Replacing the Grocery Store Challenge Day 2 – How Many Servings

Today’s assignment has to do with the food side of grocery shopping.  Before we can determine how much we want to cut down at the grocery store, we need to know how much we are capable of growing.  We do not want to commit to cutting back 50% , when we can only grow and/or raise enough to cut back 25%.  Make sense?

Time to brush up on your math skills.

Our first step is to determine how many servings our family needs per year of any crop.  Some of you might not have enough space or time to raise enough of any certain vegetable to sustain you for a year, and that is okay.  But, we need to work backwards on this one.  Once you figure out how many servings, you can then figure out how much space it takes to grow that much.  If you don’t have the space that it requires to grow a certain veggie that will supply you for a whole year, then you can adjust your servings to make it a doable goal for you.

Let’s look at servings per pound of vegetable.  A serving is a half-cup.  These are the most common vegetables.

Servings per pound

  • Beans – 4.4 
  • beets – 2.8 
  • broccoli – 3.1 
  • cabbage – 2.8 
  • carrots – 2.8 
  • corn(kernels) – 1.7
  • cucumber – 4.4
  • garlic – 133 (1 clove servings)
  • lettuce, leaf – 6.6
  • okra – 5
  • onions – 20.6 (2 TBS servings)
  • peas, shelled – 1.7
  • peppers, green – 5.8
  • potatoes – 2.8
  • sweet potatoes – 3.1
  • spinach – 11.7 fresh, 3.6 cooked
  • squash, summer – 3.4
  • squash, winter – 2.5
  • tomatoes, fresh – 2.3

Fruit servings per pound

  • apples – 2.8
  • blackberries – 4.1
  • cantaloupe – 2.6
  • cherries – 3.4
  • grapes – 1.9
  • peaches – 3.4
  • pears – 3.4
  • plums – 3.4
  • strawberries – 6
  • watermelon – 2.7
Now, go through each fruit and vegetable and figure out how many servings you will need to last a whole year.  Remember your assignment from Day One.  Focus on what you wrote down.  If you missed Day One, go here.
Here is what I did.  Look at beans.  It takes 4.4 servings per pound.  We are a family of seven, so 4.4 would not be enough for our family.  To keep it simple, I can double this to get 8.8 servings.  It’s a little bit more than 7, yet I like to estimate on the high end anyway.  
Now, we usually eat beans once a week.  So, that is 8.8 servings a week.  Take that times 52 weeks(in a year) and I get 457.6 servings altogether.
Say you only want to eat beans twice a month and 4.4 servings per pound sounds about right.  Take 4.4 times 2 and you get 8.8 servings altogether per month.  Now take 8.8 times 12 (months in a year) and you get 105.6 servings for the year.
It is very important that you figure out how many servings you estimate per year.  Without knowing this, how will you figure out how much to grow?

This is a chart that I created to get started on numbers.

Your assignment is to find out how many servings you would need to last a year.

If you would like a copy, click the download above.

Right next to the number of servings, write down the number of servings you will need in the same box.

Don’t forget to put this in your notebook!

Here is what mine looks like so far.  You can download this one if your serving sizes are similar to mine.  Remember, we are a family of 7 and we like to eat!

Once you have your servings all figured out, your next assignment will be to figure out how many pounds per year per veggie/fruit you will need.  But, I don’t want to overwhelm you!  So, focus on servings for now.

Day 1 Challenge

Day 3 Challenge

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to ask and/or comment below!

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14 comments on “Replacing the Grocery Store Challenge Day 2 – How Many Servings

  1. Oh, this is work! I have a chore ahead of me! We are a family of 11. And two pyrs, who I want to be able to feed as well. I may make this a homeschool assignment for my older children :o)

    I am posting on my blog, to share with others and to have it handy for reference.

  2. This is fantastic! I love it! I am excited to do it! I for sure think that one big assignment like this and one little assignment like yesterday's is good for one week 🙂 That way people have time to compile. Thank you for your work!!

  3. I'm scared!!! No…this is a great tool to see what we really would need to plant or even be able to plant. We are a family of 6, not counting the soon to be newborn, so I did print out your chart to get a better idea. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Starting like we are, with the amount of area we have to plant on, we need to know how many pounds we can expect per plant to even begin to decide how many days per year we will be able to eat a particular fruit or vegetable; or even what percentage of grocery spending we are able to cut out. Also, when figuring servings per pound, where can we find a complete chart showing most veggies and fruits… and are they figured as cooked or uncooked pounds?

    • This is our next step, to figure out how many pounds we will need for the amount of servings we have selected. This will give us an idea of how much space is required based on the servings. I have two charts above on most veggies and fruits servings per pound. This is post harvest servings, not cooked unless otherwise noted. I will also be sharing a chart that tells us how much yields to expect.

  5. Thanks for the continued inspiration, Susie! So excited to be joining you on this venture this year. 🙂 I know doing a series like this takes a lot of time and effort, so THANK YOU from all of us. This will be such a blessing to many, especially those who've not done much growing or preserving of their own before. Personally, we have done this for years, but there's always room to improve and do more, and to have the weekly to-do assignment is great. Blessings! ~Lisa

  6. Great fun! I had already started on this but your information will help to make it more accurate. Thanks so much for your work!

  7. I would like to join your challenge but I cannot download you files, says I have to become a member and I do not have 9 dollars to join. Great idea though. Am working on my own version now. Thanks. KJD

  8. I use whole onions for a meal, i.e. one whole onion in a casserole or 4 onions for onion rings, etc. How many onions are in a pound on average? I could figure it out easier per whole onions…or green onions per pound? I would use four or five per salad…please advise. Thank you. KJD

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