4 Ways Portion Control Can Save You Money

Written by Jennifer On May - 10 - 2011 2 Comments


Portion control is usually associated with diets but applies to every aspect of your life. Let’s face it a budget is a diet for your wallet, and a little self control goes a long way. Here are four places in your life that exercising portion control will greatly impact your budget!

1. Meat – Unless you are a vegetarian I can guarantee that meat is taking up a BIG portion of your budget. I am not suggesting to give it up but to limit your portion sizes (especially on expensive red meat).
Not only will this help your budget but it will help your overall health. It is recommended that the average adult eat between 5 to 6 ounces of protein foods in a day. That’s not very much, so it doesn’t take a lot to fulfill that need.
Feeling too extreme? Understandably you may not want go that extreme, but the key here is to start measuring your food. Does it have to be 5 ounces? No, but the way food packagers package meat it would be a good practice to begin measuring your food. Steaks and boneless chicken breasts are more than someone can eat many times. The excess could be cut off and used for future meals (fajitas or stew, etc). You will probably find that you can make 2 meals out of what you previously were making 1 meal out of.
2. Toiletries – It may seem weird but toiletries are a huge place to get savings by exercising portion control. There are many ways that toiletries are wasted. Instead of just mindlessly using the toiletries take a day to consciously think out how much you are wasting.
Going through body wash too fast? You are probably using too much. If you don’t have a loofah, you should get one because it takes a very small amount of body wash to suds up a loofah as opposed to using your hands or a wash cloth.
It’s the same with shampoo and conditioner. You are probably over using. You only need a dime sized amount, quarter sized if you have really long hair, and the same goes for conditioner. All that extra lather is money down the drain! Literally!
I am not saying to go out with dirty hair and uncleaned teeth, obviously you have to use your own judgement. It is time to critically think of how much you really need, and discipline yourself. This is a really painless way to save money. No one goes to bed thinking that they wished they’d used twice the amount of toothpaste. After the deed is done you rarely think about it.
3. Cleaning Products – Cleaning products are much similar to the personal hygene products. In addition to using some cheaper products (vinegar, baking soda, etc) you need to pay attention to how much you are using.
When you are using a cleaner (or laundry soap, or fabric softener or dish water) don’t just arbitrarily throw in the soap. Use the recommended amount. In the case of not very dirty loads of laundry consider throwing in half the amount. The key that I’m trying to drive home is pay attention to how much you are using and adjust if you are over-using products. This is another pain free way to save some dough!
See my other article Spring Cleaning to find out how to use vinegar around the house!
4. Restaurants – Here’s a fact: restaurants give you HUGE portions. Obviously we all like to get out now and then but costs are soaring. A good way to save money while dining out (and likely a few pounds) is to watch your portion size. Many restaurants offer half portions or lighter portions and they are plenty. If the restaurant you are patronizing doesn’t offer half portions have no fear. A good tip to get in the habit of is to put half of your entree aside right at the beginning of the meal. That way you have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
Another thing to keep in mind is when you go to fast food or ala carte places do not let your eyes get bigger than your stomach. If you are still hungry you can always go back and get something else, but ordering too much food is just a waste of money.
There are many other ways you can save money through portion control – many more than what I’ve mentioned. This will give you a good springboard to start critically thinking about what you are using. Living frugally isn’t just about using a good coupon, and it isn’t just living like a pauper. Usually it boils down to being responsible with the resources you already have.
Frugal Living, Saving Money, Spotlight

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2 Responses so far.

  1. elizabithroze says:

    I use half the recommended amount for laundry soap and fabric softener. (I use liquid, but you could cut a sheet in half.) I read somewhere, probably in Better Homes and Gardens, that the manufacturers suggest twice the needed amount. To prove this, they did a test, after washing with the suggested amount of soap they put it in again without soap, and suprise, once it started agitating the water was soapy, like they had added soap. So, I've been doing this for a year and found that I buy laundry detergent a lot less often. I do it with fabric softener because I personally see no difference if I use the recommended amount or half the amount. Saves money, I'm for it. Also in the summer I forego the drier altogether and do it the old fashioned way: clothesline. And to prevent the stiffness of hang drying, use white vinegar in place of liquid fabric softener. Either in a dispenser that's built in or one of those little ball drop ins, vinegar keeps clothes from stiffening and freshens them. You won't have the perfume scented laundry like with fabric softener, but they will be fresh. You don't need liquid softener if you are hang drying because it is heat activated anyway, and unless it's as hot as your drier outside, it really is just gonne scent your clothes. 🙂

  2. Jen says:

    Wow that is a great tip! Didn't know that they told you to use twice the amount needed, but somehow that doesn't surprise me!

    I've done the line drying and the vinegar thing. Vinegar is also awesome if you get a mildew smell, it will get it out awesomely, and no it doesn't smell like vinegar after!

    I am a sucker for the smell of fabric softener though, but I try to get it with coupons 😀


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