Making homemade yogurt is cheaper than buying it in the store, and you can control what goes into the yogurt (e.g. preservatives, sugar, etc.). There are lots of ways to make homemade yogurt, but this is the way that worked for me. If you are interested in making your own but don't want to invest in a yogurt maker, you can also incubate using your oven (if the temp stays low enough), a heating pad, or a crock pot. You will need to look online to find more specific instructions, but during my learning process I discovered quite a few excellent websites out there. Stonyfield is a great yogurt to use as a starter because it includes 6 live cultures, where as many other brands only include 2 or 3, but you can use any yogurt with live cultures, or a freeze-dried culture (after 2 unsuccessful attempts at this, I switched to the yogurt mix-in). Once you have a batch, you can save a 1/2 cup to use as your starter in the next batch (just be sure you don't do this more than once, as the quality of the cultures will decline). The amount of sugar and vanilla can also be adjusted, or different flavorings can be added. Like I said, this is the recipe I like best :-)
4 c. milk (I used 2%)
1 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. powdered nonfat milk
1/2 c. Stonyfield Plain Organic Yogurt (far from expiration date)
Whisk sugar, vanilla, and powdered milk into the milk in the top pan of a double boiler. Heat the milk, stirring frequently to 185 degrees.
Remove the pot from the boiler and put immediately into an ice bath. Cool to a temperature of 115, then remove in from the ice bath.
Once the temp drops to 110, whisk in the yogurt. Pour into jars and incubate for 7-8 hrs. in a yogurt maker.
Once yogurt is set, refrigerate at least 4 hrs or overnight.