*Photo Credit: Changingmydestiny.wordpress.com
I never realized before how much my family overate. When we started trying to eat better and our portion sizes shrank I began to notice how our food was stretching further and further. It's such a simple concept!
At first, I had the idea in my head about how great leftovers are. You make lots for dinner and when everyone's tummies are full... there is still plenty leftover for a couple lunches throughout the rest of the week or maybe even enough to eat again for dinner a few nights later - saving Mama some work! But that's not really how it would happen. Instead that wonderful idea turns into food in the trash because it doesn't get eaten (because there was SO many meals leftover in the fridge) or we end up eating it all that night because it's so yummy!
Making enough for leftovers is still a fantastic idea but I realized that I was going about it all wrong. Rather than cooking it all and having it out for everyone to eat... try making two pans of something and cook one the night of and put the other straight in the freezer! You've done the work once but you'll get a second meal out of it when all you've got to do is thaw and cook.
As a mother who has struggled financially in the past, I never want to think about my kids going to bed hungry... ever! There have been nights where in order to make sure there was enough for them that I ate last and I was the one who didn't get enough... Never. Again.
I definitely started to overcompensate for that fear by preparing too much food for dinner. I doubt that I'm the only one! Once I began making smaller meals I suddenly noticed that everyone was still satisfied and if someone was hungry before bed then a snack of peanut butter on a slice of bread or a piece of fruit was more than enough to fill them again. Packages of meat were stretching further because rather than using a whole pound I'd only use maybe 12 ounces. Milk went further because I'd only fill glasses about 3 inches high every time and give more to the kids when they asked. I even stopped buying so much cheese because I realized that I didn't need to pile as much in dishes to make it cheesy! This was awesome! The use of a kitchen scale definitely helps with the portion control as well. Only eating textbook servings of expensive items such as meat and cheese lets you see how much you are overeating. At first you might be left a little hungrier than you'd like but after about a week your tummy adjusts and textbook serving is more than enough! Adapting the concept.. start with a little and you can always add more.
Aside from stretching all the groceries a little further, I personally started losing a couple inches in areas all over my body. BONUS!