Put these little measuring tricks into practice and save yourself having to reach for the scales each time

Image: Stop guessing: handy ways to measure out food

If you find yourself habitually cooking too much rice or pasta and half of it ending up in the bin, these nifty measuring ideas will help you waste less and save a bit of cash while you're at it.


Measure a mug

Fill your favourite mug with water then tip into a measuring jug so you’ll know its exact capacity. That way you’ll always know that that mug measures out, say, 250ml.

Measuring Cup


Give the scales a rest

Place a plastic container onto kitchen scales then add sugar until the weight is 25g, then 50g, then 100g, marking a line on the container with an indelible felt pen at each weight. Do the same with a separate container to measure out flour. That way, you won’t need to get the kitchen scales out every time you want to use recipes with standard measures.



 Butter fingers

A standard block of butter is 250g, so if you use a blunt knife to divide the block into five equal portions, each one will weight 50g; two will be 100g, and so on.

Chopped Butter


Pasta portioning

A standard-sized mug of pasta, such as macaroni, pasta shells or bow-shaped pasta, is a moderate-sized portion per person.



Measuring Cup Pasta


Got extra pasta to use up and don't want it to go to waste? How about trying this tuna pasta bake


Rice all round

A mug of rice, full to the brim, is enough to serve four people as an accompaniment. Add twice the volume of water (ie two of the same sized mugfuls) for perfect fluffy rice. Give this simple fried rice recipe a go... 

Rice Cup


Got extra rice to use up? Have a look here for some recipe ideas using rice. 


No cups?

In US recipes, a ‘cup’ of dry ingredients is equivalent to 100g flour or 200g caster sugar.


No Cups?


How much is a tablespoon?

As a handy reckoner, 25g flour is equal to around 3 level tablespoons, and 25g cocoa powder is equal to around 4 level tablespoons.

Measuring Spoon


 Leave room

Pasta roughly doubles in volume when cooked, so if you know the size of bowl you want to end up with, half-fill that same bowl to measure the pasta before cooking.