Blog Posts by POPSUGAR Smart Living

  • The $0 Bedroom Makeover — No Joke!

    Source: The $0 Bedroom Makeover - No Joke!

    This just in: with a few savvy tips and a little creativity, it's possible to redo your bedroom without spending a penny. A clean sweep, a few clicks on Craigslist, and a little rearranging will easily make your room look like new. If you're still not convinced, let our simple tips lead the way, and get ready for your "before and after" moment.

    • Clean Sweep: First things first, you have to clean. This will make moving forward easier and give you a fresh area to work with. Start with a deep clean of your bedding, linens, and your mattress, and be sure to dust and vacuum. Don't forget the details like the windows and molding, too.
    • Organize Like a Pro: When everything has a spot, your room can look like one for the glossy pages. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, organize section by section. Start with your closet so your apparel has a spot - be prepared to toss and donate things. As you get to other parts of your bedroom, think outside
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  • 10 Strategies to Save on Your Rental Car

    Source: 10 Strategies to Save on Your Rental Car

    If there's no reliable form of public transportation, then a rental car will most likely be your main form of transportation. Here are some tips on how to save money on one of the biggest travel expenses:

    Use discounts
    . Discounts are there if you look for them. Talk to your employer or the rental company to see if your firm has an arrangement with them. Look into the organizations you belong to, such as Costco, AAA, or mileage programs, to see what kind of rental car discounts they offer. Scour the web for available online discount codes and bargain deals, and remember to also check with your credit card company to see if it offers a deal for rental cars.

    Book it early
    . Book your car early to lock in a lower rate, and if you find a cheaper rate soon after, you can just drop your old reservation and go with the better deal. Booking early is always recommended for better rates, especially during peak travel times.

    Track prices. After

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  • How to Plan a Cheap Road Trip

    POPSUGAR Smart LivingSource: How to Plan a Cheap Road Trip

    Hitting the open road this Summer to avoid a pricey vacation? The truth is, if you're not careful, road trips can end up costing way more than you'd expect. All those food breaks and hotel stops add up before you know it. We've already brought you specific money-saving tips for your road trip, and here are five more to apply no matter what your destination. Follow them and you'll soon be bragging that you took the cheapest road trip ever.

    • Rethink lodging: Remember that old co-worker who lives along your road trip route? If you've managed to keep in touch, it's perfectly acceptable to ask if you can crash for a night or two. Think of it as an opportunity to catch up! If that's not possible, research hostels or Airbnb availabilities - all are much cheaper options compared to hotels.
    • Take advantage of tech: All kinds of apps are designed to keep your road trip costs down. Download these money savers and you can search the best gas prices in
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  • How to Throw a Frugal and Festive Fourth of July Party

    Source: How to Throw a Frugal and Festive Fourth of July Party

    It's hard to believe, but just like that, Fourth of July is upon us. As one of the biggest celebrations of the Summer, it's the perfect chance to gather friends and family for a good time. But if you're feeling strapped after all the graduations and vacation planning, then you may be reluctant to throw an Independence Day party yourself. Thankfully there are ways to host a fireworks-worthy bash without having to spend too much. Below, check out some tips for a Summer soiree that's frugal but still festive and, most importantly, fun!

    • Food and drink: If you're opting for a traditional Fourth of July barbecue, then make it potluck-style so you're not the only one in charge of supplying the food. And if you live in an apartment or are grill-less, then making a dish like these savory sloppy joes is the perfect way to serve up a meal that's easy on the wallet and the cook time. For drinks, whip up one all-American signature
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  • 5 Things to Consider Before Coming Out at the Office

    POPSUGAR Smart LivingSource: 5 Things to Consider Before Coming Out at the Office

    Although there's a lot of talk in the public sphere about LGBT rights, there is still more work to be done. In fact, 41 percent of LGBT working professionals remain closeted, according to a survey by nonprofit Center for Talent Innovation. Maybe you've already come out to your family and friends, but you're nervous about sharing with your co-workers and boss.

    For those struggling to make the decision to come out at the office, we turned to Candace Gingrich-Jones, associate director of the Youth and Campus Outreach Program for the Human Rights Campaign, for advice. Gingrich-Jones is a renowned advocate for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and is also famously known as the half-sister of former Rep. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Here's what she had to say:

    • Be aware of the consequences: "One thing to make sure gets mentioned is that it is still possible in some places to be fired for being gay; for
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  • 8 Creative Uses for K-Cups

    POPSUGAR Smart LivingSource: 8 Creative Uses For K-Cups

    Although I love the Keurig single-cup brewing system, I do feel a little bothered by how many K-Cups that's used and thrown away every day without recycling. Turns out, there are many ways we can recycle K-Cups on our own; all it takes is a little creativity! But first, keep in mind that you need to stick some masking tape on the bottom to cover up the hole for some of these projects.

    Jell-O shots
    : Instead of buying plastic shot glasses, use your old K-Cups. They are the perfect size for shots - not too big and not too small!

    Freeze leftover sauces: If you want to store some leftover or homemade sauces but have nowhere to put them, pour them into K-Cups, cover with plastic wrap, and put them in the freezer. What's great about using these small plastic cups is that if you make a lot of sauce, you can freeze it in small servings. That way, you can defrost just enough for one dinner.

    Freeze specialty ice
    : Want really-cool-looking ices for your Summer

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  • 8 Tips to Up Your Chances of Getting an Email Response

    Source: 8 Tips to Up Your Chances of Getting an Email Response

    We're all familiar with the feeling that the emails we sent must have been sucked into some black hole because we never received a response. Sure, it's possible that your email went straight to spam, but the more likely scenario is either the recipient isn't interested or is too busy to respond. Here are some tips that may score you a reply:

    • Check your writing. Make sure the email is free of grammar and punctuation errors. It tends to look less professional if it's rife with mistakes, which may mean your email won't be taken seriously.
    • Stay professional but friendly. Watch the tone of your email. Make sure you keep it professional but friendly. And remember not to go overboard with the friendliness. Stay clear of emoticons, an excessive amount of exclamation marks, and capitalizing words for emphasis - you're not a used-car salesman.
    • Keep it short. Try to be as brief as you can. If the person does not know you,
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  • 7 Tips to Writing the Perfect Cover Letter

    Source: 7 Tips to Writing the Perfect Cover Letter

    Although your résumé is definitely important, the cover letter can also be a make-or-break factor. Before you even get an interview, your application will have to impress the recruiter or hiring manager, so perfecting your cover letter is key to earning a face-to-face meet. Here are some tips for the perfect cover letter that will catch any recruiter's eye:

    • Tweak your tone for every company. Don't send generic cover letters that can be used for any job application. You want to make sure that the tone of your letter fits the type of firm you're applying to. Is the company looking for someone with sass or someone more serious? Figure that out on your own, and tailor your letter to what suits the company.
    • Make a case. You won't be able to get to this on your résumé, so be sure to make the case for why you're the right person for the job on your cover letter and why you want to work for them. A good way to sell yourself is to
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  • 10 Essential Steps to Take Before a Job Interview

    Source: 10 Essential Steps to Take Before a Job Interview

    Once you've snagged a job interview, the inevitable nerves that follow can make it difficult to focus on preparation. With a little bit of planning, though, you can bring your best business-ready self to the table. Follow these tips leading up to your big moment.

    Several hours earlier:

    1. It's important to have a healthy, substantial breakfast, of course, but it's just as important to eat well the night before so that you feel your best in the morning. Choose nutritious foods that fill and satisfy, and remember to limit caffeine to one or two servings. Chances are you'll already be feeling jittery, so put a cap on your coffee consumption.

    2. Check the hourly forecast and grab any extra items that you may need: an umbrella, a raincoat, gloves, or suitable footwear, for instance.

    3. Shoes are important: make sure your pair is both weather-appropriate and easy to walk in, because the last thing you want to do is trip your way

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  • Up Your LinkedIn Game with These 5 Networking Tips

    Source: Up Your LinkedIn Game With These 5 Networking Tips

    As job hunting shifts to the online space, it's vital to know how best to position yourself online and network on the web. Not doing so can mean losing out on career opportunities and facing a harder uphill battle when competing against male job seekers for desirable positions.

    To get started on workin' your web contacts, read these five dos from Krista Canfield, the senior PR manager for LinkedIn:


    • Do add a photo to your LinkedIn profile. If you add a photo, you're seven times more likely to have people view your profile. Adding a photo is also important if you're reaching out to people you've lost touch with. People never forget a face. (Especially if you changed your last name when you got married. A college classmate or former boss may remember you as Karen Harris, not Karen Smith, so a photo will jog their memory.)
    • Do find mentors and build out your peer network. Since you can easily search for people by
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