Dec 05 2007

An example of calculating recipe costs

As a supplement to my post on calculating recipe costs, I’ve provided you with an example:

Let me walk you through calculating the cost of one of my new favorite recipes, split pea soup.

Here’s the ingredients:

* 6 slices bacon
* 1 small onion
* 1 leek
* 1 large carrot
* 2 cloves garlic
* 4 (10.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
* 1 1/2 cups green split peas
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

(I crossed out the seasonings because the amount is minimal. You can estimate the cost if you want to be precise).

OK. Start with bacon. How much did you pay for that package of bacon? Say it cost $2. Look at how many slices are in the pack. Sometimes, I look at the nutritional label to see the serving size and servings per package. Let’s say there are 12 slices in the pack. This recipe is asking for 6 slices.

Take the TOTAL COST divided by SERVINGS IN PACK to get the COST PER SERVING.

So, $2 (total cost) / 12 (servings in pack) = $0.16 per slice of bacon.

You are using six slices, so multiply $0.16 by 6 = $0.96 for the amount of bacon you are using in this recipe.

Keep track of that number on a scrap piece of paper.

Next item is one small onion. If you bought it as one onion, great, you already know how much it was. But if it came in a 3-lb. sack, you need to whip out your calculator.

Say you bought a sack of onions. Before using any, count how many you have. Take the cost per sack divided by the amount of onions in your bag, and that will tell you how much each onion cost. (This way, you won’t have to calculate the price per onion for all of those onions–you’ll calculate it once and know it for the next 10 meals)

The same goes for the rest of the vegetables on the list.

The cans of broth should be easy to calculate–just multiply the price of one can by 4, since the recipe calls for 4 cans.

To calculate the cost of 1.5 cups of split peas, again, consult the nutritional label on the peas. My split peas state: Serving size 1/4 cup. Dry servings 26.

So, .25 cup X 26 servings = 6.5 cups in a bag.

The bag cost $1.

I will take $1 divided by 6.5 cups to determine how much one cup costs:

$1 / 6.5 = about $0.15 per cup.

I need 1.5 cups for this recipe, so I multiply the cost per cup ($0.15) by 1.5 cups = about $0.23

Add up the cost per ingredient, and you know the cost of the recipe. Once you’ve made it to this step, you can calculate the cost per serving–simply divide the cost of the recipe by the amount of mouths it will feed.


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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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