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Healthy on a Budget

Find out how to save a bundle and stay healthy with affordable meal recipes, food shopping tips, and much more.

When Getting More for Your Money, Size Matters

Posted by Whitney Ajie -


After you’ve budgeted for your weekly meals, meal planned, bought only what’s on your grocery list, and used every other tip in the book for stretching your food dollar, what could you possibly be missing to squeeze out even more value from your food budget?!

Portion size! Eating the recommended serving size, especially of meat, poultry and fish, is essential for having more food for a longer time. Ever run through a whole bag of chips, a gallon of milk, or a package of chicken and wonder “where does all the food go so quickly?!” Newsflash: you may be eating too much for one portion!

Don’t worry, you’re not alone; in fact, much of America these days has “portion distortion,” meaning the amount we think is normal is actually much more than we need. And it’s not just us - the restaurant and food industry portion sizes have grown along with our waistlines. In the past 20 years alone, our restaurant and fast food portion sizes have doubled and sometimes tripled.

If we paid more attention to the recommending serving sizes, we’d find the actual serving sizes we need are often significantly different than what we serve ourselves. Here’s a quick guide to serving size adapted from


One Serving Size

Equivalent Size


1 slice

CD cover

Dry cereal

1 cup



6-inch circle


Rice, pasta, chips, pretzels

½ cup

½ Baseball

Ice cream

½ cup

Tennis ball

Fresh fruit, dried fruit

1 small fruit, ¼ cup

Tennis ball, golf ball


1 medium potato

Computer mouse


1 cup



1 cup



1 ½ - 2 ounces or 1 slice

9-volt battery

Beef, poultry, fish

3 ounces

Deck of cards

You may be hungrier in the beginning, but after some time you will get used to eating smaller portions and having more food to go around. You may even find you have a smaller waistline too! Overall, it’s a win-win.

Wishing you the best of health,



Cheesy Rice and Tomatoes, Serves: 6


  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • ½ green pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded low-fat Cheddar cheese


  1. Prepare rice according to package directions.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add onion, celery, green pepper and cook slowly until tender.
  4. Add tomatoes, cooked rice, and shredded cheese.
  5. Cover and cook on low heat until cheese melts and mixture is hot.

Nutrition facts (per serving): 210 calories, 6g fat, 420mg sodium, 33g total carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 6g protein

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