To start with, we recommend purchasing about twice the cooked weight your recipe requires. If your recipe calls for 16oz, then get 2 lbs of raw meat.
Meats shrink to about 60-75% of the original weight after cooking depending on the cut. As you get more experienced with the recipes, you'll be able to make a more accurate estimation of the amount of raw meat needed for each recipe.
If you wish greater detail, the USDA recently published a lengthy list of Cooking Yields for Meat.
CALCULATING THE AMOUNT OF CARBOHYDRATES
Generally, carbohydrates do the opposite - they expand with cooking, an exception is for potatoes and sweet potatoes which don't change much in cooking.
Note: Yams are frequently labeled as "Sweet Potatoes" - they are NOT the same thing. Our recipes call for sweet potatoes so please be sure that what you are purchasing has yellow colored meat not the familiar orange color associated with yams.
APPROXIMATE DRY WEIGHT OF CARBOHYDRATE:
We always recommend doubling (or more) recipes when possible so that you save preparation time. These quantities should help in calculating how large or how many packages to purchase for your recipes.
BARLEY - Approximately 2.4 oz purchased weight = 1 cup COOKED
COUSCOUS - Approximately 2.5 oz purchased weight = 1 cup COOKED
MACARONI - Approximately 1.5 oz purchased weight = 1 cup COOKED
RICE - Approximately 2.4 oz purchased weight = 1 cup COOKED
HOW TO CALCULATE - EXAMPLE:
We cook for 3 dogs, so we definitely need to be efficient with our preparation time. Preparing large quantities at one time really helps. Macaroni is one of our staples; we purchase small elbows in 5lb bags.
One Bag = 5lbs x 16oz per lb = 80 oz total of dry macaroni
Each 1.5 oz dry macaroni yields one cup cooked (See above)
80 oz of dry macaroni divided by 1.5 oz per cup = 53.3 cups total of cooked macaroni
If we choose "Hearthstone Chicken Breast and Macaroni" each recipe calls for 3 1/4 cups of COOKED macaroni.
53.3 cups divided by 3.25 cups per recipe = 16.4 recipes
With our 5 lb bag of macaroni we can make 16 recipes