In the last year I made several changes in what I buy at the supermarket. I eliminated processed foods and have changed the way I think about food preparation. The idea is to make healthy choices without feeling deprived. Sometimes you need light snacks and no fuss fare when you don't have a lot of time to cook. And realistically, you need a few treats too. Still, being aware -- coupled with small changes, make a difference in what you eat (and spend). I stopped buying three grocery items this year.
I gave up soda and switched to drinking ice tea. If I find myself at an outdoor function on a hot August night, I'll probably drink a can of Dr. Pepper to quench a thirst, but I no longer keep sodas in my refrigerator at home. And I don't miss them.
Also, I stopped buying bags of frozen french fries, one of my favorite cheat foods. [Nachos may be my first love, and potato chips are not far behind.] Instead, I cut up fresh white or sweet potatoes, brush them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake them golden brown in the oven. It still only takes 30 minutes. And eating a handful of nuts usually satisfies a potato chip craving.
Another food item to go is canned soups. When I don't plan ahead and use dried beans, I buy cans of pink, pinto or navy beans. It's just like opening a can of soup, but without the thickeners and preservatives. Simply add water, season to taste and simmer for 5 minutes. What could be easier?
Another lighting fast soup to prepare is healthy miso. Buy miso paste in a tub at the supermarket, or health food store and microwave a tablespoon of it, adding water, seaweed and vegetables. Delicious!
Once you get used to eating real food, it tastes much better, at least that's my experience. And unprocessed food costs less. Lately, I favor steel cut oats, quinoa and millet, so boxed cereals may be next on my hit list [except for Raisin Bran once in awhile]. Have you given up a grocery item recently?