I’m taking on a challenge this week to eat on $1.50 a day. As I planned my meals, I realized my serving sizes needed to shrink to help me stay on budget. Yours may too!
Live Below the Line created the $1.50 a day challenge to shed light on poverty, but it has opened my eyes to how much food I usually put on my plate. I’m now using smaller plates and kiddie bowls for portion control. Do you overeat? Your health, waist, and pocketbook may be taking a hit!
Here are some tricks to estimate serving sizes and save money.
Find the recommended servings for you based on your sex, age, and level of physical activity at ChooseMyPlate.gov.
1. Meat – One serving of cooked meat (about 3 ounces) is equivalent to a bar of soap or a deck of cards. Slice meat length wise to stretch throughout the week, and cut it into bite sizes to make it seem like you have more meat than you do.
2. Hamburger Patty – If you’re in the mood for a burger, use a hockey puck to estimate the size of a ground hamburger patty and skip seconds.
3. Pasta – A serving of cooked pasta (about 1/2 cup) should match the size of your fist. Darn, I have tiny hands and love pasta!
4. Bread – One serving of grains equals a piece of bread, a waffle, or a pancake. A standard CD case is an appropriate size for bread, waffles and pancakes. The current recommendation for adults is for 6-8 servings of grains per day.
5. Fish – A 3-ounce serving of fish is approximately the same size as a checkbook!
6. Oil – Have no measuring spoons around? Use the tip of your thumb as a guide to approximate a teaspoon of a single serving of fats and oil.
7. Cheese – One serving of dairy is about four small pieces of cheese. When you’re slicing up cubes, keep in mind the size and shape of four dice.
9. Veggies – A single serving of veggies (1 cup), such as broccoli or carrots, should be proportional to a baseball.