At dinner in American homes, the table is set and there are various dishes served on the table -- meat, vegetables, salad, etc. -- that are passed around and everyone takes what they want. There's generally a fair few leftovers at the end that make, say, lunch the next day.
In Australia, though, the standard is for each plate to be individually dished up in the kitchen by whoever prepares the meal and everyone is given a set amount of food that simply, I am told, becomes the amount of food you want for dinner that night. Leftovers are rarer and generally along the lines of "the sausages came in a pack of 10 but there are 4 people who each ate 2 so we'll put 2 away for later."