Monthly Archives: July 2011

Ohhhh dark and AUTONOMOUS…

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Welcome to dark and autonomous! I decided I’m going to start actively writing my own blog. I really like to write and I hope this will help me write more often. I don’t want to paint myself into a box by narrowly defining what exactly I’m going to write about just yet but I can say that a good amount of it will be about:

  • My adventures in learning to coupon
  • Different recipes that I’ve come up with and tried out
  • General musings about my life
  • My road to autonomy in my finances (which, I can assure you, will be a long one!)

This is my first blog post in about five years, so let me tell you a bit about my life today. I live in Baltimore, MD and I’ve lived in Baltimore for about ten weeks. I’m here temporarily while my brother receives treatment for a rare blood disorder called Aplastic Anemia. Since this is an autoimmune disorder and treated with chemotherapy, my brother has an extremely diminished immune system. That’s where I come in. I go out in public and face the germs and mouth-breathers so my brother doesn’t have to risk getting sick. I also do my best to take care of him when he is feeling sick. I’m a little squeamish, but I do my best.

Anyway, I love Baltimore but I spend a lot of time at home. I’ve never had a great immune system and if I get sick, I could very easily give it to my brother so I don’t like to risk it by being around a lot of people just for the sake of being around a lot of people. I get out a couple nights a month but we have such an adorable little row home that I don’t mind staying in.

We live in a bustling neighborhood that even has an ice cream man! Most everything we need is within walking distance so I don’t need a car and I get some good exercise walking to and from various places.

Since I don’t work, I have an extremely limited budget. When I first moved here, I realized how much money I was blowing through just on basic necessities. I remembered seeing the TLC show “Extreme Couponing,” a few months earlier. If you aren’t familiar with this show, here’s a clip that will give you a little glimpse into the potential for savings.  I didn’t necessarily want to dedicate all my time to couponing, but I figured I could do it on a slightly smaller scale to try to stretch my money a little further.  My brother and I like to mostly eat natural and organic foods so I figured if I could save us money on toiletries, detergent, trash bags, toilet paper, paper towels, etc. we would have more money to do so.

In addition, couponing has been a good hobby in terms of distracting me from my own thoughts and grief. It’s been really nice to have a hobby because I haven’t had one in several years.  Since I love to shop, I find it really fun! It should also be noted that couponing can very time consuming ! But I think that people get out of it what they put into it. I will get into the details of the process I go through in order to score great deals in my next post. I am looking forward to clipping all the coupons you see in the picture later though.

In my experience, couponing and saving money comes hand-in-hand with eating at home. I think I’ve become pretty decent at putting together meals out of what’s in season and on sale, as well as with what I have in the refrigerator. I’m not a chef by any stretch of the imagination, but I definitely want to share these recipes because they are easy, budget friendly and most of the time, even…dare I say…healthy!

So there we have it. I’m a budget minded twenty-something who’s going to write about being a budget conscious twenty-something. I hope I will appeal to others who have the same interest of saving money. I’ll share with you what I learn along the way and I would love some input as well. Til next time!