60 Second Skillshare

10 July 2013

How to calculate your family’s food preservation needs

Do you plan to preserve enough food to take your family through the year?

And how do you figure it all out?

There are many different formulas and calculations – even online annual food storage calculators. And there is no doubt they can provide a helpful framework or starting point.

I do think some of these have to be done according to your family’s tastes and needs because we are all unique. Your needs are going to change based on the age of your family members and your dietary needs (GAPS, gluten-free, Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), vegetarian) etc.

I have been preserving for years now- whether that’s tomatoes, applesauce, beans, corn, etc, but have taken a pretty laid back approach.

Now that we live outside the city on a homestead, I would like to be a little more precise.

This is important if you plan to become more self-sufficient or simply want to preserve as much homegrown or local food goodness as possible. It’s also important so you can make sure you have enough freezer and shelf space. I do recommend using a variety of methods to preserve your food such as fermentation, dehydration, freezing, oil preservation and canning.

Today, I am sharing the approach I am using for some freezer items. So…

…say I want to freeze enough green beans for the year…

Here is the process I used to figure out our family’s needs:

  • I asked myself: ‘How often each week will we eat green beans?’ (Est: twice per week)
  • Then, “What would be the serving size per meal?” (About, say, 2 cups, per meal. That’s 1/2 c per person on average.)
  • Now I take the weeks of the year AND SUBTRACT at least 4-6 weeks in the summer at which time we will be eating fresh…. (52-6 = 46)
  • Multiply by the number of meals you plan to have with that per week: (46 weeks x 2/week) = 92
  • That means I need 92 portions/bags of beans to have enough for our family’s needs over the winter.

This is likely a very generous calculation as some weeks we would use less and in the summer months, we would eat more fresh.

The next step, of course would be to figure out how many pounds of beans that would be needed…

Also, because 92 bags take up a lot of freezer space, I can now also decide whether I want to can or ferment some of these beans…


For strawberries, I did it like this:




Each 4 litre pail (this is generally how they are sold at u-picks around here) contains almost 17 cups.

Again, I will do all the same calculations, to take me to 92 bags (each containing 2 cups).

Calculation: 92 x2=184

184 divided by 17 equals the amount of pails I will need to pick.  (just over 10)

Note: If you plan to do jam or something like that, you will need to build that into your calculation.

Again, the most important thing you bring to this is knowing how your family eats…

How do you calculate your family’s food preservation needs? Is this important to you?


Filed under:60 Second SkillshareBlogNourished Home || Tagged under:

1 comment
Leave a comment