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Consumer Reports finds which mattress brands fared best & where to shopConsumer Reports finds which mattress brands fared best & where to shop
[Sep. 23, 2009] Buying a bed can be tricky. Different retailers rarely call a model by the same name and sales seem to be perpetual, leaving shoppers in the dark about bottom-line prices. What’s a shopper to do? Consumer Reports asked 17,444 online subscribers who recently bought a mattress if they were satisfied with their purchase and where to shop to get the best deal.
 
Top Consumer Reports homeowners insurance group ratingsTop Consumer Reports homeowners insurance group ratings
[Aug. 25, 2009] Excellent homeowners insurance coverage can be costly and hard to get according to a Consumer Reports’ survey that asked 10,700 readers about their satisfaction with their homeowners insurance claims service in the last few years.
 
Over half of homeowners plan remodel projects this year; 65% will do some of the workOver half of homeowners plan remodel projects this year; 65% will do some of the work
[Aug. 3, 2009] Consumer Reports latest poll on home remodeling reveals that over the next 12 months, 54 percent of homeowners are planning a remodeling project and nearly two-thirds (65%) plan to do at least some of the work themselves. The most popular types of work include painting (56%), designing (39%) and flooring (34%).
 
Consumer Reports highlights best kitchen and bath productsConsumer Reports highlights best kitchen and bath products
[Jul. 4, 2009] The August issue of Consumer Reports’ features the top kitchen and bath products ranging from refrigerators, cooking appliances, dishwashers, to flooring, countertops, toilets and showerheads. Consumers can find top-performing products that fit within their budget without sacrificing style.
 
Consumer Reports top laundry detergent picks can save up to $140 per yearConsumer Reports top laundry detergent picks can save up to $140 per year
[Jun. 4, 2009] Consumer Reports’ latest tests of laundry detergents revealed that using top-rated detergents like Tide 2X Ultra for Cold Water in cold water cycles, can save people up to $140 per year. At 19 cents per average load, it costs roughly $80 per year less than the priciest detergents, and using cold water can trim another $60 in energy costs.
 
Consumer Reports finds that you can save up to $130 a year by switching toilet paperConsumer Reports finds that you can save up to $130 a year by switching toilet paper
[Apr. 26, 2009] Consumers don’t have to pay a lot for strong and soft toilet paper, according to the latest report from Consumer Reports. Store brands like Costco’s Kirkland Signature and Walmart’s White Cloud cost roughly half as much as brand-name toilet paper, and scored very good or better for softness and disintegration in Consumer Reports’ tests.
 
Consumer Reports finds the best values in lawn gearConsumer Reports finds the best values in lawn gear
[Apr. 25, 2009] Shoppers don’t have to spend thousands to get the best mowers and tractors, according to the latest Ratings in the May issue of Consumer Reports. Nearly 80 models of mowers and tractors went through comprehensive testing to determine the best values. Four gas-powered and self-propelled mowers were designated CR Best Buys, including the new Toro Recycler 20330, $320, with front wheel drive, and the Craftsman 37435, $300, along with the Toro Recycler 20332, $390, and the Toro Recycler 20333, $420.
 
ShopSmart finds that only 7% of women hate cleaning their homes
[Mar. 31, 2009] According to a new poll featured in the May 2009 issue of ShopSmart, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, women spend an average of five hours per week cleaning their homes. Surprisingly, only seven percent said that they hate cleaning their home, while 25% said that they love cleaning or find it relaxing.
 
Burglarproof your house with cheap and easy tips from ShopSmart
[Jan. 29, 2009] After years of decline, some cities are seeing a rise in burglary and other property crimes, a pattern that often occurs in a weakening economy. So what can you do to protect your home without draining your wallet on an expensive security system? The March 2009 issue of ShopSmart magazine, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, shares low-cost and free strategies that can make all the difference.
 
Consumer Reports tests reveal great washers for as little as $400
[Jan. 22, 2009] Consumer Reports’ latest tests of 50 washing machines uncovered great values among top- and front-loaders. Three top-loaders by Estate, GE, and Maytag washed well and quickly for $500 and less. For a couple hundred dollars more, shoppers can purchase front-loaders for better energy and water efficiency.
 
Before and after a storm
[Oct. 1, 2008] I'm not in the business of weather predicting, so I have no idea what the hurricanes and tropical storms in the north Atlantic will do. For those of you who weren't here in 1996, hurricanes have been known to have serious impacts in Chatham County. By Al Cooke, Extension Agent
 
Consumer Reports tests decking and stains that can cut down on maintenanceConsumer Reports tests decking and stains that can cut down on maintenance
[Jul. 24, 2008] Most homeowners installing decks use real wood, but Consumer Reports’ latest tests of common decking materials reveal that synthetic planks can offer lasting good looks with less upkeep. The July issue features the results of Consumer Reports’ one-year exposure tests of wood, composite, plastic, and aluminum decking materials, which found that some synthetic decking didn’t make the grade for rigidity, and some tonier wood products looked worse for wear.
 
Consumer Reports offers tips to beat the heat while trimming energy costsConsumer Reports offers tips to beat the heat while trimming energy costs
[Jul. 19, 2008] Consumer Reports offers tips on how to trim energy bills while still staying cool this summer including buying advice for ceiling fans and air conditioner ratings. CR’s special cooling package, available in the July issue, features “Cheap chills,” tips to stay comfortable while using less air conditioning as well as buying advice for ceiling fans, ratings of small, midsized and large air conditioners, and reviews of six popular air conditioner brands.
 
Insulation is like sunscreen for your homeInsulation is like sunscreen for your home
[Jul. 5, 2008] With warm weather here, can your home handle the sun’s blazing rays? Insulation is like sunscreen for your home, and you need about 19 inches in the attic to maximize protection against the heat. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that an estimated 60 million American homes have under-insulated attics.
 
Beating the back-to-school time crunch
[Jul. 5, 2008] Time-pressed families heading back to school this fall may find they really need that extra hour of morning sun offered by daylight savings time. The transition from the schedule-free days of summer to the more regimented requirements of school can create chaos in even the most orderly home.

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