For the past year I've been choosing to purchase food items like flour, pasta, breads, sugars and such that are less processed. For example instead of white bleached flour I'm using whole grain unbleached flour, or brown rice flour (whatever is cheapest on that day). Instead of the potato bread I used to buy, I'm not purchasing the store brand whole grain bread that claims to have 1 whole grain serving per slice. Instead of regular pasta, I've been using whole wheat pasta. What got me started doing this is that I learned our bodies actually process these kinds of starches as if they were sugars. Apparently the process used to make regular noodles or white breads, flours, rices and such takes foods and strips them most of their nutrients, bleaches them to make them white and basically they end up adding to our addiction of sugar.
I've noticed a real difference since making this switch. These foods that don't go through as much processing are healthier and they fill me up quicker because of the higher fiber content. They don't taste exactly the same and it took me a few weeks to really adjust to the taste but now, on the rare occasion when we go out to eat and I eat regular pasta or something I find myself not being satisfied.
What I don't understand is how food companies justify charging more money for the foods that are less processed. It doesn't cost as much to make them because they require fewer steps and less energy. Why are they so much more expensive? I have tried so hard to do this as inexpensively as possible. I always buy the store brand when they offer a healthy product. I always evaluate the cost and content to find the best value. Often this has required shopping in more than one section for the same type of product. For example the whole wheat flour is $3 more for a smaller amount in the health food section than it is in the baking section. Same health content.
This is just one of the numerous ways our culture has made healthy living more difficult than necessary. There is no good reason that eating healthy should cost so much more than eating poorly. There is a reason but it is not a good one.