On Your Side

Warehouse Deals 9/11/11

Every penny counts these days. So warehouse clubs, even with annual membership fees, can offer big savings if you shop it right . Martha Koloski explains.

Celebrity Foods 9/9/11

Every Day Italian "But I'm going to make it Italian." From Giada De Laurentiis to Iron Chef's Mario Batali, more and more celebrity chefs are making the leap from TV shows to the supermarket. "The catch with celebrity foods is they can come with a high price tag. They can be two or three times as much as a garden-variety brand." Consumer Reports wanted to know whether celebrity brands are worth their A-list prices. So it taste-tested dozens of tomato sauces, salad dressings, and soups from famous chefs like Wolfgang Puck, restaurants like Rao's, and Hollywood stars like the late Paul Newman. Kim Kleman, "Many do include fresher ingredients, but not all." Take these Emeril's and Newman's Own pasta sauces. Both list as their first ingredient tomato purée, which is water and tomato paste. So does Ragu, which is less expensive! Kim Kleman, "About half of the celebrity products we tested were no better than cheaper mainstream brands, although a few rated excellent." Among soups, Wolfgang Puck's Tomato Basil Bisque is the standout, but it's pricey at $3.50. For pasta sauces, both Mario Batali's Marinara and Giada De Laurentiis' Tomato Basil rated excellent. While his costs a whopping eight dollars, hers is a Best Buy for three dollars at Target! But no celebrity salad dressings rated excellent. You could probably make a better and less expensive one yourself at home. "

Used Cars 9/5/11

It's not the gamble it used to be - if you do your homework. In fact, Consumer Reports says these days buying a used car can be one of the best ways to save a big chunk of money.

Lower Medical Bills 9/4/11

Higher deductibles and the portion the patient pays are taking a bigger bite than ever. Still, Consumer Reports says even in these tough times, you can lower your health-care costs by negotiating with your doctor, hospital, or other health care provider.

Best Car Wax 9/2/11

Car waxes promise to protect your car's finish and even revive a dull paint job. But how well do they hold up? Consumer Reports' super tough tests deliver the answer.

Best Razors 8/29/11

When the weather is hot and clothes are skimpier, having a razor that does a great job shaving legs is a priority for women. There are so many choices, and they come with three, four, five … even six blades! Which does the best job? Consumer Reports ShopSmart wanted to find out.

Best E-Books 8/28/11

If you're looking to buy an e-book reader, you have a lot more choices. In the past six months, lots of new ones have hit the market. Consumer Reports' tests can help you find one that's just right for you.

Kid Cameras 8/26/11

If you have a young budding photographer in your family, but you don't want to hand over your digital camera - there are cameras made just for kids.

Anti-Wrinkle Creams 8/22/11

Consumer Reports ShopSmart just tested to see if creams can make fine lines and wrinkles disappear - the way a skilled photographer can.

Car Safety 8/21/11

Carmakers are coming out with a number of interesting, new safety options you're seeing heavily advertised. Which really can make a difference? Consumer Reports' experts weigh in.