An ounce is a very commonly used measurement, particularly when it comes to cooking, purchasing food, or weighing babies or small animals.
However, without having anything to compare it to, it can be difficult to judge just how much an ounce is.
Looking at some common items can help.
A teaspoon of a particular item, such as a teaspoon of flour or water, won’t necessarily weigh an ounce.
However, the teaspoon itself often does. Teaspoons are small spoons made of steel or metal, either used to measure out a teaspoon amount, to stir tea or coffee, or to eat a small snack or dessert.
Although the exact weight of a teaspoon will vary depending on exactly what the spoon is made of, what decorations it has, and what size it is, if you can imagine holding a dessert spoon, you can probably imagine the weight of about 1 ounce.
Twelve Beer Bottle Caps
A metal beer bottle or soda cap weighs about 2.22 grams. One ounce is equal to about 28.35 grams.
If we divide 28.35 by 2.22, we get just about 12, which tells us that 12 beer bottle or soda caps will weigh about 1 ounce.
This will vary slightly depending on the exact size and style of the cap, but most metal caps are very similar.
Twenty-Five Jelly Beans
Jelly beans are usually made of sugar, corn syrup, pectin, flavorings, and food coloring.
A single jelly bean weighs about 0.04 ounces. This means that 25 jelly beans are almost exactly equal to 1 ounce. 50 jelly beans would equal 2 ounces.
Jelly bean weights will fluctuate slightly, as some jelly beans are larger or smaller.
In general, however, jelly beans are quite uniform, so this is actually a very accurate way to estimate weight.
Knowing how much a particular brand’s jelly beans weigh can help you get an even more accurate measurement.
Two Soda Cans
One empty aluminum soda can weighs just under 15 grams, which we know is equal to about half an ounce.
This means that two empty soda cans weigh just over 1 ounce.
The weight isn’t exact, and the thickness and style of the cans can change the exact weight a bit.
However, in general, remembering what an empty soda can feels like can help you estimate how heavy half an ounce is.
Almost everyone can picture a standard, pink 2-inch rubber eraser, which is commonly used in schools or at the office.
These erasers are very uniform in shape and size, and they almost always weigh exactly 30 grams or 1 ounce.
Erasers aren’t the only office item that can help you estimate what 1 ounce feels like.
Medium paper clips usually weigh exactly 1 gram, so 30 paper clips is equal to 1 ounce.
One-Quarter of a Banana
An average banana, measuring between 7 and 8 inches in length, weighs right around 4 ounces.
This means that a quarter of a banana weighs 1 ounce.
Ripe bananas will be very slightly heavier than unripe ones since ripe fruits tend to take in more water from the air around them.
Bananas aren’t actually considered to be ripe until the peel is mostly covered in brown spots.
A Simple Pen
A very simple plastic pen usually weighs just over 1 ounce, so this is a great way to estimate that weight.
Metal pens or pens with decorations will be a little heavier, weighing anywhere from 2 to 4 ounces.
The ink in a pen makes a difference in weight as well.
Pens that have been used have less ink and are therefore lighter.
One-Quarter of a Cup of Flour
A level cup of flour weighs just slightly over 4 ounces, which means that a quarter of a cup of flour weighs only a tiny bit more than 1 ounce.
This is particularly handy knowledge if you’re converting flour measurements for a baking project.
In baking, many ingredients are weighed instead of measured by volume, as this often leads to a more consistent end product.
Two to Six Grapes
On average, grapes weigh about 7 grams. Smaller grapes can weigh as little as 5 grams, while larger grapes can weigh as much as 11 grams.
This means that, in general, four grapes will equal about 1 ounce.
If the grapes are small or not ripe, you may need six to make an ounce.
If the grapes are very large or very ripe, you might only need two.
A Slice of Bread
A single slice of white bread can weigh between 1 and 1.5 ounces, making it an excellent item for estimating weight.
Most slices of bread, of any type, will weigh somewhere around 1 ounce.
However, what type of bread it is, how large the original loaf is, and how thick the slice all makes a big difference when it comes to weight.
Some breads, such as wheat bread, tend to be much denser than white breads.
They may also be packed with whole grains, and both the additional ingredients and the density of the bread make for a slice that’s heavier than other breads.
Half of a Tennis Ball
A tennis ball, which is made of rubber and felt around a core of compressed air, must weigh between 1.975 and 2.095 ounces in order to be used in regulation play.
This means that, on average, half of a tennis ball is almost exactly 1 ounce, making a tennis ball a great choice for estimating weights.