On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I post a picture and just a few words.

Yesterday, these two came in the mail together.

ikea vs. arhaus

I thought this was a funny combo…super cheap furniture and super expensive furniture.

I’m not quite sure how I got onto Arhaus’s mailing list because I don’t think I’m really their target audience.

($1800 for a cabinet that’s not even solid wood?)

I don’t mind paying more for things that are well-made, but if I’m going to buy a piece whose bones are “engineered hardwood”, I’d kind of like to pay Ikea prices for it.  ;)


In unrelated news, I got en email recently about Julep, a subscription-based beauty service whose main offering is toxin-free nail polish.

That piqued my interest because I have three girls who kind of adore nail polish, so I’m definitely interested in trying something less noxious.

The first box you order is completely free (save a $2.99 shipping fee), so a Summer Nights Welcome Box is on its way to my house.

I’ll let you know how we like it!

You are free to cancel after you receive your first free box and if you want to continue after that, the subscription is $24.99, or you can pre-pay for three months at a rate of $19.99/month.

(I’m not sure I use enough beauty supplies to keep up with a box every month, even with three girls in the house.)

But even if that’s the case for you too, do at least go get your free Summer Nights Welcome Box!

This post contains affiliate links, which help to support The Frugal Girl at no cost to you.


Every month, I post a week’s worth of meals + an update on our grocery spending.

It’s almost August (sob!), so I figured I’d better get this posted.

Here’s what I bought on a grocery shopping trip this month.  There’s not a whole lot in the way of vegetables here because my bi-weekly produce box has been more than meeting our vegetable needs.

(Which is good for us…it’s making me prepare more vegetables than I would otherwise. But I definitely do not need to buy many veggies from the grocery store!)

FG groceries in July

(Notice the hydrogen peroxide? I’m planning to give some clothes the homemade oxi-clean treatment!)

FG groceries July

So far this year, my weekly grocery spending has averaged out to a little less than $150 per week.  This feeds six of us and includes toiletries and cleaning supplies.

This reminds me what a great bargain it is to eat at home.  The six of us can quickly spend $40 for a “cheap” meal out, and yet I can buy groceries for an entire week for $150.

On to the meals!

My blog loaded the food pictures in sort of backwards chronological order, but I’m just gonna roll with it.

1. Steak and Potato Salad | Fruit Salad

fruit salad

Instagrammers: You know the mustard vinaigrette I posted? It was for this salad.

steak and potato salad

It’s from the ATK Quick Family Cookbook, and this is the second time I’ve made it.  You cook the steaks in a skillet and brown the (pre-cooked in the microwave) potatoes in the fat left in the pan.

I’ve never had super good luck with pan-fried potatoes before, but these are delicious.  I think the pre-cooking helps a lot, and I’m sure the steak fat/browned bits don’t hurt either.

2. Chicken Pizzaiola | Watermelon

chicken pizzaiola

This is also from the ATK quick cookbook, and I’d never made it before.  It was a decent super-fast dish, but I think I prefer breaded and browned chicken more.  It wasn’t bad…just a little bit boring.

It would have been awesome to serve a salad with this instead of watermelon, but I was in kind of a hurry.  ;)

3. Swedish Meatballs | Strawberry Orange Salad

The salad was a variation on the strawberry pear salad we frequently eat.

strawberry orange salad

And the Swedish Meatballs are from Cook’s Illustrated’s big cookbook.

(My full review of that book seems to have gotten eaten in my blog migration, but that link will give you a mini-review.)

swedish meatballs

5. Pancakes | Apple Pfannekuchen

Mr. FG and Joshua went to a concert that night, so they picked up some dinner on the way.  The girls and their friend wanted pancakes, so I made buttermilk pancakes for them.

But Apple Pfannekuchen sounded better to me, so I made one for myself.  I’ve been trying to cut way back on added sugar in my diet, and I was pleased to discover that this tastes pretty delicious with only a fraction of the sugar called for in the recipe.

apple pfannakuchen

Although, that could be because I haven’t eaten much added sugar in the last few months…maybe my taste buds are adjusting??

I used local eggs when I made this, which is why it’s such a shocking shade of yellow.

6. BLT Salad

Not to sound like a broken record, but…this is from the ATK quick cookbook too.  ;)

BLT Salad

The photo doesn’t show it, but the salad has chicken in it too, so it’s hearty enough for a summer main dish.  I’m pretty sure we had fruit with this, but I can’t remember!

7. Date Night

We had a takeout night, but we cheated a bit.  The weather was so beautiful, instead of eating at home we drove down to a sweet little spot in our neighborhood and sat on a bench in front of the water to eat our food.

It was like a waterfront restaurant on the cheap.  ;)


I really didn’t plan to feature almost nothing but Cook’s/ATK recipes (and they certainly didn’t pay me to do that), but honestly, most weeks at least 75% of my menu includes their recipes, just because they rock.

If you’re struggling for dinner inspiration, do yourself a favor and get one of their books.

The quick cookbook might be especially helpful if you, like most of us, are trying to get dinner on the table in a hurry.


What about you?  Cooked up anything great lately? Share!


Sometimes I’m a little late.

July 29, 2014
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On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I post a picture and just a few words. I’m getting pretty good at catching shots of kids as they jump off the board, but sometimes I miss by a bit. Oops. But hey, the water droplets are kind of cool. ___________________ The Cabot giveaway is over now, and I used random.org […]

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Milk vs. Water in Bread, and Limits on Screen Time at Chez FG

July 28, 2014
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Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing […]

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Five Frugal Things

July 25, 2014
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As always, a hat-tip to The Nonconsumer Advocate for the post theme, which I am totally stealing from her. 1. I’m selling old school books. I just recycle consumables, of course, but when I have a non-consumable book we no longer need, I list it on half.com or ebay. And of course I ship my […]

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Just so you know, they don’t always read.

July 24, 2014
Thumbnail image for Just so you know, they don’t always read.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I post a picture and just a few words. I do frequently find them sprawled out on the couch with a book, but sometimes when I come out into the living room, I’m greeted with something more like this. (Do you recognize the whale blanket??)

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