1. Canned anything. With the exception of canned tomatoes and canned beans (cannellini, etc.), I do not buy anything canned. No canned corn, peas, green beans. Not even soup. Too much sodium (even if its reduced).
2. Bagged lettuce. While there have been times in which I have resorted to purchasing lettuce that has been triple washed (really?) and bagged, for the most part I buy a whole head of lettuce and wash it myself. Besides, bagged lettuce doesn't even smell like lettuce.
3. Fruit and veggies that have already been cut, sliced, diced, or handled in any way. Too many variables (hands, cutting surfaces, knives) for contamination, and who knows how well they have been washed?
4. Frozen dinners. No chicken nuggets, TGIF meals, Lunchables, or Lean Cuisines. What about pizza? you ask. Sometimes, but mostly I make my own.
5. Soda. Truthfully, occasionally I do buy soda, but mostly when we are having company or we are hosting a dinner party. If it's in the house the boys drink it, and since they don't need it I try not to get it.
6. Snacks that are packaged into individual portions. Let's face it, the portion sizes are ridiculous for my boys. A small bag of potato chips containing 10 chips is just not enough for my growing boys (they would need 2-3 bags!), so I purchase the large bags and then use Ziploc bags to make more appropriate portion sizes.
7. Sugar substitutes. Ever. There are too many unknowns about sugar substitutes; I'd rather use 1/2 tsp. of the real stuff than a packet of Sweet n' Low or Splenda.
Finally, I am a big fan of the deli and the bakery. I prefer to buy lunch meat from the deli, where meat is sliced on the spot and is fresher than the pre-packaged kind; I also prefer to buy a loaf of bread from the bakery and have them slice it. Believe me, sandwiches taste much better with freshly baked bread than with Wonder Bread which has a shelf life of two weeks.
P.S. If you want to know what does make it into my shopping cart, check out this post.