I've been asked how I count calories, or more precisely, how I find the caloric content in foods. Here are some tips:
Make sure to measure everything, except for oil, which I measure in teaspoons or tablespoons. I use this Salter kitchen scale that I bought at SurLaTable for $40 and weigh in grams. That way you can go by package guides for portions, and you can measure out more or less than what it says on the package, and figure out how many calories are in the food by using your handy math skills. This is also good for things that don't come with their own nutrition information, like fruits, veggies, and some meats, which you can look up online. If you're going looking for a kitchen scale, make sure to find one that has a tare feature (meaning you can put a bowl or plate on the scale, hit the tare button, and it will read 0, so you're only measuring the food, not the weight of the bowl) and weighs down to the gram and to one tenth of an ounce, as you want to be as accurate as possible. I keep a notepad right by the scale and write everything down as I go, making sure to note the weight and calories from package information, and to write down the grams of things that I don't have ready caloric content for.
I look up the caloric content online in a few places. calorie-count.com is a good site, but don't use the toolbar, it's loaded with some nasty spyware. There's also AnneCollins.com, which I use on occasion, I'm sure there are others out there.
If you're trying to lose weight or if you just want to know how many calories you're consuming, this is a simple way to figure it out. I hope this wasn't too confusing. If you have a better/easier way of doing this, I'd love to hear it.
edit: This link: http://www.calorie-count.com/calories/calories-goal.php should take you to a page on that calorie-count site that helps you figure your weight goal, when you want to reach that goal, and how many calories you need to stay at each day to reach your goal.