Despite having 30 years to get it right, one in four funeral homes still isn't following a government regulation intended to protect mourners from the confusing and sometimes slippery practices of the funeral planning industry. Annually, the Federal Trade Commission conducts compliance checks across the U.S.
These days, a funeral can cost upwards of $27,000, reports the National Funeral Directors Association. But even the least expensive funerals, hovering around $2,000, can be more than some families can afford. But there are ways to cut the bill.
Minerva Studio / Shutterstock.com Gym memberships at big-name health clubs can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 a month, plus initiation fees - a huge sum many shell out, and some never even show up.
Checks don't bounce much anymore. And it's not just that fewer paper checks get written - the rate at which checks get returned for insufficient funds is dropping too. In 2009, 0.5% of checks bounced, according to a report from the Federal Reserve , but by 2012, the rate had dropped to 0.3%.
Michael D Brown / Shutterstock.com Are truly free credit scores on the horizon? Maybe, if credit-card companies heed the suggestion of the government that they should provide all consumers with free access to their credit scores.
If someone steals your credit card, they'd probably have little trouble racking up a hefty bar tab or buying a new TV with the plastic. But MasterCard is experimenting with a new technology to change that by using your smartphone's geolocation to verify that you are in the same location as your credit card at the time of sale.
Getting a good deal on a Delta flight will soon be a bad break for your frequent-flier miles-especially if you're booking a round-trip ticket. That's because starting next January passengers will rack up SkyMiles based on the number of dollars they spend rather than the distance they travel.
Matthew Swaye's hands shake with nerves as he walks through Sugar Hill with his phone out. He has never really looked for trouble, but he knows trouble can be just around the corner or across the street. And then he spots it: a New York City police officer questioning a neighborhood kid.
It's glacially cold on the rooftop of the City Ice Pavilion - you can almost see your breath when you exhale. The rink, in Long Island City, is insulated with giant white balloons that float overhead to trap the chill.
A dirty orange globe hits the asphalt, again and again, its rhythmic motion almost hypnotizing as the young man dribbles up the court. At this moment nobody can touch him - it's just him and the ball going thump, thump, thump.
A night at the Apollo The next big star could be born tonight, everyone knows it. This stage launched the career of a 16-year-old Ella Fitzgerald and a 9-year-old Michael Jackson, to name a few. So no one, not even the audience, is underdressed. This is tradition.
A prequel television series to Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 Psycho, set in the present day, Bates Motel follows the life of 17-year-old Norman Bates ( Freddie Highmore) and his mother, Norma ( Vera Farmiga), as they make a life for themselves in the seaside town of White Pine Bay, Oregon.
There's a little island in the Louisiana bayou known to locals as the Bathtub in the film Beasts of the Southern Wild. The rural, feral community that inhabits that Bathtub is indeed a family. The lot stand together, protect one another from outsiders, and never miss out on an opportunity to teach the next generation of Bathtubers to enjoy life.
The red TKTS tickets booth, where discounted Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, music and dance event tickets are sold, is usually the star attraction amid the neon lights and animated billboards in the heart of Times Square. But for a few weeks in February, a pile of debris from Hurricane Sandy took center stage in Duffy Square.
Get ready for another teen paranormal romance saga, because Beautiful Creatures has just hit theaters. The first installment of "The Caster Chronicles," based on a best-selling series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, follows seventeen-year-old Ethan Wate ( Alden Ehrenreich), a small-town boy with dreams of breaking away from his hometown of Gatlin, South Carolina.
Back in the 1840s, Morse code was a ground-breaking approach for sending messages over a hot, new communications medium called the electrical telegraph. Earlier this year, the last telegram ever was sent, yet Morse code is not entirely out of a job.
Consumer Reports Magazine
When getting an early start pays off.
Do new fast food items seem a little far fetched? Get information on these crazy fast food items from Consumer Reports.
A review of Stream Clean carpet cleaner.
Find Ratings If your beloved thinks candy and flowers are passé, then express your commitment this Valentine's Day by giving them one of these gadgets. (After all, everyone loves new toys!) To stick with the lovey-dovey theme, everything listed below is available in a Valentine's Day color scheme.
Consumer Reports tests the Kochblume Spill Stopper to see if it lives up to its claim of stopping pots from boiling over. Read on to see if it lives up to its claim.
The claim. GustBuster is the only "UN-Flippable, UN-Flappable, UN-Leakable umbrella in the World!" boasts its manufacturer, touting the "exclusive, raindrop-shaped wind-release vents" that enable the umbrella to withstand winds of more than 55 mph. GustBusters come in various sizes. We paid $34.95 for a foldable Metro with a 43-inch canopy.
With Chinet Bakeware, can you bake in paper? Consumer Reports has the answer.
This holiday season, the gaming world is buzzing about the release of the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One. But many shoppers may not be willing to shell out $400 or $500 for each system. Still, there are deals to be had during Black Friday.And though retailers are offering similar deals, there are a few surprises for PS3 and Xbox 360 bundles.
By now, you've got the playlist figured out. Make sure your sound system can handle it. Pull out all the stops with a new home-theater system. And look for speakers that project sound well and have at least 5.1 channels.
Use folders to keep your apps organized and easy to find. Two tips to keep in mind when labeling folders: Don't be vague, and keep the folder name short and simple. Try to keep similar items together, like "Movies," "Music," and "Reading."
Like many weight-loss apps, Noom Weight has a calorie tracker that lets you easily search for that 460-calorie "lemon dill salmon with jasmine rice" meal and add it to your daily food log. You can also track your weight and the calories you burn exercising.
Find Ratings Desktop printers are more affordable and offer more useful functions and features than ever. But that doesn't mean you should walk into the store and buy any printer that fits your budget or looks cool.
The salty-or sweet-goodness. The crispy crunch. The buttery, finger-licking mess. It's hard to imagine that those little, white fluff balls of deliciousness are whole grains wrapped in only 133 calories per cup-well, when "lightly" buttered, that is. Yet it's not difficult to understand why Popcorn Day exists.
Find Ratings You're the person in the room who loves to document your family, every step of the way. You have more cameras than you do hands, and your Facebook feed is full of photos of those charming relatives.
Find Ratings The pain, the gain: You love it. And you haven't put your all into a morning run or an afternoon match until you're drenched in sweat and caked in grime. If this sounds like you, you're probably an outdoor-sports enthusiast (to put it mildly).
Find Ratings There seem to never be enough hours in the day; you're constantly on the move, and you have an army at home to care for. You could use a few extra hands (or a clone) now and then. If this sounds like you, you're probably an on-the-go-parent.
Find Ratings College students everywhere are heading back to school-with their mobile devices in hand. We've compiled a list of our favorite free back-to-school apps that can help you score an A in College 101. Whether it's studying for a test, learning better eating habits, or even finding your car in a giant university parking lot, we've got you covered.
Find the best gifts for the 2013 hoiday season with the help of Consumer Reports.
Groupon is the digital-deal site you already know and love; this is the app version. For the gift-giving season, you can easily sort through deals under $50, for him or for her, or by recent promotion. In fact, Groupon's offering 50 percent off your favorite magazine for a limited time.
Walmart has several electronics-bundle deals. For $85, the retailer is offering the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS with an 8GB SDHC memory card. This point-and-shoot is a good option for the shutterbug who enjoys shooting landscapes as well as indoor get-togethers. It's also lightweight and has a great image stabilizer, which is important when photographing images using the zoom.
Home improvement activity is heating up this summer with 60 percent of homeowners expecting to spend an average of $1,200 on at least one upgrade. At the top of the list is improving outdoor spaces, followed by bathroom remodels, according to Zillow Digs, an online real estate website that tracks design trends.
July, which happens to be National Park and Recreation Month, offers a perfect chance to explore America's more than 400 national parks. If camping is in order, as it was for 282 million Americans at national parks last year, be sure to make a list and check it at least twice.
While snow blowers and shovels are pretty simple to use, as with so many other products, choosing the right one from among the myriad choices can be confusing. The same thing goes for ice melt, also known as rock salt, snow melt, deicer, and a few other monikers.
Ninety-five percent of teenagers are online, says the Pew Research Center-so it's no wonder that the digital world is dominated by selfies, emojis, and txt-speak. Nor is it shocking that electronics are at the top of teen wish lists this year. But should you be concerned with how connected they are with every new device you purchase?
Consumer Reports tests the Bounty DuraTowel to see if it lives up to its claim of leaving surfaces three times cleaner than a used dishcloth.
Bay Area Council On Drugs & Alcohol
It doesn't stand as a reminder of 9/11 but each flagpole in the ground marks the lives lost due to alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities on Texas roadways in 2010. This November marks the fourth installment of the Healing Field: A Memorial Event, and remains the only field of its kind in the state of Texas.
Photo by Emily Kinsolving Celebration of Recovery meetings are held in a classroom in the School of Social Work building. In October, State District Judge John Dietz ordered Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity to pay $16.2 million to the parents of a University of Texas at Austin freshman pledge Tyler Cross, 18.