than the less expensive choice.

I am looking at you, Greek yogurt.

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Epic weekend with surprise ending Another lunch

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. anne7x7  |  July 19, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Hey!
    I’ve been your blogs from the very beginning (and I must say I LOVE THEM!), but never commented! This morning, however, I thought I should share some useful info about making greek yogourt with you!

    I am an active member of SparkPeople, and a while back I wrote a blog about how to make greek yogourt (http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=3298101).

    Lately though, I have been using coffee filters instead of cheese cloth to make the yogourt, and it’s so much easier (no boiling involved!). You just put 2 white coffee filters in the strainer and plop the container of yogourt on top! Cover with plastic wrap and leave for 6-12 hours, depending on how thick you want it! It cuts the amount of yogourt in half, but I find it keeps me full MUCH longer (= lot more protein?).

    I also tried to make it with flavoured yogourt and it was great! It is not as sweet once it is strained, but add fruit and you are good to go!

    Hope that helps you in your quest to better greek yogourt and frugality!!

    (PS: I usually buy the Astro 1% yogourt at Walmart because it is super cheap!)

    Reply
    • 2. anne7x7  |  July 19, 2010 at 9:38 am

      Oh, and by plop the container on top, I meant the content of the container. LOL

      Reply
      • 3. Frugal 'n' Fit!  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:54 am

        I’m glad you cleared this up 😉

    • 4. Frugal 'n' Fit!  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:54 am

      This is great! I think I will invest in some white coffee filters and see if my current strainer is up to the task. If I could make this stuff myself (I use Astro yogurt too!), I would be in (frugal and fit) heaven. Thanks!

      Reply
  • 5. Therese  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I’ve been wanting to make greek yogurt at home as well (oddly enough, using the above posters very recipe as she’s pretty darned cool!) but I have the same worry, I don’t know if the amount of protein will change and that’s the very reason I get greek yogurt. I wonder what Google has to say about this? Hmmmm….

    And thanks so much for the “Wow Factor” analysis! This is a great way to view splurges!

    Reply
    • 6. Frugal 'n' Fit!  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:54 am

      I like Anne’s explanation of the protein. If this works as well for me as it does for her, I would be thrilled!

      Reply
  • 7. Heather (Perspective Is Everything)  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:03 am

    i’ve done that experiment before too. must say…some things are just better pre-made (i.e.Fage, oikos, etc).
    also, i think you may have a typo regarding the number of pages in The Complete Tightwad Gazette 😉
    congrats on getting more $$ on maternity leave than you thought!

    Reply
    • 8. Frugal 'n' Fit!  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:57 am

      I totally had a typo regarding the number of pages of that book. Whoops!! 🙂

      I will try the Great Greek Yogurt Experiment and let the blog know how it goes!

      Reply
  • 9. anne7x7  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:21 am

    It’s hard to find exact protein content of “at-home greek yogurt, but here is an explanation that seems to make sense:

    “The reason strained yogurt has a higher protein content is that they drain a lot the whey out. Whey has some lactose (sugar/carbs) but very little protein. The yogurt that’s left has the same amount of protein but less sugar and water, thus a higher ratio of protein to sugar and more protein per ounce. In other words, if you have 10 ounces of yogurt and you drain out 4 ounces of whey, you have almost the same amount of protein as you started with, but it’s concentrated into six ounces of yogurt, and there’s a lot less sugar.”

    I will definitely look into this more closely and report back with any findings 😉

    Reply
  • 10. Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales  |  July 19, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Congrats that you are having a boy!

    Reply
  • 12. Erika  |  July 20, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Congrats on a baby boy!! Ive been thinking blue all along for you. Yay!!

    Reply

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Welcome!

What happens when you love to eat healthy (and some unhealthy!) food, love to live frugally, and love to write? You start a food blog, of course. Of course!

Eating well and living frugally does not always come easy, but Lord help me, I am trying! This blog will detail my endeavor to live the best life possible. This will include pictures of my cats, odes to almond butter, and the general miscellany that makes up my life. Enjoy!


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