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Prepaid Calling Card Caution

Prepaid cards on sale at store

Posted: 03/17/2011 - If you have family or friends abroad, using a prepaid phone card to makes calls may look like a good option. You see the cards sold everywhere. But Consumer Reports says buyer beware. Despite millions of dollars in government fines, deceptive practices are still prevalent.

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Best Paint for Homeowners

Posted: 03/17/2011 - A bucket of paint, some basic supplies, and a free weekend are all it takes to reinvent a room. No wonder the paint aisle is still hopping, even as people are putting other remodeling projects on hold. But which paint gets the job done right? Consumer Reports tests to help you find the best.

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Unhealthy Health Food

Updated: 03/15/2011 - One in four Americans are seriously trying to lose weight, according to a Gallup poll. If that's you, listen up. You could be undermining your efforts and not even know it. Consumer Reports ShopSmart explains why.

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Banking on the Go

Posted: 03/10/2011 - Remember when banking on your computer was a big innovation? Now it's all about banking on the move. Consumer Reports Money Adviser sizes up the benefits of mobile banking and has the security precautions you need to take.

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Best Baby Monitors

Posted: 03/10/2011 - For new parents, a baby monitor is a must-have. It can be an extra set of ears, and even eyes, to help keep tabs on a sleeping baby. Consumer Reports just put baby monitors to the test, and it turns out some can be as temperamental as a two-year-old.

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Free Tax Preparation Online

Posted: 03/10/2011 - Nobody likes to do taxes. In fact about 60% of Americans pay someone to prepare their tax returns, according to the IRS. But if you're looking for ways to save, Consumer Reports says an online program lets you prepare and file for free - and can even provide step-by-step guidance along the way.

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Look Out for Dangerous Products

Updated: 03/13/2011 - More than two million children's products were recalled just last month - baby monitors, child chairs, bassinets, even kids' watches. Could there be an unsafe product in your home? The Consumer Reports National Research Center finds many people are unaware of product recalls, and do little to protect themselves.

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Deadly Combination: Texting and Driving

Posted: 03/10/2011 - Colorado is among 30 states that now outlaw texting while driving. But that hasn't stopped people from doing it. In a just-released national survey of drivers by Consumer Reports, 64% reported they'd recently seen someone texting behind the wheel. The practice can have deadly consequences.

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Best Heart Rate Monitors

Posted: 03/04/2011 - Heart disease is still the #1 killer in the U.S. Doctors will tell you vigorous exercise can go a long way towards keeping your heart healthy. And Consumer Reports says using a heart monitor is a good way to go. It just tested a dozen heart monitors.

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Vacuum Cleaners

Posted: 03/04/2011 - You can pay anywhere from $50 to more than a thousand for a vacuum. Whatever amount you pay, you want one that does a good job and doesn't need repairs anytime soon. Consumer Reports sizes up vacuums' cleaning power and also identifies more reliable brands.

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Unloading Household Clutter

Updated: 02/24/2011 - Spring may still be far off, and in some households spring cleaning never comes. But if you're up to your neck in clutter, don't despair. Consumer Reports can tell you how to recycle or find a new home for whatever is crammed in your basement, closets, or attic.

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Drug Ads Can Cost You

Posted: 02/24/2011 - Drug companies spend billions of dollars a year on TV and print ads so you'll ask your doctor to prescribe their drug. And it turns out that's just what people are doing. But Consumer Reports says that could be costing you plenty.

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Consumer Reports Investigation: Travel Site "Gotchas"

Posted: 02/21/2011 - Some of us are pretty good at comparison-shopping for great travel deals online, but a Consumer Reports investigation reveals you can easily get sucked into paying more than you have to if you're not careful.

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Pet-Friendly Hotels

Updated: 02/18/2011 - Wish you could take Fido or Fifi on your next vacation? According to Consumer Reports, that's getting easier to do. More and more hotels are willing to accommodate travelers' pets. But there's a lot you should know before booking your next trip.

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Help for High Heel Pain

Updated: 02/17/2011 - Almost 90% of women wear painful footwear at least some of the time, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. Could adding insoles to your shoes help ease the pain? Consumer Report ShopSmart just tested them to find out.

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TV Boxes for Web Streaming

Updated: 02/17/2011 - More and more people are looking to get the Internet on their TV. Newer sets are "Internet ready." But if you're not in the market for a new television, there are boxes that stream the web directly to your TV. Consumer Reports just tested several.

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Travel Site Gotchas

Posted: 02/17/2011 - Many people are getting very adept at online comparison-shopping for great travel deals. But a Consumer Reports ShopSmart investigation reveals you can easily get sucked into paying more money than you have to if you're not on your toes.

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Trendy Sparkling Pink Wines

Posted: 02/10/2011 - If you think a little bubbly adds some sparkle to a special night, you might want to consider some rosé sparkling wine this Valentine's Day. Consumer Reports just tasted more than a dozen.

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Valentine's Chocolates

Posted: 02/09/2011 - Americans are sweet on chocolate - we spend more than $16 billion a year on chocolate candy. Consumer Reports just rated boxed chocolates that cost from five dollars all the way up to more than a hundred!

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Overhyped Energy Drinks

Updated: 02/09/2011 - They're called energy shots - small bottles that promise a wake-up formula to keep you alert and feeling lively. Sales are soaring and the top-seller by far is 5-Hour Energy. No doubt you've seen ads for it on TV. Consumer Reports takes a closer look.

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What Doctors Wish Patients Knew

Updated: 02/13/2011 - Having a good primary-care doctor is key to your well-being, according to Consumer Reports. But even if you have a good doctor, you may not be getting all the benefits. ' Two new surveys of doctors and patients reveal ways you can optimize your care.

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Easy TV Audio Upgrade

Updated: 02/02/2011 - Plenty of televisions have beautiful picture quality, but it's hard to find one with equally great sound. If you're looking to upgrade your TV's audio without breaking the bank, a sound bar could be the answer. Consumer Reports just put them to the test.

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Tasty Tortilla Chips

Posted: 02/02/2011 - It wouldn't be the Super Bowl without some serious snacking, but is there a way to avoid going overboard on high-fat snacks? You might think multigrain tortilla chips are a healthier option. Consumer Reports munched and crunched its way through eight different ones to size up your choices.

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Excellent Elliptical Trainers

Updated: 01/28/2011 - When it comes to exercise, experts say you should do at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. But only 40 percent of adults work out. Maybe an elliptical machine could help. It gives you a good workout and is easy on your joints. Consumer Reports just tested dozens.

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Super Hot Wings

Updated: 02/03/2011 - For some folks... Super Bowl is synonymous with buffalo wings. If you're hosting a party next weekend you might be checking out store-bought frozen wings. Consumer Reports just tested several brands to see if any score a touchdown.

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