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Posted on Fri, Dec 30, 2011 : 8 a.m.

Frugal Friday at Arbor Farms Market includes both something nutritious and a luscious treat

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu, Contributor

My very dear friend Marilyn has been encouraging me to stop by Arbor Farms Market — a small grocery store devoted to fresh, local, organic, wholesome foods at reasonable prices — to find a Frugal Floozie Friday meal. She and her partner, Seymour, often shop there to pick up a quick lunch since they live nearby.

So when I was in that neighborhood recently and was hungry after running multiple errands, I took Marilyn's recommendation and treated myself to a nice take-out dinner.

There were so many lovely things to choose from in the prepared foods section! Everything was priced by the pound, so I could determine not only which item I wanted but also whether I wanted one that was more or less expensive, depending upon its size.

Hearty soups clamored for my attention, as did a variety of tempting sandwiches. There were several different salads to choose from, so I picked what seemed to be a small one with bright greens, red onion, dried cranberries, pecans and grated white cheddar for a mere $2.94. A less-expensive salad would leave more room in my mandatory $5-or-less budget for dessert, after all. I know what's important!

I made room for dessert because as soon as I saw the Split Personality Trifle — layers of chocolate and vanilla puddings with dark chocolate cake crumbs — I knew it was going to come home with me. With the pudding costing $1.89, my total for dinner was going to be only $4.83 and would include both nutrition and a treat. (I had salad dressings at home, so I didn't pick any of the offerings at the market; that also would have cost a bit more and put me over budget.)

And what a surprise when I opened the salad and placed it in a large bowl to coat it with dressing — it was enough to feed two people! I packed half of it away for the next day's lunch and thoroughly enjoyed the fresh, crisp vegetables, the sweetness and the crunch... a perfect combination of textures and flavors.

Dessert was utterly sublime — an ideal Snack Pack-sized individual serving that provided a truly luscious ending to my meal.

There are many ways to create a nutritious but still fun meal at Arbor Farms — sandwiches, soups, salads, chips, fruit, desserts, chocolates and all sorts of other goodies are available throughout the store. And the staff is also ready to provide friendly assistance should you be overwhelmed by the multitude of options.

This was a great Frugal Floozie Friday deal!

Arbor Farms Market 2103 W. Stadium Ann Arbor, MI 48103 734-996-8111

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Mary Bilyeu has won or placed in more than 60 cooking contests and writes about her adventures in the kitchen. She was thrilled to have her post about Scottish Oatmeal Shortbread named as one of the daily "Best of the Blogs" by the prestigious Food News Journal.

Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — on which she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related. Feel free to email her with questions or comments or suggestions:

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers as they cook along with her ... may you always be happy here.


David Rhoads

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 2:06 p.m.

Arbor Farms is a great store, with a wide selection of special items, like Ed's Bread, and friendly, helpful staff. Stop by the Deli next time you are there and say Hi to Judy and Amanda, the two ladies most responsible for the Deli selections. I am sure that you will be tempted, as I am, to buy some of their truly great, prepared foods.

Mary Bilyeu

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 2:29 p.m.

I'll absolutely stop by to say "hi" to Judy and Amanda - they clearly do fabulous work! "Tempted" is an understatement - it was so hard to decide what to pick when I was there for this mission! Too many great options ... :)

Marge Biancke

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 12:32 p.m.

Arbor Farms has been my favorite smaller grocery for years. Their deli section always has something that is interesting. They also have a very good selection of fresh fish.

Mary Bilyeu

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 2:28 p.m.

Arbor Farms is fabulous, isn't it? I hope people will see it as more than just a grocery store, since it offers so much to the community ....


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 1:30 a.m.

Love your columns Mary. There is so much negativity here on comments so I just want to make a point of telling you that your recipe column always seems to read my culinary mind and your Frugal Friday column has given me some awesome ideas for eating out. I also love that your columns are in the print edition, which I look forward to reading with my coffee in a comfortable place, away from screens of all kinds! Keep up the great work!

Mary Bilyeu

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

You are just the sweetest thing - thank you so much for starting my day with a huge smile! I love the challenge of the Frugal Fridays, which offers the same "thrill of the hunt" as looking for deals at thrift shops and garage sales (another favorite amusement); my family and friends always like to go along on those adventures. The next time I'm keeping office hours at (not sure of the date yet), do please come visit if you can - it'd be great to meet you ... :)


Fri, Dec 30, 2011 : 3:29 p.m.

Nice to see Arbor Farms getting some attention for their great deli selections. I've been telling friends for years that their excellent sandwiches (pre-made and made-to-order) are the best lunch deal on the west side of Ann Arbor!

Mary Bilyeu

Fri, Dec 30, 2011 : 5:45 p.m.

There were so many options for mixing and matching! A great meal can be had for a fabulous price ... :)