3 gifts for the house that add comfort and value

3 gifts for the house that add comfort and value

What if you took all the money you plan to spend on individual gifts for your family and spent the whole chunk of change on something for the home that everyone can enjoy. After all, how many sweaters or portable devices do you need? Installing a stationary generator to get you through the next blackout or central air conditioning to survive another hot summer will improve not only your quality of life but the value of your home as well. … (read more)

Best and worst infomercial products for holiday gifts

Best and worst infomercial products for holiday gifts

With only a limited number of buying days left until Christmas, you probably need to grab a few last-minute gifts. Those as-seen-on-TV products might catch your eye when you’re at a chain pharmacy or a retailer such as Bed Bath & Beyond.Or maybe they stop you when you’re flipping through the channels and come across one of those silly-yet-captivating high-energy infomercial ads during which a frenetic pitchman or pitchwoman tries to sell you on the fantastic claims about a product that will … (read more)

Last minute gifts that cost nothing but time

Last minute gifts that cost nothing but time

Days are numbered for procrastinators who haven’t yet started their holiday shopping. But you don’t have to venture into the mall if you don’t want to. Instead of buying a token gift, give your friend or neighbor something that costs you little and benefits them a lot—time. Buy a nice card and insert an IOU offering to walk their dog, do some yard work or home repairs, or drive them to an appointment. Here are some ideas to get you started.

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Top-rated baby gifts for new parents

Top-rated baby gifts for new parents

As tiny as they are, babies need a lot of stuff. So helping new or soon-to-be parents furnish the nursery makes a welcome gift, especially around the holidays. The little rascals need many new things all at once and a sturdy crib or stroller can cost hundreds of dollars. Consumer Reports tests such baby essentials as cribs, strollers, car seats, and more. Here’s some advice from our experts on the best baby products for new parents.

Cribs
A newborn may seem too … (read more)

Top-rated healthy gifts

Top-rated healthy gifts

Have your friends and family been eating more and exercising less because of the holidays? Help them reverse that trend with some healthy gifts. Here’s a roundup of top products, from our experts.

For fitness buffs

Activity trackers. Exercise fanatics on your list will appreciate this gift because trackers are smarter, more accurate, and do a whole lot more than measure how much one walks. The Fitbit One is a CR Best Buy. The Nike+ FuelBand is Recommended.

Heart-rate monitor. Vigorous exercisers … (read more)

Top-rated gifts for your favorite cook

Top-rated gifts for your favorite cook

For some, pushing a microwave button counts as cooking and then there are those who enjoy spending a Saturday afternoon leafing through cookbooks and trying new recipes or rolling out dough for an after dinner sweet. Here’s some cooking gear that impressed the testers at Consumer Reports and that your favorite cook will appreciate.
 
The sharpest knives in the drawer. Zwilling J.A. Henckels is a premium name in kitchen knives and its $ 315 Twin Professional “S” 7-piece set was … (read more)

Wedding gifts from our tests that stand the test of time

Wedding gifts from our tests that stand the test of time

The start of the traditional wedding season is here and with it the questions: What to wear and what to buy the newlyweds? The average couple registers for 153 items, according to TheKnot.com, and kitchen gear and small appliances are popular requests. To help you sort through the choices, Consumer Reports picked some of the top-rated housewares from our tests ranging in price from $ 60 to $ 450.

Coffeemakers. Decked out in Swavorski crystals, the (read more)

Fine Chocolate Gifts

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, if you haven’t already got your sweetie something, check out these fine chocolate gifts, sure to impress. We’ve had the pleasure of indulging in these three choco collections and they really look as good as they taste – a must-try!

For the party girl…
Party Girl Gourmet Chocolates & Truffles from Wine Enthusiast make a great gift, on their own or paired with her favorite wine. These hand-made sweet treats feature an assortment of Dark Ganache, Milk Ganache and Irish Crème chocolates adorned with the signature Party … (read more)