I have found a better way to grocery shop.
The rule of thumb I used to grocery shop by was: don't shop hungry. That was great for sticking to a list and budget. However, when I am really hungry and I open up the full fridge, like most of us do, I think, "There's nothing in here that I want to eat."
That's because I had only the necessary things, healthy things, or leftovers. Last week I went shopping hungry--unintentionally--and I'm glad I did. Among the "normals" on the list I indulged in bagels and cream cheese, fish sticks and tartar sauce, Craisins, and I feel like a more pleasant person. Now when I'm hungry, and it's not just lunch or dinner time, I can open up the fridge and pull out something I really want. I've tired of carrots, apples and crackers. Yum, a toasted bagel and cream cheese for me, please.
For me, shopping hungry means I'll choose things I really want to eat when I'm hungry, whether I'm at the store or in my home. Looking at the extras that I bought, I admit they're not the healthiest, but they're good enough.
I think this is a better way . . . but not all the time.
We'll see how the budget looks when I'm full.