It's always a good time to pay attention to expenses and get a good deal, but now is a particularly good time.
Consumer Reports can help with unbiased reviews, recommendations and wise advice. The library offers the full version of content from consumerreports.org. No fees or registration. Just access the service through the library website with your library card.
Consumer Reports has been around for 80 years helping people make sound purchases. Or as they put it, "eight decades of championing consumer rights." In 1936, one of their notable magazine covers showed bottles of milk with an accompanying story finding that the only difference between Grade A milk and Grade B milk was price.
In 2020, the site has a thorough Coronavirus guide that covers well-publicized safety tips but also addresses more obscure concerns like what to do at the gas pump, what to make of ads for oximeters and fitness trackers. You'll always learn something by browsing Consumer Reports.
There are unique features for users of the library Consumer Reports subscription. Look for The Best Time to Buy Guide which shows the best products to buy in a given month. Also, helpful are the Car Recall Tracker and the TV Screen Optimizer (just in case you are watching any TV these days)!
Listed under our subject page "Consumer Information," we highlight other important sources to help.
Consumer Checkbook is a source that is similar to Consumer Reports. Its strength is evaluation of local services like home care and auto care.
Browse the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency of the government with the mission to make consumer financial markets work for consumers, responsible providers, and the economy as a whole.
The Citizen Utility Board is known for its fight against utility rates hikes and advocating for consumer protections in Illinois. For example, they offer guides to combat robocalling and to evaluate cable costs.
The library magazine service RBDigital, has various financial magazines. Kiplinger's Personal Finance is practical and accessible.