Blog Posts by POPSUGAR Smart Living

  • 5 Ways to Spend Less This Holiday Season

    SavvySugarSource: 5 Ways to Spend Less This Holiday Season

    Splurge is the word of the season, whether pertaining to eggnog or gifts. The holiday music and displays make it a festive time of year, but it can also be a pretty pricey time if you're not careful. No need to forgo celebrating all together this year, just follow some of my tips on spending less this month.

    • Plan a Pollyanna : What do Pollyannas, Secret Santas, and White Elephants have in common? They're all types of gift exchanges that allow you to buy one gift instead of several. Plan one of these events made for giving with your friends or family (or both) and you'll all end up spending less this season.
    • Swap Party Dresses: If you're not excited about repeating last year's party duds at this year's soirees, call your girlfriends who are the same size to see if they're up for trading attire this year. You can always put your own touch on a piece with your own accessories, shoes, and festive attitude.
    • Make It
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  • Expert Shares Two Ways to Save on Dry Cleaning

    Source: Expert Shares Two Ways to Save on Dry Cleaning

    Dry cleaning can run up a hefty bill, especially when it's holiday season and you're attending parties galore. Annie Ladino, a celebrity stylist who recently worked with Harper's Bazaar to give MBA women wardrobe makeovers, shared with us how to extend time in between dry cleaning, which she says is really the key to saving money on professional laundering.
    Here is her advice:

    • Keep it stain-free. "Keep portable stain removers such as Shout wipes or Tide to go pens in your purse. You can use them right away and prevent a stain from setting into the fabric."
    • DIY. "Try at-home dry cleaning kits which are very easy to use. Each comes with a spot remover and a special bag that generates steam. You can clean up to four garments at a time and while they don't eliminate the need for the cleaner altogether, but they get rid of wrinkles and odors, allowing for extra use."

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  • 10 Nice Things to Do for People that Won't Cost Much

    Source: 10 Nice Things to Do For People That Won't Cost Much

    Although it's good to focus on your own happiness, it's always beneficial to spread the joy around. In fact, studies have shown that people who perform kind acts see a boost in mood. Since today is world kindness day, let's celebrate by doing some nice things for people.

    • Send a postcard. Send a postcard to a friend or family member who doesn't live in the same city, updating them on your life and telling them that you're thinking of them.
    • Give affirmation. Praise someone about a quality that they have that you really appreciate. Make sure it's true for you or it won't sound genuine!
    • Help someone with their belongings. If you see an elderly person struggling with their belongings or even groceries, offer to help carry them. Perhaps you can help them load the bags into their car, or if you live in the same neighborhood, you can drop them off at their door.
    • Aid someone with their job search.
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  • 7 Hotel Hacks You've Never Heard Of

    Source: 7 Hotel Hacks You've Never Heard Of

    There seems to be a spike in hotel dwellers in the areas hit by Hurricane Sandy. It's hard to live out of a hotel room, but here are some tips that may make living conditions more bearable.

    • Make grilled cheese with an iron. If you're looking to heat up your cheese sandwich, wrap it in aluminum foil, the press an iron on top of it. Use the highest heat setting, then press each side for 30 seconds and check to see if the sandwich has been toasted.
    • Sterilize items with a microwave. Other than the obvious use for a microwave - heating up food or cooking - you can use the microwave to sterilize items like sponges, toothbrushes, dish clothes, and cutting boards. Remember to dampen them with water, lemon juice, or vinegar first before nuking. Also, don't microwave the items for more than a minute.
    • Use towels to humidify and cool the air. Hang a wet towel to dry in your hotel room, and you'll have an instant humidifier.
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  • Plan Your Sale Hit List with These Black Friday Store Openings

    Source: Plan Your Sale Hit List With These Black Friday Store Openings

    Friday, Nov. 23, marks the date many retailers have been planning for all year: Black Friday. While the day of in-store super savings may not get you a steep discount on everything you need for the holiday season, the day after Thanksgiving certainly provides amazing prices on a select number of enticing products.

    That is, of course, if you're one of the first customers through the door, and many people take that status very seriously, lining up hours or even days in advance in order to snag that cheap flat screen TV or video game console. Whether you plan to join them or to take your chances and show up when the store opens its doors, check out our list of major retailers and their store opening times. Happy shopping!

    Best Buy
    : Nov. 23, 12 a.m.
    : Nov. 23, 12 a.m.
    : Nov. 23, 12 a.m.
    Walmart: Nov. 22, 8 p.m.
    : Nov. 23, 12 a.m.
    Toys "R" Us
    : Nov. 22, 9 p.m.
    JC Penney: Nov. 23, 4 a.m.

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  • 10 Awesome Places to Score Free Samples

    Source: 10 Awesome Places to Score Free Samples

    Trying the product out before buying is always a good way to make sure you're not wasting any money on something you don't like. And if you're looking to get your next freebie fix, there are places where you can get great, quality samples. All it takes is a little know-how and perhaps even a keen eye. Here are some good sources for free samples:

    • Supermarkets, superstores, and farmers markets. If you think that there's no such thing as a free lunch, you might change your mind when browsing the aisles of your supermarket or local Costco. The farmers market also offers plenty of free samples, so be sure to stop by to sample the wares.
    • Pet-food suppliers. If you want to try a new brand of pet food but don't know if your pet will take to it, you can contact the manufacturers of the pet food brand and request a free sample from them.
    • Sephora. Shop online at Sephora, and get free samples with every order. You get to
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  • 6 Tips for Dealing with Debt Collectors

    Source: 6 Tips For Dealing With Debt Collectors

    If your bill is long past its due date, then expect the debt collectors to come a-knockin'. Hiding from them and pretending they don't exist is not a good solution; it will only aggravate the problem and make things worse. Dealing with the issue head-on might help you catch a break. Here are a couple tips for dealing with those dreaded debt collectors:

    Know your rights.
    As consumers, we are protected under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act against harassment from debt collectors. There are certain things they aren't supposed to do, such as calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., using abusive language, and repeatedly bothering you with multiple calls.
    Talk to them.
    Don't avoid them. Pick up the phone, start talking, and address the bills you need to pay. Ignoring them may give them grounds to file a lawsuit.
    Dispute it.
    If you don't owe the money, then it is within your rights to send a letter to the collector up to 30 days after

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  • 12 Chores You Can Pay Someone Else to Do — and What They Cost

    Source: 12 Chores You Can Pay Someone Else to Do - and What They Cost

    We can't all be celebrities and pay personal assistants to do mundane chores we dread doing. However, you can hire someone to do one-off tasks: the website TaskRabbit hooks up those looking to pay for assistance with people who want to earn money for chores. When I was looking through the website, I discovered pretty much every imaginable task you can think of. Here are some examples:

    • Ikea delivery: The most common recent Ikea delivery transactions have been completed for about $16 to $35.
    • Ikea assembly: One of the most tiresome things about Ikea furniture is putting it together. The most popular historical price according to TaskRabbit data is $45.
    • Grocery delivery: Recent listings have offered at least $12 for grocery delivery, but the most common asking price range seems to be around $20 to $30
    • Help moving heavy stuff: The most common task price for help with "heavy-lifting"
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  • 5 Ways to Reuse Your Dryer Sheets

    Source: 5 Ways to Reuse Your Dryer Sheets

    I find it such a waste to throw away products you only use once, so I'm always looking for ways to recycle them. A used dryer sheet is actually a really versatile product with a ton of different applications, so don't throw it away after the dry cycle is up! Recycle your dryer sheets in these ways:

    • Freshen your suitcase: Leave a dryer sheet in your suitcase when you're traveling so it'll stay fresh and smell it too.
    • Reduce static cling: Get rid of static cling by rubbing dryer sheets on the problem areas.
    • Clean irons: Rub the iron on the dryer sheet while the heat is set to low, and the sheet will clean the residue off the plate.
    • Remove pet and human hair: Run the dryer sheet over fabrics with a lot of fur or hair on them, such as clothing or furniture.
    • Clean bathroom gunk: If it's time to clean your bath or shower, then grab a dryer sheet for scrubbing. Apparently, dryer sheets help to keep showers and baths free of
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  • 9 Dollar Store DIY Projects to Try Out

    SavvySugarSavvySugarSource: 9 Dollar Store DIY Projects to Try Out

    Some DIY projects can get pricey because of the materials, but you can always keep your costs low if you stick to dollar store items! I recently spotted this cool site called Dollar Store Crafts that has plenty of great ideas for what to do with your $1 goodies. Read on to find out some of my favorite dollar store projects.

    • Umbrella With Ruffles: To make the umbrella with ruffles, purchase $1 shower curtain liners from your local dollar store to make cute ruffles and sew them onto a plain umbrella you already have. Bonus points for you if you want to add a cute flowerlike detail using an old button as the center of the flower and sewing on the ruffle around it.
    • T-Shirt Necklace: There's plenty of cheap t-shirts you can find at the dollar store, and if you find one in a color you love, you can consider making this flowery bib necklace out of the T.
    • Japanese Lantern: Make this Japanese-style lantern out of manila
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