Sunday, October 24, 2010

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During football season, nothing goes with a game like bbq and beer. So, it's Saturday afternoon, you're in your apartment and it's time to make this happen. Your beer's sitting pretty all cold in the fridge, but let's not defile your poor meat by turning it out on a George Foreman and trying to call it BBQ.

Now, you could always haul your charcoal and ingredients down to your apartment complex's grilling area. But, I'm not really sure how quality of a football game you're going to have on your portable TV with no friends. Might as well go tailgate. (Click here for the best tailgate grill. EVER.)

So, obviously there's one advantage of homeownership; and that is barbecuing. But, who's to say you don't have a "backyard?" Ditch the Foreman and the communal fire pit and check out these awesome smaller grills fit for your porch. Yeah, your "backyard" may be tiny, but here's an instance when size really doesn't matter. These state-of-the-art miniature grills were designed to fit in smaller places, but are powerful enough to hold up to 50 lbs of food in some cases! Just be sure you check first with your management, or review your lease agreement, regarding grilling on your porch. So do yourself a flavor and pick below from one of our favorite grills, so you can get barbecuing before the season's over!

This is ideal for those who want the ultimate porch grill. It provides that authentic grilling feel, but is perfectly sized for easy storage and doesn't take up a lot of space. At 83 pounds, don't plan on any picnics. Price is about $325.54.

Features: This full-size model maintains and often expands upon the tabletop original's conveniences, while benefiting from more permanent patio installation. The liquid propane grill employs two 13,850 BTU burners to heat its 393-square inch cooking area, providing space for several dozen hot dogs or even a medium-sized turkey. Weber crafted the grill's tall lid and body in tough cast aluminum, framed by a heat- and moisture- resistant nylon frame with glass reinforcement. A simple push-button ignition fires up the stainless-steel burners. Users adjust the burners' output with a control knob and monitor the heat on a built-in thermometer in the lid. Meat cooks evenly on top of the two cooking grates. Constructed in sturdy cast-iron and porcelain enameling, the grates resist warping and rusting while cleaning with relative ease. Drip ducts help direct and collect greasy drippings. Two polyethylene side tables attach to create extra preparation space. Spatulas and tongs can be hung from the tool holders on the grill's frame. The provided regulator hose connects the grill to a separately purchased 20-pound propane tank, which stows unobtrusively on a lower shelf. Weber offers a limited five-year warranty for this item. With the lid closed, the grill measures 44 by 36-1/2 by 22 inches.

2.Weber 386002 Q 100 Portable Propane Gas Grill

If the 300 model is too big, too expensive, or just too heavy, the smaller 100 version is the perfect portable gas grill ideal for both your porch and to transport. It's easy to use and clean, while also rugged in construction. Priced at only about $139.00, this topnotch small gas grill is a good choice for apartment living and your wallet.

Features: Weber crafted the grill's lid and body in tough cast aluminum with a sturdy glass-reinforced nylon frame. The grill ignites at the push of a button for reliable lighting, and an infinitely adjustable burner valve with a high-quality regulator makes it easy to control the heat. Meat sizzles on the porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates, while drippings follow the drip ducts to reduce potential flare-ups and enable quicker cleaning. Other highlights include a flavorizer system integrated into the cooking grate, a removable catch pan, and a large weather-resistant lid handle. The grill operates on a standard 14.1- or 16.4-ounce propane cylinder. Propane does not come included, but Weber does enclose a Weber Q cookbook of recipes and inspiration. The grill measures 16 by 27 by 23-1/2 inches with the lid open and carries a five-year limited warranty.

3. Outdoor Great Room Cook Number Series Electric Grills
For those people who's apartment complexes have banned gas or charcoal grills, there are a few other options that will still give you that authentic grilling experience. Outdoor Great Room has successfully managed to create an electric portable grill that can be used both indoors and out to successfully sear a steak and grill any other meat or vegetable. If you're confined to plug-ins, and you have the money, then this is the one for you at about $319.20.

Features: The appliance delivers the same power as a full-size grill, but it runs on ordinary household current--simply plug it in for grilling, roasting, convection baking, and more. In minutes, it can reach temperatures up to 500 degrees F for searing meat or fillets. The unit features a built-in food probe and an exclusive Cook Number System with 10 precise settings that indicate when food has been cooked to perfection. Its Cook Number technology and thermodynamic design provide cleaner, greener grilling that leaves virtually no carbon footprint. In addition, the high-efficiency electric grill conserves energy and costs only 10 to 15 cents per hour to use. Compare that to as much as $1.50 an hour for ordinary 30,000-BTU gas grills or up to $3 an hour for 60,000-BTU grills. Other highlights include 250 square inches of cooking space, a searing temperature control knob, and a slide-out grease drawer and aluminum tray for easy cleanup. Optional grill carts can be purchased separately. The electric grill measures 19 by 21 by 9 inches and carries a one-year limited warranty.

4.Brinkmann 810-5301-6 Smoke'N Grill

Starting at only $69.88, this is an awesome priced charcoal smoker and grill. Enjoy slow-cooked BBQ and authentic smokehouse flavor. It's perfect for large gatherings (PARTY) as it comes equipped with two chrome-plated steel cooking grills that can hold up to 50 pounds of food!

Features: Cook a ham on one level and a chicken on the other. Both the top and bottom grill levels cook at about the same temperature, so when cooking different types or cuts of meat at the same time, place the meat that cooks the fastest on the top grill for convenient removal. The unit's domed lid supplies a heat indicator for checking the temperature at a glance, while its front-hinged chrome door allows for adding charcoal or water during the smoking process. This is an easy-to-clean lightweight design at just 24 pounds. The charcoal smoker and grill measures 17 by 17 by 32 inches and carries a one-year limited warranty.

5. Outdoor Chef - City Grill with Cradle

If you want to simmer some juicy steaks, or get that nice authentic grilled feel to your meat, the City Grill will help and it's priced at only around $172.27. Yes, it may look like just any ordinary basic grill, but it's unique features make it anything but as it's considered one of the most versatile outdoor cooking systems ever created.

Features:The Flip Funnel design is the key to its over reaching success. Not only does this feature stop annoying flare ups from burning the exterior of your food, but it also prevents clouds of smoke from blinding you during the cooking process or simply aggravating your next door neighbor. You leave all these memories behind with the City Grill. The Flip Funnel is also important in cooking the way you want. If you need to bake a whole turkey, the City Grill will cook just like a convention oven. You will not have to turn your foods at any time during this cooking option. But by adjusting the Flip Funnel into the upright form, simply by turning the device upside down, you completely change the cooking dynamic of the City Grill.

If you're feeling crafty (i.e. you're broke), you could always try to make your own homemade "flower box" balcony grill. Seriously! This is inspired by a real product called Balcony Grill Bruce. It's not on the market yet, but you could easily try to construct the concept yourself. How challenging could it really be to convert a metal flower box into a basic charcoal grill? Be sure it's hung securely on the balustrade, otherwise there goes your meat and your only grill... If you can get it to stay put, a real plus is the fact that it's position on the railing won't smoke out your apartment as the flow will move on up and out. So, just be sure to invite the neighbors--and even if they pass you up on your offer, they may let it slide after seeing your creation. As for management, they on the other hand may not be as impressed with your handyman skills, so be sure to get their approval first.

Worse case scenario: Your apartment's management says no to everything. Who cares? Hit up a homeowning friend. I mean what are friends for if they can't provide you with a little TV time on their couch, free beer, and cook you up some homemade BBQ out back? See, you too can enjoy the benefits of homeownership!

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Friday, October 15, 2010

You're approved to move, but can you afford to move-in?

Times are tough and if you're like the majority of Americans out there, the economy has wreaked havoc on your credit. Apartment communities know that, which is why many of them are becoming more lax in their approvals. However, despite getting approved, there's the next obstacle: MOVE-IN FEES.

Most people's funds are super tight right now, and so accommodating for moving expenses can be an absolute blow to your budget. Just because a community approves you, bad credit and all, doesn't mean it's not without stipulations. To cover the risk, community's will generally raise your deposit from the standard $200 to an entire month's rent! Not to mention, you've got the amenities fees, administration fees, application fees...fees, fees, fees.

And oh yeah, we almost forgot to include the expenses of actual moving. You think a moving truck, movers, and boxes and supplies come cheap? They just add to the monstrous list that many of us aren't financially prepared for. So as it all starts to add up, you've now got to come out of pocket with say $2000... AND you still haven't even received your deposit back from your last apartment. Yikes.

Clearly, moving costs can get crazy. But, there's always a solution to a problem. How about a rental deposit loan? Yes, they do exist. There are companies these days, like, that can actually help you get access to the extra cash you need for the deposit on your new place. And get this, there are no credit checks required! So, apparently these short term loan companies are falling into line with the apartment communities. Lax is the word nowadays and we like it.

Obviously, each company is different, but we can give you an idea of how it works by using as a great example. It's really simple--you make a quick online application and if you're approved, you could receive your money in as little as 24 hours. But of course, there's always a catch.... Here's their requirements:

be a US Citizen or legal resident alien at least 18 years old;
have been employed at your current job for 3 consecutive months or more;
earn a monthly minimum take home pay of $800 after taxes;
have a valid checking account to receive your money.So, if you meet all four of these requisites, then you're good to apply. We checked it out, and it takes literally less than a minute to apply. And once you're approved, they electronically deposit the amount directly into your checking account and you should receive your money within 24 hours.

Still a little skeptical? Here's some answers to your questions:
Is my application secure and confidential? utilizes secure 128-bit encrypted order forms online. They deeply respect customers’ desire for privacy in managing their personal finances. The loan application is confidential, and your personal information will be treated accordingly.

What is the maximum amount I can borrow?
The maximum amount you can borrow is typically regulated by state law and at the discretion of the lender. You qualify for a particular advance amount based on your current income. There are times when you may not be able to borrow as much as you would like, but a rental deposit loan should be just a part of a short-term financial solution.

How long will it take for me to get approved?
Once your application is submitted, it is readily approved by one of their network lenders. To increase the success of your application, you should only apply to one website and payoff any outstanding short term loans.

How do I receive my cash advance?
Once approved, an email confirmation will be sent to you and your money will be electronically deposited directly into your checking account.

Do I need any collateral or at least good credit?
No. Unlike other financial institutions, RentalDepositCash does not obtain a complete credit report. If you have bad credit, a bankruptcy, or no credit at all, a rental deposit loan may be the perfect solution for you.Pretty neat stuff here. Especially since it's hard enough getting any type of loan these days. But, since your collateral is your job, not a secured asset, your chances are much greater than applying anywhere else! This may be the next best alternative to having to borrow money from family or a friend... cause we all know that's never really fun. As well, a short term loan will be easier on your pockets to stay current, so this may just be the next step to getting your credit in the right direction, too! We can't guarantee you'll get approved, but it's definitely worth a shot! :)

Want to try it out? CLICK HERE to fill out an application right now!

Also, save 10% OFF PODS by using the promo code RGW...or simply CLICK HERE! Any moving discounts help!!

Article by Lindsay Van Leer @

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

You're Online Dating & You Don't Even Know It!

Is there still a stigma associated with online dating? Many of you say yes, while others are convinced that the decision to plug your personal stats into eHarmony,, and their ilk is now as socially acceptable as sending a tweet or checking into Foursquare.

Even for those of us who haven't yet embraced the ever-increasing trend towards formalized online dating, the truth is that we're sort of kidding ourselves. We may be holding out against the implication that we need to sign up for one of these sites in order to find love, but almost all of us are romantically engaging with someone online via the least stigmatized social media outlet out there - Facebook.

Although Facebook revolves around the presupposition of "friendship," insisting on calling everyone from your mother, to your high school math teacher, to that guy you met at a bar your "friend," your Facebook friendships are no less ambiguous than many of your off-line relationships. Facebook is essentially one big online party, rife with flirtations, mixed signals, behavioral assumptions, and outright Jersey Shore-style creeping.

So, since Facebook is practically an unavoidable player in our love lives these days, how exactly does it factor into our day-to-day romances? In what ways does its functionality compare to those of more explicit online dating sites? In what ways are you in denial that you're already online dating? Let's break it down, feature-by-feature.

The Friend Request - Sending a friend request to someone you've just met, romantically-motivated or not, can send a surprisingly clear signal of interest. You basically are asking for an invite to know all the details about them - friends, family, job, likes, relationship status, photos... Clearly, it's a next step forward in any burgeoning friendship, professional relationship, or flirtation.

The Poke - Poking someone on Facebook is roughly the equivalent of winking at someone on OkCupid. Who knows what the hell it means? Consider it a way of jumping on a "friend's" radar without actually needing to have something interesting to say. It can be used to communicate, "I can't think of a cute thing to write, so maybe this'll get your attention," or "Let's face it, I'm a little creepy and I'm staring at your picture right now." It can mean whatever you want, and take the place of personalized flirtation or interaction. Just another option to flirt with your new - or old - "friend."

The Message - Writing an individualized, private message is a way to establish contact without allowing the entire Facebook community to see it. It's equivalent to, well, writing a private message on a dating site. Want to reconnect with a blast from your past? Sending a message is a great way to initiate an actual e-conversation without having to worry that you'll be publicly ignored or rejected. And somehow, it still feels like less of a "big deal" than sending an actual email.

The Wall Post - We now come to the wall post - possibly the most charged of the Facebook flirtations. If you want to flirt with someone, then you send them a message. But if you want everyone on Facebook to know that you're flirting with someone, then you write on their wall. Being overtly flirtatious on someone's wall turns up the heat and presents a challenge to other "friends" who may be flirting with him or her as well. You're basically marking your territory. Most dating sites don't seem to have an equivalent option, perhaps because it can create a romantically competitive - as opposed to open - dynamic. Careful with that one.

The Status Update - Here's a way for people to casually check in on each other without appearing overly eager or invested (sort of a "It's not like I was thinking about you, but then your status popped up in my news feed and I just had to comment!" vibe). It's an opportunity to flirt, to subtly remind someone that you exist, and to bond over shared interests and witticisms. Become a regular commenter, and you'll soon feel like you know each other and are actually a part of each others' lives! Strange, right?

The Photos - Does it look like they're dating someone? Are they actually as good-looking as they appear in their main photo? What are their friends like? Are they big partiers? Are they awkward? The secrets of the Photos tab - and the questions that it can answer - are neverending, and much more expansive and revealing than the three or four carefully selected photos that you might find on OkCupid. Facebook certainly wins for comprehensiveness in this category.

Mutual friends - You don't even need to be Facebook friends with someone to see who your mutual friends are! Score. Want some dirt on that guy or girl you just met? Wondering if they're single? Hoping someone can hook you up, or put in a good word for you? Now you instantly know who to ask.

Facebook Places - In some ways, Facebook Places has the most potential to turn us all into psycho stalkers of our new romantic prospects. The best use of this new feature is to find out what kinds of places your "friend" likes to frequent, simply as a way to get to know someone better. The worst use? To find out where he or she is and just "happen" to show up there as well. Really, please, don't do that.

So all of us who think we're too cool for online dating, let's say it together: we are engaging in Techno-Romance, even if we're supposedly opposed to dragging our love lives online. We're not any more sophisticated, or any wiser, than our friends. We just prefer the ambiguity of the post-dating world to the explicitness of more traditional modes of romantic "dating" interactions - even when it's all taking place online.

No surprises there.

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