How Many Slices of Bread Doth A Jar of Jam Spread? you buy a jar of jam, how many sandwiches do you expect it to cover? How many sandwiches do you think it will cover if you’ve never thought about it? Do you have any idea? Do you even care? If you didn’t, maybe this would be a fun posts for your kids or kids you know if you didn’t have any. I’ve been curious all my life, but never took the time to search or find out. The answer is probably somewhere online, with variance as different jams, especially those with solid fruits, different jam spreading styles, among other factors, can influence the answers. But that’s why I went to do my own experiment to find out. And good thing, too, as it turned out, because a quick search revealed no such answers online!


The setup

Given I have three jars of jam on rotation at any given time, in part because they’re sold at a discount if I bought 3 rather than 1 at my local groceries store, I decided to run 3 jam spreading experiments simultaneously. This is about how many slices of bread on which I could spread the jam before the jars ran out, not how long each jar would last in terms of time, so it wouldn’t matter if I did this with one or ten jars of jam concurrently.

On each jar, tape a strip of paper on it. Or have a place you can tally pieces of spread you covered with each type of jam nearby so when the bread is being toasted, or before / after you cover the bread with jam, you can make a notch. Then just do this until the jam runs out!

Myself, when I make a sandwich, I spread the jam on both slices of bread, because I often eat the slices one at a time. Lasts longer, and chewing is good for neurogenesis. But for that reason, I put a stroke to represent two slices of bread, not one. So in the photos below, double the number of strokes you see for the total slices of bread I got out of each jar.


Blueberry – 44

First up is the blueberry. This jam had some actual blueberries in it so I got a fewer slices of bread covered than if it were purely a jelly sort of jam. The blueberries take up volume, and don’t get flattened like jelly. I’m not trying to be frugal to see the maximum I could get out of the jams here. Just using them naturally like a science experiment to see how it turns out.


Raspberry – 50

There was no fruit pieces in this jam and, sure enough, compared to the blueberry jam, I got six more slices out of it for a total of 50!


Strawberry –  50

Good science usually means it’s replicable, and sure enough, it was bang on with this strawberry jam that didn’t have fruit pieces like the raspberry jam I had didn’t!



Despite a duplicated result of 50 slices of bread for the jams without fruit, I’m going to generalize and say 48 piece slices per jar of 500 mL of jam the way I spread it when I make jam sandwiches. I’m pretty consistent at my jam spreading to cover the slice quite well, and the only way I can probably err to be inconsistent would be to put a bit more jam on a slice here and there. I also scraped the jars out pretty clean at the end. I’m not sure I’d be that patient every time so yeah, probably 48 slices per jar, not 50 as was reproduced twice here.


As a final note to this post. I am delighted to see myself engaging in activities like this because this would be the sort of activity Leonardo da Vinci would have engaged in with his daily curiosities, and the playful kid attitude towards life that adults should try to maintain more as they grow older, both of which I have been striving to do more of. Of course, I’m no Leonardo, but his curiosities weren’t always that deep or powerful or mind-blowing, like do woodpeckers have tongues that still ranks as my favourite! What are similar between mine and Leonardo’s curiosities, though, were questions that few might have thought of and/or pursued. That’d be harder to know during the Renaissance, but today, if it weren’t on the Internet, I would say I’m on that path less taken by the populus! So in some small way, I can legitimately say I am channeling my inner Leonardo.

As for that ability to keep on playing more as an adult, like in this Play book by Stuart Brown and Christopher Vaughn, can you not see some little kid asking this question about how many slices of bread they can spread some jam on before the jar runs out? Can you not see some little kids enthusiastically wanting to know if the Parents asked them if they wanted to do this and find out? And maybe doing it again to see if they can replicate the answer the first time, or if the different jams had different amounts because of factors mentioned? Elementary school science fair project, anybody lol? I think so! And if I had kids, I’d have them on it!



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