Smart Money, Part I: Shop Smart with Consumer Reports (8.26.2022)

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woman at counter using laptop and computerWith rising prices making every trip to the gas station or grocery store more expensive than ever, consumers are looking for more ways to save money and make smart purchases.

Using the library to check out e-books, e-magazines and even DVDs are just a few of the ways to save.  That’s only the beginning; other library resources can help too.  In this 2-part series, learn how to save money and make smart financial decisions using Consumer Reports (CR) and ValueLine – both free from your local library.

Consumer Reports magazine and

In print and online, CR provides easy to use tools to get the best possible value on every purchase.  CR responds to concerns about quality and reliability by researching and testing a broad range of products and services for each issue.  They have 63 labs devoted to testing and evaluating everything from food to floor tile.  Their research flags problems and helps avoid products that might be dangerous to your health or lead to further costs.  CR’s findings fuel product ratings that make cost comparisons easy and articles which lay out the pros and cons to understand before making a purchase. Armed with this information, consumers can make wise and cost-saving decisions everyday, on everything from cars to yogurts.

Product Ratings

Color coding makes ratings easy to read and and brands and models are clearly itemized with features and specifications rated individually.  This helps you weigh the value of a particular model’s selling points based on your exact needs.  Performance and recall information is also included to further help consumers save money by explaining up-front the kinds of issues that may arise down the road.

More Than Just Ratings

Online CR provides easy to navigate information for consumers.  Check out the “CR Deals” handpicked by their experts to save money on top rated products.  Or browse hundred of product reviews, arranged by category.

Consumer Reports magazine is available in the library at the reference desk, but access to this valuable information is also just a few clicks away.  Select “Research” from the Fauquier Public Library website > “Business & Market Research” > Consumer Reports.  Enter your library card number, then check the reviews right while you shop.  Ask for help in the library or view a short online tutorial to learn how to take full advantage of all the information you can glean from Consumer Reports Online.

Here are a few topics CR has covered in the past year.  Read up on these and start saving money today.  Spoiler Alert:  The September issue’s main articles is: “How to Save Money Now.”  Don’t miss it!

  • January:  Washing Machines, Space Heaters and Handheld Vacuums
  • February:  Big Screen TVs, Toaster Ovens, Heating Systems and Food Processors
  • March:  Laptops, Smartphones and Coffee Makers
  • April:  New and Used Cars
  • May:  Microwaves and Wood Flooring
  • June:  Air Conditioners, Washers & Dryers and Generators
  • July:  Mattresses, Dishwashers and Lawn Mowers
  • August:  Printers, Exterior Paints, Chest Freezers and Cameras
  • September: Smoke Detectors, Chef’s Knives and All-Season Tires

Stay tuned for Smart Money, Part II: Invest Wisely with ValueLine!


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