There are many health benefits to eating cultured foods, but buying pre-made kefir, yogurt, sourdough bread, or Kombucha (just to name a few) can be expensive.
If you have been hanging around Intentional By Grace for long, then you know that my family enjoys cultured foods, especially kefir. You also know that I have a hard time staying within my grocery budget each month.
So how do I justify the cost of store bought kefir? Well, I don’t. Instead, I make it myself.
Did you know that you can make your own fermented foods for a fraction of the cost by using a starter culture?
If I were to buy kefir from the store, it would cost me anywhere from $3.99 to $6.99 – for one single quart. On the other hand, I can purchase raw milk for $7 a gallon and make two quarts of kefir. Financially, it just makes sense.
Not to mention, kefir is incredibly easy to make. Can you pour milk in a jar? Ok then, you can make your own kefir!
The same could be said for other fermented foods that you wish to add to your diet, or are already in your diet and you’re paying a pretty penny for – like Kombucha.
Making your own fermented foods ensures that your family’s digestive health is being cared for, as well as knowing each and every ingredient that goes into your food. You can do all of this for a fraction of the cost of store bought brands.
Where do I get my starters?
The cheapest and most ideal way to get your starter cultures is from a friend, a neighbor, a family member or someone else you know. Ask if they wouldn’t mind sharing. Most likely they will happily agree!
For those of you who don’t have this sort of access (and most people I know don’t), then let me introduce you to Cultures for Health. This is where I get all of my starter cultures.
This online store carries just about any kind of starter you can think of!
- Kefir (milk and water)
- Yogurt (multiple varieties)
- Sourdough (again, multiple varieties including gluten-free)
- Sour cream
- Cultured veggie starter
- Cheese making supplies and starters
In addition to their dairy kefir, I have used their water kefir starter (a husband favorite), and making Kombucha is on my 30 things to do before 30 list. I have heard of others using their Yogurt and Sourdough starters with great success!
At Cultures for Health, their prices are reasonable and their culture varieties are just amazing. They have flat rate shipping of only $3.99, which might even be less than the cost of gas to go get a starter, depending how far you have to go!
I must mention another reason to consider buying from a site like Cultures for Health rather than getting them from someone you don’t really know is the quality of the starters. Cultures are simple to use, yes, but if someone hasn’t cared for their culture well, or has used it with less-than-ideal ingredients, or with the wrong utensils (metal spoons instead of wooden or plastic, etc.), it may not work as well for you. Of course, these aren’t necessarily deal breakers, but just something to be aware of.
Not to mention, the instructions and support available to you from Cultures for Health are helpful, especially if you’re unsure of what you’re doing! Their website is simply amazing – a host of information at your fingertips even if you don’t purchase your starters from them.
So if you’re in the market for fermenting your own foods, check out Cultures for Health. It’s my go to spot for all of my culturing needs.
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Note: I did not receive any sort of compensation or free product for this post from Cultures for Health. This is simply a company that I use and enjoy and thought you would too. I am, however, a proud affiliate of Cultures for Health, and I earn a small kickback when you make a purchase through my links. You aren’t obligated to use these links in any way, but when you do so, it helps to support this site, so thank you!