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Frugal Gear: UL Measuring Cup

Many of our readers are in the UL gear crowd – only carrying what they need and of the type to think out of the box. (Yeah, we love that!) So I am always one to have my eyes open for lightweight (and frugal) ways to make my trail kitchen better.

I was in Starbuck’s the other day when I had a thought cross my mind.


They have two styles of tiny cups. The plastic one is roughly 5 1/3 Tablespoon volume, which 1/3 of a cup. The paper one is 6 Tablespoons, which would be 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp volume. Both weigh the same, 0.2 of an ounce.

Most espresso shops will have a paper cup in this volume – they are for holding two shots of espresso.

Treated with care these little cups will work great as a UL measuring cup. Paper for hot, plastic for cold. With plastic ones you can mark the outside with a Sharpie® marker if desired for Tablespoons and see through for measuring.


PS: If you ask really nicely most shops will give you a cup for free. As with anything, don’t be greedy and don’t be a jerk. And tip your barista! 😉

One thought on “Frugal Gear: UL Measuring Cup

  1. The measuring cup I use weights nothing. I use a mug style cookpot for boiling water and a DQ long spoon for eating (nice and long for freezer bags.) So to measure my liquids l just filled my Ti Mug with exactly 1 cup of water and held the spoon vertically in the water. I then marked the spoon with a permanent marker at the water line. Most cooking I do doesn’t require anything more precise than that.

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