Cheap Trick: Measure Food Carefully

Measure food carefully

photo credit: © hjpix –

Here’s a simple tip for those of you wanting to cut costs and trim your waistlines: Learn to measure food carefully!

Northern Cheapskate's Cheap TricksI’ve been known to “eyeball” my portions when it comes to food.  And guess what?  My eyes are bigger than my stomach!

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Over-sized portions cost you more money.  If you’re filling up your big cereal bowl to the brim instead of measuring out a one-cup serving, you are going to be spending a lot more money on cereal.  The same is true for snacks.  And you won’t just be spending more money on food.  With all those extra calories, you just may have to buy new clothes or deal with health problems as a result of weight gain.

If you don’t have a measuring cup or spoons handy, remember this handy guide to portion control from the Mayo Clinic.

Another reason to measure:  Baking! Unlike cooking, where improvisation is welcome and encouraged, baking is more of an exact science.  It’s very easy to bake a flour brick instead of a loaf of bread if you’re not careful – something I learned when I went to the Taste of Home Cooking School.

So invest in a good set of measuring cups and spoons and use them regularly.  You’ll see results!

Got a cheap trick of your own?  Send us an e-mail with your tip and we may use it in a future Cheap Trick post!

About Christina Brown

Christina is a wife and mother dedicated to figuring out how to live a simpler, happier life on a budget.


  1. Valerie says

    Great suggestion! Recently I cashed in some of my Swagbucks and bought a $16 digital scale on Amazon. You’re right about the “eyeballing”, as what my eyes guessed and what the scale said differed wildly. Also, my husband started using it to measure his ingredients for homemade bread, and his loaves are much better (not that I’m using up any of my calories & carbs on fresh bread, lol).

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