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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$10,000 built-in refrigerator ranks last in our Ratings

$ 10,000 built-in refrigerator ranks last in our Ratings

Consumers willing to spend ten grand on a refrigerator might not be too concerned about annual energy costs. But at Consumer Reports we take energy efficiency seriously, and so models that consume a lot of power relative to their capacity in our tests get dinged. That was the case with the Fhiaba Series MG Stand Plus MG8991TST6/3U, a $ 10,000 Italian-made refrigerator that landed at the bottom of our built-in refrigerator Ratings, with an overall score of 27 … (read more)

Mowers with premium engines run quieter and last longer

Mowers with premium engines run quieter and last longer

At Consumer Reports, we strongly recommend that any walk-behind mower you buy have a premium engine. These engines, with their more efficient overhead-valve designs, run cleaner and quieter, and are easier to maintain. And the engines have better odds of lasting through the years. Of course, even with a good engine you need a mower that matches the size of your lawn and the type of grass you grow.

Engines common to some mowers we recently tested are the … (read more)