Save Money Making Your Own Cultured & Fermented Foods

Times are tough and we are all looking for ways to shrink our grocery budget while still providing our family with delicious real food. It is possible to feed your family nutrient dense cultured foods on a budget! The secret is to make your own.

Making your own cultured and fermented foods at home is easy, quick, and can save you 30% to 97% over the grocery store.

Jump to: Yogurt, Dairy Kefir, Kombucha, Coconut Kefir, Raw Sauerkraut, Sourdough Bread, Buttermilk, Mascarpone Cheese, Crème Fraîche, Tempeh


Yogurt

Perhaps the most popular cultured food in most households is yogurt. Yogurt is delicious but can be costly, particularly organic varieties assuming your local store even carries them. Making your own saves money and is easy. Click here to learn more about making your own yogurt. Click here to download a copy of our free Yogurt eBook.

From the Store
Organic Yogurt: $3.59/quart

Conventional Yogurt: $2.29/quart

Make Your Own
Organic ingredients:  $1.25/quart plus flavorings (Save 65%)

Conventional ingredients: $0.75/quart plus flavorings (Save 67%)

Time Commitment: 5 to 15 minutes prep time, 6 to 24 hours to culture


Dairy Kefir

If you are looking for a nutrient-dense cultured food to incorporate into your family's diet, dairy kefir is a great place to start. Kefir is not only incredibly easy to make (perfect for beginners) it is also jam-packed with beneficial bacteria, yeasts, and vitamins. But kefir purchased from the grocery store can be costly. Using milk kefir grains, an heirloom-style reusable starter culture, you can make quart after quart of kefir for just the price of milk.  Click here to learn more about making kefir at home. Click here to download our free Kefir Recipe eBook with 60+ recipes for incorporating kefir into your diet.

From the Store
$3.59/quart
 

Make Your Own Using Milk Kefir Grains
Organic ingredients: $1.25/quart (Save 65%)
Conventional ingredients: $0.75/quart (Save 79%)

Time Commitment: 5 to 10 minutes prep time, 18 to 48 hours to culture


Kombucha

Kombucha is refreshing, delicious, and full of beneficial bacteria, yeasts, vitamins, and minerals. Many people are surprised to learn how easy and inexpensive kombucha is to make at home. As a bonus, making your own allows you to experiment with your favorite flavor combinations. (It's also delicious unflavored.) Click here to learn more about making your own kombucha tea. Click here to download our free Kombucha eBook.

From the Store
$3.19 for 16 ounces

Make Your Own
Organic ingredients: $0.23 for 16 ounces. (Save 93%)
Conventional ingredients: $0.11 for 16 ounces (Save 97%)

Time Commitment: 10 minutes prep time, 7 to 30 days to culture

 

Coconut Kefir

Coconut kefir is an increasingly popular product being sold in natural food stores. Made with coconut water and sometimes flavored with blended fruit, it is refreshing and full of beneficial bacteria. Simple to make, even a beginner can easily make coconut kefir at home. Click here to learn how to make Coconut Kefir at home.

From the Store
$3.49 for 16 ounces

Make Your Own
$1.50 for 16 ounces (Save 57%)

Time Commitment: 5 to 10 minutes prep time, 18 to 48 hours to culture


Sauerkraut

It can be difficult to find raw, unpasteurized sauerkraut complete with live active cultures in many grocery stores but when it can be found, it's quite expensive. About 50% can be saved by making your own. An additional benefit to make your own sauerkraut is that you can choose flavor enhancments such as dried juniper berries or some shredded apple for a bit of sweetness. A small amount of other shredded vegetables such as carrots can be added to further enhance the flavor. Click here to learn to make your own sauerkraut. Tip: Purchase cabbage and other vegetables in season and make large batches to save more.

From the Store
$7.67

Make Your Own
Organic ingredients: $4.20 (Save 45%)
Conventional ingredients: $2.36 (Save 69%)

Time Commitment: 15 to 30 minutes prep time, 7 to 10 days to culture (Optional: 6 weeks for additional aging and flavor development) 


Sourdough Bread

There are few things more delicious than a piping hot loaf of sourdough bread. Making your own can be fun and save money. Tip: The costs below are based on purchasing flour in small quantities. These costs can easily be halved by purchasing flour in bulk. Click here to learn to make sourdough bread at home including a simple recipe and how-to video.

From the Store
$3.99 (organic)


Make Your Own
$1.40 or less (Save 65%)

Time Commitment: 30 to 40 minutes prep time, 4 to 24 hours proofing (rise) period


Buttermilk

Creamy cultured buttermilk is a mainstay in many traditional recipes including pancakes and biscuits. Making buttermilk is simple and if a reusable heirloom-style culture is used, buttermilk can be made for the price of milk. Click here to learn more about making cultured buttermilk.

From the Store
Organic: $3.79/quart
Conventional: $1.99/quart

Make Your Own
Organic ingredients: $1.25/quart (Save 67%)
Conventional ingredients: $0.75/quart (Save 62%)

Time Commitment: 5 minutes prep time, 12 to 18 hours to culture


Mascarpone Cheese

Made with cream, mascarpone is a delicious topping for main dishes and desserts. It can also be used as a pasta filling. Mascarpone has a reptutation for being a costly grocery item but you can save quite a bit by making your own. Click here to learn how to make mascarpone cheese.

From the Store
$4.49 for 8 ounces (non-organic)

Make your Own
Organic ingredients: $3.10 for 8 ounces (Save 31%)
Conventional ingredients: $2.59 for 8 ounces (Save 42%)

Time Commitment: 15 minutes plus time to chill


Crème Fraîche

Made with cream, crème fraîche is a fabulous topping for desserts, soups, and main dishes. Similar to sour cream, crème fraiche tends to be more thick and decadent. Crème fraiche is not only easy to make but saves about half over purchasing it from the store. Click here to learn to make your own crème fraiche at home.

From the Store
$5.99 for 8 ounces

Make your Own
Organic ingredients: $3.00 for 8 ounces (Save 50%)
Conventional ingredients: $2.49 for 8 ounces (Save 60%)

Time Commitment: 5 to 15 minutes prep time, 12 to 18 hours to culture plus time to chill


Tempeh

This traditional Indonesian food can be made at home using a starter culture and soy beans for a significantly lower cost than the grocery store. Click here for more information on making tempeh.

From the Store
$5.28/pound


Make Your Own
$3.49/pound (Save 33%)

Time Commitment: 30 to 60 minutes prep time, 24 to 48 hours to culture


Feeling inspired to make your own cultured and fermented foods? We are here to help! Check out our expert advice articles, how-to videos, recipes, and more. Have a question? Our knowledgeable customer service staff are available via email, phone, and live chat.

Notes:

Prices were obtained from local grocery stores using typical conventional sized packaging. Lower costs can easily be achieved by purchasing ingredients in bulk quantities. Sourdough is an excellent example: costs can easily be halved by purchasing flour in bulk.

Item(s) that can be made with a reusable culture (heirloom yogurt starters, kefir grains, heirloom buttermilk starter, sourdough starter, etc.) do not include the price of the initial purchase of the culture.

         
   
Save Money Making Yogurt at Home


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