Strawberry Math

In preparation for our upcoming outing to the U-pick farm for fresh strawberries, I did some quick math to double-check that it was going to be worth the effort to pick them myself.

quart pound gallon
Oak Hill Farm $3 $2 $10 ($2 discount)
Winn Dixie grocery $4.49 $2.99 $17.96 + tax
Sam’s Club $3.74 $2.49 $14.96 + tax
* bold prices are those advertised.

According to Circle S Farms, a quart of strawberries weighs approximately 1 1/2 pounds. Using that information, I figured out that picking our own berries will definitely yield us the best price for our money. Looking at the per pound price it appears that Sam’s Club would be a decent choice because for only 49¢ more per pound I won’t have to stand out in the sun and pick them myself. That’s the premium we’d pay for convenience.

However, hand-picked berries will be much fresher and sweeter because they weren’t picked days or weeks ago and packaged up to sell at the store (much like a vine-ripened tomato tastes far better than a big fat one from a pile in the store). Aside from that, what really pushed Oak Hill Farm over the two stores was that they give a $2 discount when you pick and purchase by the gallon. Since there are 4 quarts in a gallon, that should run us $12 per gallon but they advertise that you can buy a quart for $3 or a gallon for $10. In that case, I’d be saving about $5 over the Sam’s Club price and about $8 over the Winn Dixie price. That works for me!

I really wish that I had a child old enough to do this math for me. Jeremy’s 5 and still working on addition/subtraction. Complex multiplication and division are far beyond his abilities at this point. It’s a good thing I’m blogging about this because then I can pull it out a couple of years from now to help as an example of why we do indeed need to learn how to do this type of math.

When I started, I had the following table and information:

quart pound gallon
Oak Hill Farm $3 $__ $10 ($__ discount)
Winn Dixie grocery $__ $2.99 $__
Sam’s Club $__ $2.49 $__
1 qt. = 1.5 lb. 4 qt. = 1 gal.

To find the missing information for both Winn Dixie and Sam’s Club is easy. We are given the per-pound price. Easily multiply that price by 1.5 (pounds per quart) to come up with the per-quart price. Multiply the per-quart price by 4 (quarts per gallon) to get the per-gallon price.

Winn Dixie: $2.99  x  1.5 = $4.49  x  4 = $17.96

Sam’s Club: $2.49  x  1.5 = $3.74  x  4 = $14.96

Now this is how far we’ve filled out the table:

quart pound gallon
Oak Hill Farm $3 $__ $10 ($__ discount)
Winn Dixie grocery $4.49 $2.99 $17.96
Sam’s Club $3.74 $2.49 $14.96

Since we are given completely different valuations for Oak Hill Farms pricing, a different approach is required. I had to re-teach myself Equivalent Fractions, fifth grade math.

$/quart $/pound
Oak Hill Farm $3 $__ numerators
Winn Dixie grocery $4.49 $2.99 denominators (using known pricing)


The fractions: 3/4.49  =  p/2.99 (I’m using “p” as the unknown numerator)
The math: 3  x  2.99  =  8.97 Multiply first numerator by second denominator.
4.49  x  p  =  4.49p Multiply first denominator by second numerator.
8.97 ÷ 4.49  =  1.9977 (round up to $2) Divide each cross multiplication total by the same number.
Always check your work! Divide to get the whole number for each fraction: 3 ÷ 4.49 = 0.668   2 ÷ 2.99 = 0.668   If the whole numbers match, you’ve correctly completed your equivalent fraction.

We’re finally finished!

quart pound gallon
Oak Hill Farm $3 $2 $10 ($2 discount)
Winn Dixie grocery $4.49 $2.99 $17.96
Sam’s Club $3.74 $2.49 $14.96

2 thoughts on “Strawberry Math

  1. Lindsey Gurley

    Oh my gosh – my head hurts from looking at all that math. Thanks for figuring it out for me, though! Question – what are you going to do with all those strawberries?

  2. Jennifer Medlock Post author

    So far these are the plans I’ve made for my berries:
    1 pound will be stuffed with cheesecake filling for our dessert at the church picnic.
    1 gallon will be washed, hulled, and frozen whole for later snacking.
    We’ll eat at least a pound over the next couple of days.
    2 pounds or so will be an experiment in making freezer jam.
    Not to mention, I’m going back tomorrow for two more gallons! Jeremy’s coming home in 2 weeks and strawberries are his favorite fruit. 4 gallons sounds like a ton, but with him home these probably won’t last all summer.


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