The benefits of yogurt comes from the live cultures of bacteria present in it -- this is the good bacteria that helps our digestive system. The only problem is that there are chances that the store-bought yogurt has been treated so many times that by the time you actually get to eat it, there are no live cultures of bacteria left.
I have been making yogurt at home, without a yogurt machine, and its not a very difficult process. Why don't you try it and see how it goes?
1. Buy plain yogurt from the store. Get one that says it has got live cultures, and it should not be sweetened or flavored.
2. Take milk. Organic is better but you can go with powdered or low-fat. Just remember, high fat content of the milk will make the yogurt thicker and creamier, but also high in calories.
3. The ratio is ideally 6 cups of milk to 1 cup of yogurt.
4. When making yogurt, remember that it has bacteria and bacteria need warm temperature. Neither too cold, nor too hot. So warm the milk just so it is luke-warm.
5. Add the yogurt. Stir thoroughly.
6. Put the mixture of milk and yogurt in a canning jar or use any other jar. Close the lid.
7. This mixture needs to be put in a warm place so that the bacteria present in the yogurt turn the milk also into yogurt. You can put the jar in the oven, cover it with a sweater, or throw a blanket on it, anything will work as long as its warm.
8. Leave it for 6-7 hours. Don't shake the jar in between.
9. Check to see if the yogurt is settled. If it's not, let it sit for a couple of hours more. When settled, put the jar in the fridge. Allow it to cool.
10. Enjoy your homemade yogurt.
Try it and let me know if it worked for you. And if it doesn't, also let me know, maybe it went a little off and I would love to be able to help you get it right. Trust me, it gets much easier with practice!