Several days ago some blog friends and I were discussing homemade yogurt. I've made my own yogurt for a year or so and my plan is to do a FF post on it next week with recipe and pictures of how I do it (everyone seems to do it a bit differently).
When I first heard about yogurt making, I immediately thought to go out and buy a yogurt maker. I mean, how on earth else can you make homemade yogurt? But even on eBay the cost was much more than I wanted to pay. So I put it in a search on eBay and I waited. While I was waiting I found a recipe (that I tweaked like I tend to do with everything I've ever made-I can't leave well enough alone) that said I could use a cooler with something in it to keep it warm. Hot jugs of water. A heating pad. Or that it's even possible to incubate it in a thermos!
So I found a way to make it without the costly machine. But I kept my search up on eBay, hoping I could find one at a reasonable price.
It had been almost a year and the costs, if anything, seemed to be going up on eBay. I pretty much resigned myself to making it with a cooler, but *never stopped looking* for the yogurt maker.
(You know where this is going, don't you?! :D)
So Tuesday my youngest and I passed a huge thrift store that we'd not been inside for quite some time. We had 30 minutes to kill so decided to go inside.
I'd felt convicted for a few weeks about a member of my family that needed help in the form of clothing they could wear to church. I found two articles of clothing (as a set) and the price tag said $1.48. I could NOT believe it. The other clothing around it was much higher. I could see no reason why these pieces would be so cheap. But that's what the tag said.
So I grabbed it up, feeling terribly blessed. My daughter wanted to look at the toy section, so we walked to the back of the store. I'd never even been back there before.
At the very end of the isle, there was this really dirty box sitting on a shelf with some really dirty looking contraption inside. I just happened to take a hard look at it. Imagine my delight when I saw that it was a yogurt maker!
I should have made a picture of it before I cleaned it up because IT WAS BAD. But I glanced at the price tag and this is what I saw:
Was that $19.85? Surely it wasn't $1.98? I didn't know. But I snatched it up and thought I would ask up front.
When our turn came at the register, I asked the woman if the clothing was really $1.48 and the yogurt maker was really $1.98? She immediately said, "Oh no...(and my heart sank a little ... until she continued), it's 10% off day. So the clothing is $1.33 and the yogurt maker is $1.78."
Now let me just say that this machine looked pretty gross. There was something (maybe a dead *really* old bug?) squished into one of the glasses and it had years of some type of greasy dust on it. But with a little elbow grease applied, this is what it ended up looking like:
It even came with the manual and the original receipt (from a store that has LONG since gone from here). Look at the date on the receipt!
In the bottom of this dusty box was the spoon with the thermometer (totally intact) that came with the machine originally. (I know this because I could see pieces of it on the dirty box.)
And the spoon has a little slot to tell you at what temperature to add the starter!
Now in all fairness, I've not made yogurt in it yet. I just got it cleaned up yesterday. But of course, I did plug it in to see that it heats up. And I'll picture document how my first yogurt making goes in it this week.
But really the point of this is not the yogurt maker. Or the clothing. Or even the fact that God provides for us even when we don't ask things of Him. Or that we should follow our convictions and the blessings that come our way when we do. This post could be about any one of these topics...but today, it's about frugality and patience.
If you'll just step back and wait for something that you want, many times you'll find it for a very reasonable price. How easy it would have been so long ago to just grab a yogurt maker off the shelf. I would have felt justified because I was doing something good for my family and saving money in the long run.
But instead I found a loophole to making the yogurt and was rewarded for my patience.
For many more Frugal Friday ideas, be sure to visit Crystal's Blog!
14 hours ago