Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Portion Control

This was tonight's tea.  This morning I got a large chicken (free by using my M&S vouchers but normally £6).  I had roast chicken with some of my potatoes and broccoli.  And very nice it was too BUT it was a much smaller portion than I would normally serve.

Just out of interest I've been researching what is considered a serving of cooked lean meat for an average person.  It's just 70g.  SEVENTY grams!!!  That's not even a whole chicken breast.  It's just those 2 wee bits in my bowl above.  I would normally have at least double that and OH would have triple (but he trains hard and needs more quality protein than the average person)

I shredded it and added sweetcorn, pineapple, a little mayonnaise and a sprinkling of garam masala.  It looks a better serving size now!  A potato serving is 2 egg sized potatoes.  I chopped them up too ;-) And most vegetables have no limit on serving size.

So, my 1.8kg chicken should have cost £6 and it yielded 764g of meat.  That's 10 servings, each costing 60p.  (I'm always interested when I see bloggers costing their meals!)  The bones are currently in the slow cooker making stock for soup. I'll get about 6 servings of soup for just the cost of a few veggies, some rice and one portion of the chicken.  So 9 dinners and 6 lunches from one chicken.  In frugal terms it makes sense to stick to serving sizes as you get more value for money. 

I had already been looking at recommended portion sizes before today.  Last night I had some tofu.

It was £1.40 for 349g.  The recommended portion size for tofu is 120g so 3 portions from this pack @ 47p per portion.  Although I kept tasting and testing it so actually ate about half in the end!

I pressed it, dried it, sliced it and marinated it in Tamari.

I coated it in cornflour and fried it until golden.  The smaller pieces were crispier and tasted better.

I added them to my usual stir fry (at the end since they're already cooked) and drizzled sweet chilli sauce over it all.  Very nice indeed!

So portion control will save me money and keep me healthy.  Not exactly rocket science but sometimes I need to look at it differently to make healthy frugal changes.


  1. We are on a mission with portion sizes, hubby is the cook in our house and he's let the sizes creep up. I have a portion sheet which shocks me, with dinner plates being so huge these days, it's hard to get it right. I have a breakfast plate I use for my main meals, it's much smaller than our normal plates.

  2. I switched down to smaller plates to make our now smaller portions look larger and it really works, in fact the food on the smaller plates is now starting to overfill me.

    Years ago plates were made smaller anyway, and people filled up on potatoes and vegetables with the meat part of the dish either being tiny or absent completely during the week. Hence the big performance of the Sunday lunch.

    It#s only in more recent and comparatively affluent times that meat is deemed necessary at every meal for a lot of people.

    I love the way your shredded and added to chicken looks so much bigger than the little portions you plated up to begin with, that's how easily we can fool our tummies and our brains into believing we have eaten a lot of something.

  3. Hi I have just cooked a chicken I put the plate on the scale and we have 100g each. Then I cut up the chick and bag and freeze it 200g a bag for the two of us. Works out well. Stock is either used for soup or curry sauce.

    1. Yep, I bag it up in individual portions and freeze it. I have those freezable soup mugs that are brilliant for taking soup to work for lunch

  4. This is really interesting, as I generally allow 100g meat each for a main meal. However, my friends doing the Slimming World diet showed me recipes that allow at least 150g meat per person; this week I bought more minced beef and tried to just split one pack in half, but then reverted to 200g for the two of us, as I am happy to add vegetables to whatever 'mincey' dish I am making.

    1. WeightWatchers allows 100g as a portion size. I just thought it was interesting as I was consistently reading about 70g to 80g from lots of different sources. And 70g is really frugal!


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