Blog Posts by POPSUGAR Smart Living

  • 8 Common Cleaning Spots You're Missing

    POPSUGAR Smart LivingSource: 8 Common Cleaning Spots You're Missing

    When you're doing a little bit of dusting and cleaning up this weekend, remember to do a thorough job. We often clean surfaces and things that are visible, but we forget about the hidden nooks and crannies in our homes. Here are some spots you may want to tackle today:

    • Under your cushions. While you're vacuuming your floor, suck some of the grime out from beneath your sofa cushions.
    • Behind and underneath big pieces of furniture. Move heavy furniture and vacuum the dust collecting behind or underneath your bed, sofa, or other bulky pieces in your home.
    • Under your fridge. People often forget to clean under the fridge, so this weekend, try to roll your fridge from its usual spot and clean the floor beneath it.
    • Behind your toilet. When you're cleaning your toilet, remember to reach for the back and clean away!
    • Your remote control. Just grab a disinfectant wipe and quickly swipe your germy remote.
    • Telephone buttons. We use phones all the time,
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  • Don't Toss Your Flowers! DIY This Rose Petal Lip Balm

    Source: Don't Toss Your Flowers! DIY This Rose Petal Lip Balm

    Did your special someone get you a gorgeous bouquet of roses for Valentine's Day? Put the petals to good use and make a lip balm that's so pretty and does an awesome job keeping your pucker soft and hydrated. You only need a few ingredients to mix together this soothing balm, and the recipe makes enough for you and a friend. Along with making a special homemade gift, the rose petal lip balm would also make a cute hostess or bridesmaid present, if you have an occasion coming up.

    What You'll Need:
    • 1/4 cup beeswax
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 1/4 cup crumbled dried rose petals
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon honey
    • Small heatproof bowl
    • Small saucepan
    • Small sealable containers

    1. Measure and add the beeswax, coconut oil, and olive oil in a small heatproof bowl and place it over a small saucepan filled halfway with water, creating a homemade double boiler.
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  • 10 Simple and Smart Ways to Cut Your Electricity Bill

    Source: 10 Simple and Smart Ways to Cut Your Electricity Bill

    A good way to cut down on your spending is to gradually target different expenditures. Lowering your energy bill is a nice place to start: not only is it a monthly expenditure, but you can also do some good for the environment. Here are some suggestions for reducing your electricity usage and costs.

    • Unplug when not in use. Even when they're not in use, your electronics can still eat up electricity as long as they're plugged in - yes, even chargers that aren't connected to anything. There are many items we don't think about unplugging, including microwaves, digital picture frames, and more. Even though the power lost by these "vampire" electronics may not be much, everything adds up.
    • Use a power strip. Get a power strip, and try to plug as many electronics as you can into it. That way, it won't be as arduous to individually shut off or unplug each appliance. You can turn them all off with one flick of the switch or
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  • 11 Ways to Clean Without Cleaning

    Source: 11 Ways to Clean Without Cleaning

    If you don't enjoy cleaning, tidying up your place may feel like a time-consuming and mind-numbing task. However, there are little tricks you can do to lessen your load and expend less effort but still have a sparkling clean residence. Here are some ways to have a clean place without cleaning:

    Everything has its place: Remember that every item has its place in your home, and if they don't, find spots for them. Organize your things and make sure that every time you take something from its rightful place, you're always returning it to where it belongs when you're done using it. You'll prevent clutter from building.

    Reduce your stuff: If you have fewer possessions, you'll have less clutter to deal with. Check out our recommendations of things you should throw away today. Be mindful when shopping and don't buy things you don't need, even if you're tempted to.

    Take off your shoes: Taking off your shoes before going into your home may feel

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  • 12 Personal Finance Moves You Should Make by Age 30

    POPSUGAR Smart LivingPOPSUGAR Smart LivingSource: 12 Personal Finance Moves You Should Make by Age 30

    Turning 30 is a big milestone in your life. You're making your goodbyes to young adulthood and slowly coming into your own. With age comes great responsibilities, and at the top of your list should be taking charge of your money. Oh, come on, that's no fun, you might think. However, even though personal finance can be a dry topic, it's undeniable that our finances play a huge role in our lives - money is always one of the top stressors, and it causes the biggest discord among couples. To help you get on track, here's what you ideally should have achieved by age 30. Of course, these goals aren't for everyone and may not be feasible for many, so try to keep them in mind as general guidelines.

    • You should already have an emergency fund. Experts generally recommend six months' worth of living expenses, but some say a year's worth is a better buffer to account for things like medical emergencies or unemployment.
    • You should be
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  • 9 Tips to Save a Bundle on Flowers

    Source: 9 Tips to Save a Bundle on Flowers

    Now that Valentine's Day is drawing closer, it's got everyone thinking about flowers. Getting flowers for your loved one is a hallmark of this holiday of love, but it can be quite costly. Whether you're buying them for yourself or someone you care about, here are some tips to save on flowers.

    1. Make your own: You can always go the DIY route and make your flowers out of creative everyday items like tape and old book pages for an eco- and budget-conscious move. These handmade flowers will not only save your wallet, but they are also a unique and creative touch.

    2. Time it: Having the flowers delivered the day before and not on Valentine's Day can be a lot cheaper, so check to see if there is a difference in cost. Buying flowers the day after can be a lot more affordable as well, so you might want to wait a little.

    3. Artificial flowers: If you're not the DIY sort, then you can always purchase artificial flowers, whether made of

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  • 21 Smart Uses for Salt You Never Thought Of

    Source: 21 Smart Uses For Salt You Never Thought Of

    You can find salt on just about anyone's table, but the basic ingredient can be used in so many smart ways other than seasoning your food. A bag of salt also costs around $1, making it a smart staple to have on hand.

    • Egg Checker: Add two teaspoons to one cup of water, and let dissolve. Fresh eggs will sink, and bad eggs will float.
    • Fruit Helper: Instead of reaching for citrus, sprinkle a dusting of salt over fruits to keep them from browning. And the hardly there salt actually accentuates the fruit's flavor.
    • Bad-Smell Eliminator: After chopping garlic or onions, rub your fingers with salt to get rid of any lingering smells.
    • Cheese-Life Extender: Extend the life of cheese by wrapping it in a cloth moistened with salt water.
    • Baked-On Mess Remover: If your casserole bubbles over, sprinkle the bottom of your oven with a handful of salt over the spill. It won't smoke and will bake into a crust that's easier to
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  • 19 Ideas for Greening Your Gift Wrap

    Source: 19 Ideas For Greening Your Gift Wrap

    For a devoted recycler, Christmas can be downright painful, with its piles and piles of wrapping paper, discarded holiday cards, ribbons, gift tags, and of course, the now-dead Christmas tree. Luckily, getting creative with your gift wrap can result in eco-friendly - and clever - ideas. Below are 19 ideas - some super earth-friendly, others just a little - to get your creative gift wrap going.

    • Upcycle paper grocery bags as gift wrap and decorate with natural materials.
    • Print out old family photos, wrap a box lid, then reuse the box year after year.
    • Make gift tags by cutting last year's Christmas cards into fun shapes.
    • Save your turkey's wishbone and make this gold wishbone DIY as decoration.
    • Wrap gifts with items you'd normally discard: Bubble Wrap, shopping bags, newspaper.
    • Make gift tags out of old playing cards or baseball cards.
    • Use an old map as wrapping paper and mark the recipient's hometown with a paint pen.

    More from POPSUGAR

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  • The No-Fail Way to Wrap a Present

    Source: The No-Fail Way to Wrap a Present

    You've found the perfect gift, but you're procrastinating wrapping it up because the task seems a bit daunting. Take away the stress and follow these no-fail directions for presents that look like they've been packaged by a pro.

    • Start by placing the box upside down on the wrapping paper so the seam ends up on the bottom of the gift. If your item isn't a rectangle or square, it's a good idea to find a specialty box to nestle it in, which you can usually pick up at the dollar store. Check the paper measurement by pressing the cut end to the middle of the box and then rolling it over to make sure you'll have enough paper. Cut the other side of the wrapping paper.
    • Now you can check the fit for the sides of the box just like you did in step one. Cut the sides as needed. Now fold over one edge of the paper so you'll have a lovely seam.
    • Tape the nonfolded side of the wrapping paper to the box, and then bring over the folded side. Secure with
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  • Top 10 Frugal Tips of 2013

    POPSUGAR Smart LivingSource: Top 10 Frugal Tips of 2013

    Saving money is always on the top of our minds, and we've shared plenty of smart budget tips with you this year. To sum up the best saving tricks of the year, we've rounded up some of our own and also turned to Reddit's popular frugal advice subcategory for the most popular saving tips.

    • Visit a "Pick Your Own" Farm: Redditor fyrie managed to score all this produce for just $9 at a pick-your-own-vegetables farm.
    • Guide to Making Cheap but Good Food: This guide shares awesome recipes and the affordable ingredients you need to make them. Check out this version of the graphic that lets you zoom in and read.
    • Mio Sauce Bottles: Use a mio energy drink bottle for the sauces and salad dressings you want to pack with your lunch.
    • Take Advantage of Price Matching: Many retailers, like Target, have a price-match policy in which they will match the price of the competitor. Oftentimes, this includes Amazon products, which you can quickly look up
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