oven&apron's Profile

Display Name: oven&apron
Member Since: 2/25/13

Latest Comments...

Oh, and I can also sympathize with the dwindling circle of friends. 99 percent of my free time when I'm not at work is spent at home because I simply can't afford to meet Friend A for drinks after work, or Friend B at that sushi place on the weekend she always raves about. I took myself out to a $7 matinee last weekend and felt so luxurious doing so. I seldom get to spend money on myself that isn't a necessity, so it felt really nice to do that one small thing.

Budget Living: Living On Minimum Wage
7/28/14 12:50 PM

I can sympathize with so many of you here.

I'm a college-educated 30 year old woman. I have an art degree, which isn't worth much more than the paper it's printed on.

While I don't make minimum wage, I was recently fired from a long term job and took a job making 1 dollar less per hour ($12 instead of my previous $13), fewer hours (30-32 per week instead of my previous 40+) and no more paid vacation days or sick leave. I share a 3 bd/2 ba condo with my boyfriend and his best friend, and my sister is living here temporarily as well. Our rent is $1100/MO, water/trash/sewage about $30-$50/mo, electricity runs from like $50-$60 in the winter to over $150+ in the hot summers (AC is an absolute must in Phoenix), Internet is about $60/mo, no cable TV but I pay for Netflix. I pay $100/MO in car payments to my mom since she helped finance my used car, and I spend about $60-$80/mo on gas for my car, not to mention insurance and routine maintenance.

Here's the kicker - my boyfriend lost his well-paying tech job in 2012, right before we moved into this condo. He worked pizza delivery for almost a year and a half cause he couldn't find anything in the tech field, but he recently quit due to increasing anxiety and panic issues. Health insurance? What a joke. I elected to pay the fine rather than pay the monthly premium and deductible I can't afford.

So essentially, the bf's best friend and I pay half the rent a piece (which has been the case for most of the 2+ years we've lived here). My sister is unemployed at the moment and can't even kick in for utilities. The bf's best friend and I have been paying my bf's monthly $250+ a month car payment (the car he bought used right before he lost his tech job). My sister buys and cooks her own food, but I'm pretty much responsible for making sure me and my bf have food to eat (best friend buys him meals on occasion, but neither of them really know how to cook so that part is left up to me). I buy the groceries and household required stuff (toilet paper, laundry soap, etx) and I'm constantly hoping I have enough for bills and rent with maaaaybe a little left over if I have to buy cheap clothes at Target for work, or other similar things. I have $64 in my savings account and enough in checking to cover my rent plus groceries and the like until I get paid again in 2 more weeks. I'm halfway to being maxed out on my credit card and have to go to the mechanic today cause my car has been threatening to overheat lately. Guess where that money is coming from to pay for said mechanic? Yep, good ol' Visa.

We're waiting to hear if the boyfriend will qualify for AHCCCS (Arizona's Medicaid) so that he can go to a doctor for counseling/meds to manage his condition so that he can rejoin society as a productive member of the work force. Every day he gets a little bit worse, and being out of work doesn't help his already damaged sense of self worth. Low cost/free mental health care in this country is ridiculous, and near to impossible if you're a male in your 30s with no wife and no kids.

I really hope our situation changes soon because I am at my wit's end. I really hope the best for all of you who have commented so far. Thank God none of us are alone in our struggle.

Budget Living: Living On Minimum Wage
7/28/14 12:06 PM

Ahem. http://ovenandapron.com/2013/06/09/strawberry-balsamic-black-pepper-popsicles/

Definitive Proof That Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar Belong Together Delicious Links
5/23/14 09:51 PM

How about this Cauliflower + Roasted Garlic Soup? It's easy and perfect for Sunday dinner :)

10 Small, Fun Projects For Your Day Off Recipes from The Kitchn
2/16/14 11:36 AM

Pineapple curd is delicious!

Beyond Lemon: 3 More Fruit Curds to Try Gilt Taste
2/1/14 02:37 PM

As a matter of fact, there is! Wholesome Sweeteners makes an organic, non-GMO light corn syrup. I haven't used it before, but I rather enjoy their organic evaporated cane juice and dark brown sugars! http://www.wholesomesweeteners.com/Products/productdetail/tabid/170/PId/26/Organic-Light-Corn-Syrup.aspx

Corn Syrup vs. High-Fructose Corn Syrup: There Is a Difference
12/13/13 01:08 PM

@edgy13 - I've separated eggs like this for years, and working in bakeries for the past 6+ years, and I've never had a problem with the eggs not whipping up due to any oils on my hands. I think if you're really concerned about it, a quick soapy wash of your hands with hot water before you separate the eggs by hand should eliminate any trace oils that could potentially screw up your meringues/souffles/etc :)

The Best Way to Separate an Egg Is With Your Hands Tips from The Kitchn
12/12/13 07:28 PM

My family doesn't really have any major breakfast traditions on Christmas morning. We make the big Christmas meal for Christmas Eve dinner, and my mom always makes cranberry bread. We usually have slices of that warmed with butter after the gifts are opened, and snack on Christmas cookies and candy!

What Is Your Traditional Christmas Morning Breakfast? Reader Survey
12/12/13 05:32 PM

Even in socks or slippers, my feet tend to get cold in the winter, especially with my tile floors. I'll plug in a heating pad and set it on the floor at my desk so I can rest my feet on it when I'm at the computer and it keeps them nice and warm!

5 Ways to Keep Yourself Warm at Home
12/11/13 02:15 PM

For elementary school lunches, I remember most often getting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (which I hated), maybe a little baggie of potato chips, a thermos of milk (I loved my My Little Pony lunchbox and thermos!), and often a Little Debbie snack. The household favorite was Oatmeal Creme Pies, but my favorite were Star Crunch or Fudge Rounds. I would totally eat them first.
My neighbor (spoiled rich kid) always ate nacho cheese Doritos or cheese Pringles, tons of Flintstones sherbet push-up popsicles, and probably lots of soda thought I don't remember specifically. My sisters and I only got soda on special occasions, or maybe Friday nights when we always had pizza for dinner.

Lunchbox Favorites: Remembering the Treats That Thrilled Me As a Kid
9/7/13 04:25 PM


13 Food & Drink Pinterest Users You Should Follow
8/28/13 09:31 PM

Shelled sunflower seeds, or roasted salted soy nuts! Also, the parmesan crisps are a great idea. I just made some last night, cut into rounds, to garnish a big homemade panzanella salad :)

5 Ways to Add More Crunch to Your Salad
7/15/13 07:26 PM

Oops, nm! I misread what you wrote.

Take 5: Peony Prints for the Home
6/1/13 01:46 PM

Did you mean 5 weeks? 50 weeks is nearly the whole year.

Take 5: Peony Prints for the Home
6/1/13 01:45 PM

The key to getting that shiny, crackly top on brownies is to make sure the sugar is well-dissolved in the batter. Before adding the flour, make sure the batter is very shiny and that it doesn't feel too grainy between the fingers, and make sure to scrape the bowl well between each addition of ingredients, and at the end!

How Do I Make Brownies With Shiny, Crackly Tops? Good Questions
5/4/13 11:58 AM

I made some delicious tart and sweet Grapefruit Brûlée Bars yesterday! They're perfect for springtime :)

What's Cooking This Weekend? Weekend of April 27-28, 2013
4/28/13 12:47 PM