Thursday, January 10, 2008

How the purchase of a yogurt maker was not frugal

To contrast with my enthusiastic post about my bread maker, I will reveal why I believe I made a poor choice to buy a yogurt maker.

Not long after I purchased my bread maker, I decided to buy a yogurt maker. This decision was based on two premises. First, I wanted to eat healthier. By making yogurt and blending it with frozen fruit, I could have smoothies in the morning and increase my fruit intake. Secondly, I would save myself a lot of money by making my own yogurt for smoothies.

Therefore, I purchased a Salton yogurt maker, the kind with five individual cups, on eBay. After using the machine for a while, I realized this was not a great choice. I had more items to clean and more spilling of the starter mix as I try to pour it five different times. A 1-quart container yogurt maker would have worked better for my purposes.

For nearly three months, I happily made yogurt, created smoothies and even branched out into making my own granola and putting it on the yogurt for breakfast. In addition, I bought a second yogurt maker of the same type to help rotate out the yogurt containers and keep a continuous supply.

But then I continued to buy yogurt with live cultures in the store but the containers just sat in my refrigerator. The yogurt maker sat in my pantry and the extra one stayed in a box in my office. Right now, I have several containers of yogurt in my refrigerator and three bags of frozen fruit in my freezer, but no more smoothies. At least the honey is used in my honey wheat bread.

What is the lesson here? Truly think about the purchase of a single-use appliance. For a person that really loved yogurt or used it as a base in many recipes, the yogurt maker is a good purchase. Not only should she enjoy the yogurt but she should also not get tired of eating the same thing. However, if tastes change or she is following a fad, this may not be an ideal purchase.

My breakfast habits go in cycles. For two months, I ate nothing but oatmeal for breakfast. Now, the box sits in the cabinet untouched for 10 months. I have a yogurt smoothie occassionally (have to use up the excess yogurt somehow), but nothing to justify having a yogurt maker. Other than pancakes, there really is not a breakfast I never get tired of eating. Therefore, I could have saved my money and not bought the two yogurt makers. Maybe eBay will be my salvation.

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