Today in America, we face a recession and many people face difficult economic times. There are ways to cut costs but they require a little planning and practice. A typical family of four can easily spend $600 a month not including pet products. This would seem a good place to start trimming our expenses. You can do this by buying less packaged and processed foods and canning our own. Canning green beans is good place to start. The concept can be applied to many of the vegetables and some of the fruits your family regularly eats.
Figuring Out How Often Your Family Eats Green Beans
The family cook or menu planner should begin by assessing how many times a week green beans are served. Is it once a week? Twice? If you are unsure, you can use one of those calendars so many businesses give away at the beginning of the year to keep a menu diary. Jot down what you make for lunch or dinner every day for a month or two. This will help you quantify how many green beans or any other vegetable you wish to can are normally being used.
How Many Green Beans Does Your Family Eat Per Meal
Next is to determine how many cans or bags of vegetables you use at each meal. The larger your family, the more beans you will use. Note the weight of the packages, as this is important. This will help determine how many fresh green beans you need for canning.
The average can of vegetables weighs 15 oz while the average bag of frozen vegetables weighs 12 oz. The weight of canned goods includes the water they are packed in. Canned vegetables generally provide 3 servings, meaning many families will need two cans per meal. Frozen vegetables do not have the water weight and normally provide 4 servings.
For example, a family of four uses two cans (30 oz) of green beans per meal and eats green beans twice a week (60 oz). Subtracting the water, it’s more like 48 oz. Take this number times fifty-two weeks in the year and on average, the family consumes 2496 oz or 156 lbs per year. This is how many pounds of green beans you will need to grow – the most frugal and economical way – or purchase from local farmers markets, roadside stand or grocery store.
For the next steps, read my article Planning to Can Green Beans to Sustain Your Family For A Year: How Many Jars and Other Supplies Do We Need? to learn how to determine the number of jars and other supplies you will need to can your family’s green beans and How to Can Green Beans to Sustain Your Family For A Year for canning instructions.
Source: Personal Experience