Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Trick or Treat!

Weeks before Halloween, every store starts to sell candy and costumes, and it can be overwhelming. Different types of candy, different amounts per package, but where is the 'best deal'? Before you buy any candy, consider how many trick or treaters you may be getting. Last year, I believe we received 3 ghouls and goblins! Thankfully, we'd learned from the year before that we didn't get a high number, so I didn't buy a whole lot, this avoiding HAVING to eat any leftovers. However, being in a new neighbourhood this year, it's kind of a crapshoot this time around! So, we estimated low numbers, as a result of being at the end of a street, not a lot of kids at this end of the street, not all the houses are even lived in on our street, etc. So, I headed to good ol' Walmart to buy our candy. Why? Because its dirt cheap! So I bought 110 pieces of double bubble gum for $3.28! This way, if we have high numbers, kids may only get 2 pieces each, but if we start getting low turn out, kids can receive handfuls of treats at this house! Also, I bought double bubble because kids like gum and I won't eat it!! Hurrah! But back to the store you're buying from, Walmart also know has the Ad Match guarantee - bring in any flyer with a lower price and they'll match it at the counter! I didn't bring in any flyer because I wasn't buying a large package, but totally something to consider if you're looking to buy a lot of candy, or even other items that you're heading our to purchase.

As for decor, I didn't buy anything new this year. A few little decorations is more than enough (for Halloween). I bought a pumpkin and using my Save-on-More club card got my pumpkin for $2.99! We carved it to be eating a leg (see the picture) using an old pair of pants that were ripped up and ready to be turned to rags anyways. So, we've managed to get some deals and repurpose some goods to save a couple bucks!

Can't wait to see the scary trick or treaters tonight! And if they don't show, my husband can take the candy and hand it out at school!

Happy Saving!
- C

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Hidden Treasures

We've all heard the phrase "one man's trash is another man's treasure". But how many of us really take advantage of that? Besides the odd garage sale in the summer or a random antique store, it's hard to really take up on that mentality.

But, through the magic of Facebook, it's actually right at our fingertips. If you aren't already involved in one, search for a Swap and Buy group in your area. These online groups are designed for members to post pictures for the rest of the group to see and sell to. So it works double duty: you can find good deals (as bartering is totally acceptable) on gently used items you might be looking for, and you can also put your unwanted goods up to sell and put a little extra cash in your pocket. How good does that sound?! Double savings! It is similar to kijiji or other online sites, but with thousands of people in the group and high traffic to the page, sales often happen quite quickly. Some gems we've gotten a hold of; patio table, 4 bouncy chairs, and an umbrella for $50, a matching lamp to one we already had for $3, and then we've sold some of our stuff for good deals - $40 we sold our old bbq for and it was bought and picked up within 2 hours of us posting it on the group's page. We're currently in the process of selling off board games we don't really play (yes, there are some in this house that don't get played!). And with $5-$10 a piece, it's quick and easy earnings that add up fast!

So check out the groups in your area, and let me know what you have found or do find in the future!

Happy Saving!
- C

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Comment Suggestions

Happy Saturday everyone!

So lots and lots of comments have been coming in to me through posts and emails, and I wanted to share a selection, perhaps with my own comments as well!

Ways to save:
"Programmable Thermostat" - yes! This is something we had invested in at the condo, and something that came installed with the new house. So handy to be able to keep it cool when you're typically not home and reduce the cost of heating the house when it's not necessary.

"Buy certain things, like meat, in bulk". - Costco is the cheapest for meat! We don't usually buy meat elsewhere, as we know we can get it way cheaper. We also like to get large quantities and freeze it so we always have some of a few different meats on hand.

"Canning" - I so want to learn to can more things! As anyone who was at our wedding knows, I'm okay at jam ;). With a little help from my superior jamming experts, of course. But perhaps next year I will take on the challenge of canning goods!

"Coupons" - now this is something I've mentioned, and something that's gotten mixed reviews. In my opinion, coupons can be fabulous, if you can coupons for what you would already be buying. Yes, a lot of times they're for packaged and processed goods, but sometimes you can get them for cheese, produce, and toiletries, so keep your eyes peeled. In addition, check out - you can pick which coupons you would use and they'll send them to your house, for free!!!

"Freezing leftovers" - yes!! How have it not mentioned this yet! One comment came in about making a huge bath o something, in this case it was soup, and freezing them in ice cube trays to be warmed up (2-3 per person) for a later day. Great suggestion to put the frozen soups in for a lunch, and by lunch they're most thawed and just need a quick heat in the microwave! Genius! We've frozen half of things like casseroles or a lasagna, because its hard for the two of us to eat that much in one week- we usually get sick of having it so many days in a row, then it gets left and goes bad. So freeze it, well sealed and well marked, and just leave it in the sink one morning before you go off to work an it'll be thawed by supper!

Well, hope you all have a super weekend! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the above comments, or any others you may have.

Happy Saving!
- C

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Service Industry Tipping

Both having worked in the food and beverage service industry to some capacity, Matt & I understand what it means to tip those serving you when you receive exceptional service.  We usually tip well, especially when we can see the quality of the service we are receiving.  We've been on the other side, and we know that the generosity that customers show is so rewarding for the very hard work you're putting in. 

I know that many people will discuss the tipping of 'non-food service' tipping.  In this situation, I'm referring to the other services you receive; spa treatments including hair, massage, nails, waxing, gas station attendants (back when there were more full serve gas stations), and other service industry positions.  Some feel that is their job, and tips are not required.  However, more often than not, their employers know they'll be tipped, so they won't pay as much to their staff to 'balance' their income.  Well!  I definitely feel that those serving should be tipped, and tipped according to their level of excellence!  Which is exactly why I came to a bit of a pickle this month with my Personal Maintenance budget.

My hairdresser is phenomenal!  For anyone else who knows or goes to her, they completely understand.  The 2.5 hours in her chair never feels like long enough when you're in such good conversation. :)  When we were budgeting for this month and I knew I had an appointment, I guesstimated about how much I normally spend there.  I rounded the wrong way, and needless to say, yesterday - one day before my appointment, I realised I was not going to be able to tip her the same way I normally do.  I felt awful!  Do I dip into another jar and take an I.O.Y?  Do I just leave what I have and pretend like I don't notice?  No, I know the right thing to do!  Cookies make every thing better!

I felt really guilty that I was taking cookies in place of half of my normal tip.  I thought, "wow, this makes me look really cheap!"  But, we set rules, we set aside money, and I didn't have enough.  So, this was the next option to really show her how much I appreciate what she does.  When I arrived at the salon, I felt nervous.  Nervous that I had to explain I couldn't give her more of a tip, and she hadn't even started on my hair yet!  I was embarrassed.  But, her warm grin and welcome made me forget my nerves and remember she's not scary and won't bite!  I handed her the cookies and explained my situation.  Her reaction; a huge hug and saying 'this is the best treat you could bring me!'.  PHEWF!  Huge relief!  Being her darling self, she says she never expects tips, and they're always extra bonuses and she's thankful when she gets them - but never expects anyone to tip her.  She thought it was very thoughtful of me to do this, and that made me feel so much better!  I also felt better that I didn't dip into another jar and take money from another area of our budget.  We'll never save any money if we just keep making excuses and 'borrowing' from other areas.  It's about setting the boundary and staying within it.

Now, would I suggest doing this for a new stylist you've never been to?  Maybe not!  For those who don't know you, perhaps it may come off as insulting, or maybe the stylist is a germaphobe and wouldn't want to accept a homemade treat.  In this case, I've been going to her for a few years now, and I knew that this would probably be something that would make her smile.  At first I thought I was coming off really cheap.  After how excited she was to get some home baked goodies, I realised that it was a smart move, and I feel happy that I was still able to show my appreciation.  Success!  Any stylists or service industry people out there reading - if your well-known client, whom you knew was saving and on a tight budget brought you a home baked treat, how would you react?  I think back to when I was serving - if it was a regular, I'd have been very touched to know they took the time to share with me how they appreciated me, in a different way than with money.  If it was a non-regular whom I didn't know, I might be creeped out!  Wondering what you would do, and whether or not you've ever received something like this?!

Happy Savings!


Using this space to quickly send out a happy birthday to my fabulous mother-in-law today!!! She deserves a day as lovely as she is!

Love ya Momma M!!

So I've seen a commercial a few times now for It is a website that hosts online shopping stores, and when logged in to it, any purchases you make to their sponsored stores, you receive a certain percent of cash back. It is similar to, in that you first log in to their site, then click over to the site you're going to do your online shopping on.

Now, this is only going to save you money if you do any of your shopping online. However, if you do a lot of online shopping, this could earn you some big bucks (over time). If you're not already planning on spending the money, then you're just using up more money to save money - bad idea!

I'm wondering if anyone has seen more about this, heard about if, or even used the Canadian-based website? Interested to hear your thoughts on possibly earning cash back on your purchases, as the Christmas shopping season begins.

Happy Saving!
- C

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Thoil Your Desires

So I was reading Gail Vaz-Oxlade's blog today and wanted to pass forward the link to her blog post about Thoiling! Seems like a silly word, but as she explains it, it means to not be able to justify spending your money on something. She talks about being able to afford something, but not being able to thoil it!

Check it out here and let me know what you think, and whether or not you can thoil those wants that you know you don't need right now!

Savings vs Earnings

So far, my efforts to start saving and being a little more frugal have proven successful. We have become much more aware of our spendings, and where our money is/going at all times. However, with the new house and the lovely property tax assessment we've just received, I think it goes past sayings, and now becomes an issue of earning.

Don't get me wrong, there are still things we could be giving up and sacrificing things like cable, our iPhones, and having a second car, I'd rather work harder to be able to keep those things that aren't necessities, but are big parts of our lives (the car and phones more than the tv!). So, I've spent a large part of last night and this morning looking for a job. Something that is flexible, so that I can continue consulting, but something with a little more security than just consulting alone. In a field where you have to build your reputation, it is important that I can still keep consulting in some capacity. I cannot always guarantee that I will have a busy month consulting, but I can guarantee that every month we have fixed payments that will be there no matter what. Saving tricks will always help to make the earnings go even further, but more earnings wouldn't hurt either!

Therefore, on this snowed-in day in October, I'm going to be applying for a few different jobs today in order to fill up our savings a little more. Why not use the extra time that I do have to build up our funds as much as possible, instead of wishing it could be more and being upset that it is not. I'm taking this into my own hands and putting these little stumpy hands to work! I will keep you all posted on my earning endeavours, and hopefully how it can contribute to our saving endeavours! But first, I must go shovel the driveway!

Happy Saving!
- C

Monday, 22 October 2012

Fresh Bread at Home

Our first winter snowfall warning of the year was just issued today! October 22- I guess it has come earlier, so we can't really complain! One of the things that I used to love that my mom made when it was chilly outside was homemade bread. Well really, homemade bread at any time is really good! And I thought, why not give it a try, instead of paying +$2.00 a loaf at almost any store?! It's just me who eats it (most of the time!), as my husband is gluten-intolerant. So I was reading around for some different recipes, as well as the best ways to freeze it [see some tips here!: I also sliced mine before freezing it, in case I only want to grab one slice at a time from the freezer]. I found lots of recipes and decided to go with this one. Simple enough, all the ingredients at home, and I had the time this afternoon for the process (I used my oven as opposed to a bread machine).

It was a success!! 2 loaves, super delicious, and my house smells amazing! I will be keeping one out, and slicing one and the freezing it. I read that it is best to slice before freezing to a) help if you thaw the whole loaf at once and b) easy to grab just one or two slices out of the freezer at a time as needed. And really, to make a couple loaves at a time, not any difficult or more time consuming than just a single loaf.

Mmmmmmm!!! So I saved us about $10 this month by baking the bread at home. Baby step, but every little bit helps! How many of you bake bread, or other bakery items at home?

Happy Saving!
- C

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Dreaded Taxes

So being first time new home owners, there are a lot of unexpected costs that you don't hear about. From little fees to big costs like blinds for your whole home, the extras start to add up fast. The quick way to deal with these costs is definitely to just not give in to the not-completely-necessary costs, such as blinds. We've done this for now, as the winter is approaching and the dark is arriving earlier and staying longer each day, we figure we can stretch it out for a little while longer! No peeps shows allowed-all changing and nude lounging is done behind closed doors with no windows! Sorry :)

But by far, our biggest unexpected cost, and one that we can't really push back, is the city taxes that showed up in our mailbox. 5 months worth of taxes due by the end of the month, yikes!! We knew we had to pay taxes, I guess we just didn't clue in to when they would be sent to us. So, how can we save here? When I go down to pay them, we're signing up for the monthly installment, automatic withdrawal program for property taxes that our city offers. Similar programs are offered in most cities as a way for tax payers to pay their dues on a more tangible, monthly basis, then the huge lump sums on a less-frequent basis. They also reduce your payments to only 10 months a year, and provide a slight discount (I believe 1.25%) for the monthly option. And let me tell you, with a husband who is a school teacher, we're all in favour of a two-month hiatus over the summer months!

So for savings on your property taxes, if you haven't already, consider looking into and signing up for a similar, monthly payment program! Besides the decreased amount to be paid out, who doesn't like a two-month holiday, even if it is just from the tax man!

Happy Saving!
- C

Friday, 19 October 2012

Bulk Barn!

In sticking with the food savings, this is one store that I have found you can save BIG BUCKS on....if you're smart about it!

Bulk Barn is a store that has almost everything you could imagine in bulk. Therefore, you can select the amount of what you need, and avoid buying 10 pounds of skim milk powder when you only need a couple tablespoons!

Specifically, we shop here for two main things that I want to share with you. The first is spices. As they charge by weight, you can get dried spices for dirt cheap!! Spices at most grocery stores are >$5.00 for a little jar. Well at Bulk Barn, depending on the spice, it's usually under a dollar! I had bought 3-$1.00 glass spice jars from a dollar store a few years ago, and I just refill them as needed. So that is the first money saver. The second is gluten free flours and baking mixes. They have so many of them, and again, quite cheap! However, with the gluten free flours, you have to be careful because they are by weight, and it can add up quickly, as they are quite heavy. We usually just grab the 1.5 cups that the recipe calls for and that usually saves you spending too much.

So, check out where your local Bulk Barn is, or another similar bulk foods store, and try saving on some of your most used foods. What have you found at Bulk Barn or other stores that saves you $$?!

Happy Savings!
- C

The Problem with Canned Portions

I've been finding a lot of recipes lately call for a small amount of a canned good. Products that you can only buy in giant cans, or at least cans bigger than you need. With the fall season now fully upon us, I've been inspired to make all things pumpkin! For anyone who has ever bought pure pumpkin in the cans, you know it comes in a massive can! Most of the time, you only need 1/2 cup or something measly like that! It may be pumpkin this time around, but it happens in our house with everything from pumpkin, to coconut milk, to evaporated or sweetened condensed milk, even tomato sauce!

In the past, I usually put the renin ants of the can in a container into the fridge, and swear that I'll use them before they go bad. In all reality, they get pushed to the back, forgotten about, and even mistaken for what they actually are! In the end, they usually get pulled out weeks later, moldy or frozen (if they've been left in solitary confinement at the back it's bound to happen), and chucked out anyways. Putting them in the fridge because you don't want to get rid of perfectly good product always seems to just prolong the inevitable.

So browsing Pinterest, I noticed people were suggesting putting small servings of things in an ice cube tray and freezing them to use at a later date. Well of course! Why was I not thinking of freezing these leftover bits?! So I started with the can of pumpkin I had just opened. I needed a 1/2 cup for a recipe, and decided to freeze the rest in 1/2 cup portions in their own freezer bags. I labelled them and got as much air out as possible and voila! For once a used a whole can of a ingredient like this. I have since done it with coconut milk, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and frozen orange juice concentrate. What I've found to be a great way to think about portioning, is think about how much would normally be used of that ingredient in a recipe. It may seem silly to freeze a bunch of 1/2 cup bags of coconut milk, but most of the time the recipe doesn't call for much more than that. By freezing the remainder in its entirety, if its way more than you'll ever need at once, you're again just prolonging throwing it out. The whole point is to reduce waste and get more bang for your buck. So even if you have to use a few more freezer bags, they're worth less than the can of food you'd be tossing out in the end.

When it comes around to needing a small amount of something you cannot find a substitute for, consider this freezing method. I've surprisingly used up almost all of the pumpkin I'd portioned, which ended up being about 2.5 cups worth! Major score! Because they're in small amounts, they're easily thawed in 30 minutes by letting them sit in the sink before you need them, or even running warm water over them right before you need them. Another idea to use that canned good up right away, plan to make a double batch and freeze half. Whether healthy snacks or a full meal, having the extra made in the freezer will definitely come in handy when you're all too busy to prep down the road.

What kinds of things have you frozen, or preserved in another way to use up all of the item? I'd love to hear what you freeze, or even how you do it!

Happy Saving!
- C

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Cleaning House

When we moved into our new house, we said to each other that we wanted to do the best job we could to keep the house in the cleanest condition possible. By staying on top of cleaning, we would never have to spend several hours the night before company was coming over, or do not have to panic if people show up unannounced.  I've also started using a 15-minute a day cleaning schedule, that was based off of the one here.

Our main floor of our house has proven already to really be the gathering area. We've got an open concept layout, where the front door opens into the kitchen/living room/dining room. The flooring is all a dark hard wood, and I started asking around as soon as we moved in, the best way to clean it. A great suggestion was provided by good friends of ours who live down the street and bought their house a few months before we did. They suggested the Rubbermaid Reveal. This product is a household sweeper/mop tool. It has interchangeable covers for different purposes or floor surfaces, as well as it sprays cleaning solution when "mopping". But how does this tie into our saving endeavors?! Well, not only is this tool handy, efficient, and versatile, it's also a great money saving investment. At $29.99, I purchased the Reveal, that comes with the solution bottle, one floor cleaning pad, and the mop itself. For another $6 or so, I purchased another pad, so I had one for sweeping/dusting, and one for wet cleaning/mopping. This is a money saving tool in that the cleaning pads can be washed and reused!! The packaging says good for 100 washes in the washing machine...hello people! Great deal! Avoid using the one-time-use other brands, or the dirty old germ collecting mops. This is great! In addition to the reusable pads, the cleaning solution bottle that is used can be filled with whatever solution you prefer. You can use a store-bought floor cleaner, a water and vinegar solution, or any other homemade cleaning solution you choose! Great money saver, as you don't have to pay big bucks for the specific size and solution in other certain floor cleaners. So you save money in two big ways with this product. Also, at >$30, it's a easy investment to make to assure you're house is being looked after without blowing your budget!
The Rubbermaid Reveal.  Click
HERE for product information.

What ways do cleaning supplies help you save money? Are there any tips or tricks, or products even, that you have found that are totally worth sharing? Please feel free to share your money saving cleaning secrets below!

Happy Saving!
- C

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Shopping Around

It is so easy to get stuck to one grocery store. Whether it be for the reward points or offers, the location, and sometimes the good deals, we usually spend most of our grocery money at one store. Now I have no official numbers on that, but I am comfortable saying it, as I've seen the trends within my own social circle. I'm guilty of it too! However, with the jars in place, I can see how much I have left for the month to spend on groceries, and I decide to go out of my normal grocery world to get the biggest bang for our bucks!

One thing I've found the most effective when shopping is having a list. Yes, this is my gold personality taking over, but it's so simple. Write down what you need, and don't buy anything other than what's on your list. Last night, I made a list of all the meals I would be making for the next 2-3 weeks (7 entrees that usually serve 4-6, so between the two of us, they last a while!). I picked recipes that did not require me to buy a lot, maybe 1-2 ingredients needed for each recipe. On top of that, I wrote down all the other things we needed, which was about 98% produce. Which brings me to one of the greatest grocery shopping tips I ever found in my undergrad years: stick to the outside walls and or isles of your grocery store. This is where all the fresh and minimally processed food is. Once you start to work your way in to the centre of the store, you start to get more and more processed. Now, with the exception of the odd baking item and household cleaning and maintenance supplies, you can usually find most of what you need in the outside isles. :)

To jump back on topic, I stuck exactly to my list! No deviations or justifications to why I thought anything else would be okay to through in the cart. Just what I needed, end of story! I did, however, not get two items on my list due to price! Even though I was at a cheaper-than-normal store because they cut costs on things like the cashiers bagging your purchases, the two meat items I needed were way more expensive than I know I've purchased them before. So, I proceeded to bypass them at this store. Instead, once I'd finished at store A, I drove directly across the road to enter the large wholesale store. I still had my list, and only 2 things on it I needed. So I headed straight to the back wall, grabbed my 2 meats, and went straight to the til to pay. Now, I bought way more meat than I needed, as both items (chicken thighs and pork loin) we divide into recipe sized portions and freeze. Which in this case, was a much more cost efficient option than buying only enough for one recipe for only a few dollars less. I bought 26 chicken thighs for $17, and a huge pork loin for $20. We will get 2-3 meals from the chicken thighs, and we cut up and portion the loin to get about 16 steaks, 2 medium freezer bags of cubed pork (Ie stew or kebab), and usually one bag of strips (best used in a chop suey or stirfry). So for about $85, I was able to buy enough for approximately 53 servings from the recipes we plan to use it all in, as well as items for 8 lunches, and our usual produce and fresh foods! SCORE!

So the savings today were huge for what I know I would have paid elsewhere. My challenge to you, know your prices, and think about possibly stopping at one more spot on the way home to save a large % on certain items. Get out of your bubble and try a new store. You don't know what you could save until you do!

Happy savings!
- C

Monday, 15 October 2012

Yesterday I Said Tomorrow

So today is Day 1 of my new adventure.  I've started this blog to share stories about "My Wife Savings" - the ups and downs that come with trying to save money in various different ways as a newly-married woman.  I'm a Saving Wife, Saving for Life!  I'm hoping that each post will demonstrate one technique I've used to save money, and whether it was successful or not.  I can't wait to try out some of the ridiculous things I've read about, share some of my personal favourite ways to save, and create some open discussions about new ideas with those who are willing to share how they're building up their Wife Savings!

I feel a little bit of background information about us might help to profile our situation.  I am 26, and graduated last fall with my Master of Arts in Kinesiology.  I work as a self-employed Mental Skills Trainer/Sport Psychology Consultant.  I complete personal, one-on-one consulting, as well as contracted out consulting for various sport development organizations.  My income is variable, and depends on the work I am able to arrange each month.  My husband is 27, and a first year teacher at a local middle school and loving it!  He loves his job and puts more than all he has into each day in the classroom and on the court.  He teaches, coaches, and volunteers for whatever he can within the school.  His contract is for the remainder of this school year, and his goal is to land a probationary contract with the same school next year.

Our for sale sign!  You can't actually see our house in this picture, just the neighbour's!

In August of this year, my husband and I bought our first home.  He was in a mutually owned townhouse with his father and siblings while going through post-secondary, but we've since branched off and purchased our first home.  Following the withdraw of our first mortgage payment, we began to seriously discuss our need for a budget; what is our game plan??  My father-in-law has been mentioning budgets to us for a while now, and it's always something we've put on the back burner.  Now we realize that this is something that we need to get on top of to keep ourselves in line.  So last week we outlined all of our fixed costs, variable monthly spendings, savings, and investments, and realized we needed to start some extreme budgeting!  Following a few tears, minor panic, and reassurance to each other that we're fine and it'll just be 'tight' for a while, we've taken a fun (yes, I said it!) approach to budgeting.  For anyone who has seen the TV show "Til Debt Do Us Part", we're following Gail Vaz-Oxlade's use of Mason jars to store our savings.  We've often watched her show and thought "How do these people get to that point?!"  In realizing that we never wanted to get to that point, this was our first step to saving!

First month jars.

It has been a week of our money jars, and so far it's going well.   For me, I have to get used to not using my debit card to pay for things.  We take the money from the jars we've set aside and use that money to pay for whatever it is we need to purchase.  The receipts go back in the jar, along with any change leftover from the purchase(s) made.  At the end of the month, the remaining cash and receipts should add up to the original amount that was budgeted for each category.  I like it!  My husband always says he prefers to pay cash because you visually see the exchange of money and it doesn't fly under the radar like debit or credit card transactions.  I'm totally finding this to be true!  I hope that we can stay on track with these jars andI can't wait to share at the end of the month, how they really worked for us.

As a challenge, I encourage you to try out the jars too!  Use something you have in your house, whether it be old Mason jars, or your great-grandmother's prized teacup set, DON'T SPEND MONEY ON THE PURCHASE OF JARS!  Use what you already have!  Label each jar and fill it with your agreed upon monthly spending for each category.  If you don't budget for it, it's something that you'll have to sacrifice this month.  Remember to keep your jars in a hidden, locked safe.  This is your bank now, so take care of it!  Please share what your experiences are with this or something similar!  

Happy Saving!
- C