November Declutter Challenge Series: Grocery Budget, Week IV

So, here we are, on another Monday morning, marking the fourth and final installment of the November Declutter Challenge Series: Grocery Budget. On this fourth week, I am happy to announce that I did not, I repeat, I did not, buy any grocery for the entire week! There were lots of leftovers from get-togethers (very good) and lots of eating out (not so very good). But, I honestly did not buy any groceries, which means, I run out of fresh fruits and junk food, which are the first to go in my kitchen. I ate a whole lot of soy (tofu) this week, which I don’t like to do, but I got lazy and didn’t grocery shop, basically. Everything you see on the list that is not bought is made from what I have already in the house. By far, the most unhealthy meal plan week for the month of November. 

On a side note

I had a great time having my baby sister in town for a week, flew from Cali to celebrate Thanksgiving with us and our mom’s 70th birthday. I will create a separate post about what we did to celebrate our mom’s special day(s). She was very surprised by it all and very happy to be given a 3-day birthday celebration.

Here’s the meal plan for this 4th week:

  • Monday

    • Breakfast

      • Waffles and Milk
      • V – Coffee
    • Lunch

      • Leftover Store Bought Pad Thai
      • V – Leftover Store Bought Pad Thai
    • Dinner (Potluck get together at our place)

      • Contributed

        • Boiled Mung Beans with Tomatoes, Ginger, Onion, Garlic, Horseradish Leaves, and Portabella Mushroom
        • Fried Vinegar/Garlic Marinated Milkfish
        • Chicken Katsu with Katsu Sauce
        • Tofu Cabbage Wrap with Red Bell Peppers, Soy Sauce, Maple Syrup, Apple Cider Vinegar, Fresh Cilantros, and Shredded Carrots
        • Steamed Jasmine Rice
        • Fresh Grapes
        • Fresh Persimmons
        • Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts
  • Tuesday

    • Breakfast

      • Waffles and Scrambled White Eggs
      • V – Coffee
    • Lunch

      • Leftover Katsu with Rice and Fresh Grapes
      • Ate out with Mom and Baby Sis (Mom paid)
    • Dinner (Had my niece over)

      • Cooked
        • Orange Glazed Tofu and Rice
        • V – Peanut Butter and Vegetable Ramen
        • Wendy’s French Fries Buffet (Hubby bought a crazy amount, we finished it too!)
        • Fruit and Veggie Smoothie
  • Wednesday

    • Breakfast

      • Woke up late, none at home (Bought food at school)
      • V – Coffee
    • Lunch

      • Leftover Orange Glazed Tofu with Rice and Ritz Crackers
      • V – Lunch Outing with my sisters (Baby sis paid)
    • Dinner (Potluck get-together at our place, last minute plan and prep)

      • Contributed

        • Orange Glazed Tofu
        • Upcycled Leftover Frozen Oven Roasted Turkey to BBQ Meatballs
        • Steamed Jasmine Rice
        • Coffee with Liquid Creamer
        • Fresh Persimmons
  • Thursday

(I had half a day’s worth of doctor’s appt, left after teen got on the bus and literally got to my teen’s school bus stop straight from the dr. appt. for pickup with 2 minutes to spare)

    • Breakfast

      • Cereal with Milk
      • V – None (was not allowed to eat)
    • Lunch

      • Egg Sandwich with Organic Baby Spinach
      • Bought food at Hospital while waiting for dr. appt results
    • Dinner (Met baby sis at the restaurant to say goodbye before flying back to Cali)

      • Whatever Leftover we have was brought out today to clear the fridge of leftovers
      • V – Store Bought Carrot Cake (Was not hungry for anything else)
  • Friday (I had to go back to the hospital for a dr. appt. follow-up and dr. appt for kids)

    • Breakfast

      • Cereal with Milk
      • V – Coffee
    • Lunch

      • Restaurant Bought
      • V – None (Was not hungry, in a rush to get kids back to school)
    • Dinner

      • Quesadilla or Avocado Toast
      • V – Leftover/Frozen Homemade Paella
  • Saturday

    • Breakfast

      • Boiled Eggs or Cereal and Milk
      • V – Coffee
    • Lunch

      • Store bought food by hubby
      • V – Store bought Turon (Fried Banana Fritters) and Steamed Rice Cake
    • Dinner

      • Potato Gnocchi Pesto Pasta
      • V – Fried Tofu and Rice
  • Sunday

    • Breakfast

      • None, woke up late
      • V – Steamed Rice Cake with Coffee
    • Lunch

      • Stuffed Baked Chicken Breast with Orange Bell Pepper, Broccoli Florets, Garlic, Onion, Lemon, and Mayo on Rice
      • V – Leftover Tofu and Rice
    • Dinner (Went Shopping with the teen for a school field trip)

      • Leftover Stuffed Baked Chicken Breast with Rice or Avocado Toast and Starbucks Cotton Candy Frap
      • V – Starbucks Venti Green Frappuccino with Coconut Milk (Didn’t feel like eating anything else.)

How much did I save on grocery expense this week

$150 with 0 grocery errand


What I have learned from this month-long challenge

  • Meal planning helped me save money on grocery
  • Meal planning cut my grocery errand by at least a half each week
  • Having a printout visual of the meal plan on the fridge door helped me stay focus and in turn, helped me saved time each day
  • Frozen food is a saver! I buy meat cheaper when possible, freeze and defrost as needed.
  • I was able to save $200 on grocery this month of November Challenge with some effort
  • I have a lot of untapped food stored in my pantry and fridge/freezer to last me a week not grocery shopping, it seemed; however, the fam did complain there was nothing to eat at home that is ready and easy to grab. I will continue to work these space occupying items in my weekly meal plan.

Final Words

This 4th week, I was mentally overstimulated. We went out pretty much every day, as well as chatted every day to spend time with my sis. It’s no surprise that I needed a break after she left town Thursday. So for the remainder of the week, I pretty much laid low and continued on with no grocery shopping, cooking items I already have in the kitchen. Husband ended up buying ready-made food at times, which I was fine with.

I finished the last season of Last Kingdom this weekend instead under the covers for the most part of the weekend while doing laundry, which means I am more rested and now ready to take on my December Challenge: 30-day Fitness Challenge to get me back to shape before the New Year comes around.

Watch out for my post about this new challenge I’m putting myself on to improve myself, and hopefully, get others to do the same. I do want to benefit from a fitter body and lifestyle. As of today, there are 29 days left until the new year is here. I’ve got some work to do. Let’s get this started.

Also, watch out for my Dog Food post: Do I save buying ready-made or by making my own.


I am going grocery shopping today, no doubt.

Until next time.