It always amazed when I was learning to cook from someone with a lifetime of experience; by how they never measured anything. That trait drove me nuts. I wanted exact. "Exactly how much buttermilk did you add to the flour? The response I usually received was: "Till it looks right." Then I would notice little things like a special coffee mug or an odd sized bowl or a "special spoon" that would never equal any measuring instrument you could buy anywhere; but was somehow always "just right."
When I first started compiling recipes for my kids when they moved off for college, I didn't have anything measured. This project made me slow down and take the time to get it right for them. Now, having said all that; there are times when every cook will need to break out a measuring tool. When it comes to baking; accurate is a must. I have several cheat sheets that I keep on my fridge and inside my spice cabinet that help me when I find myself needing to know equivalents. I've recreated a chart containing what I consider to be the most helpful out of all of them.
Click here to download a pdf you can save to your computer or print from.
For you beginners out there: there is a difference between liquid and dry measurements. So yes, you will need both measuring cups! A dry measuring cup is meant to be completely filled and leveled off with a knife. If you fill a dry measuring cup to the very top with a liquid; you will be making one big mess.