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If you only juice citrus fruit every so often, a basic, electric citrus juicer like the Black & Decker CitrusMate Plus CJ625 could be all you need. This electric reamer definitely isn’t perfect, but reviewers say it outperforms several more expensive models.

The bottom line

Overall, the Black & Decker CitrusMate Plus CJ625 comes highly recommended following most expert reviews, although it’s usually tested against citrus juicers in a similar (low) price range, and in some cases it’s tested against manual juicers. A Walmart.com reviewer sums up the general opinion among both experts and owners: “Low in cost. High in value.” If you’re not willing to accept the CitrusMate’s limitations — it’s noisy and heats up when you juice large batches — the more expensive and powerful Breville Die-Cast Citrus Press 800CPXL (*Est. $200) gets excellent feedback from both users and experts, and is a better choice for extensive juicing.

Performance

It’s surprisingly effective. Testers with one expert reviewer like how completely the Black & Decker CJ625 squeezes juice out of lemons. They say this juicer can handle big projects, but is still simple enough to use for a single lemon. They also love the CJ625’s adjustable pulp strainer, which lets you flip a switch to adjust how much pulp gets through. (Given how hotly some people contest the pulp versus no pulp issue, it’s not much of a surprise that this feature is a hit.)

"This juicer works great," writes one owner on Amazon.com, who uses the CJ625 for a cup of orange juice when he’s in the mood. Others agree, but warn that you need to "let it rest to cool off" periodically when juicing large quantities. We also found a few concerns that if you set the filter to strain out pulp too finely, some juice gets kept on top with the pulp.

Several Amazon.com reviewers point out that this juicer is relatively noisy (a common complaint with electric juice extractors of all stripes) and nobody disagrees, but most say they don’t mind the noise too much.

Ease of use

Some issues, but it’s still easier to use than a manual juicer. The CitrusMate Plus CJ625 doesn’t take up a lot of counter space, and reviewers with one cooking-related publication praise it for its simple assembly and easy cleaning. It receives the highest marks given for ease of use in one comparative test. “My hand doesn’t get sore at all after prolonged use,” notes one Amazon.com reviewer who’s very happy with her purchase. Others find it a little challenging to achieve the appropriate amount of pressure to activate this unit’s motor, which automatically reverses periodically to extract the most juice possible.

Owners agree that the CJ625 is easy to disassemble and clean. “Pulp doesn’t get stuck in the pulp filter when you’re cleaning,” writes one Amazon customer. The built-in, wrap-around cord storage in the base of the unit is one of its most popular features, with numerous reviewers reporting that they were delighted to discover it.

Durablilty

This simple juicer won’t deliver commercial durability, but reviewers say it does pretty well. The Black & Decker CitrusMate Plus CJ625 receives the highest mark possible for construction in one comparative expert test — quite a compliment for a plastic appliance. We did find a few complaints from owners that the juicer quit working after weeks or months of use, and a couple say the plastic components broke after a few months.

The CJ625 is backed by a one-year limited warranty. Those who did contact Black & Decker report friendly, helpful customer service. One Amazon.com reviewer, however, is incensed at being asked to send a check to cover shipping for the replacement. (She doesn’t directly say whether the juicer was still under warranty or not, but does indicate that she’d only used it a few times.)

Overall, owners and experts alike indicate that this is a great value for the money — you just have to be realistic about what you can get for $20. “It’s not industrial, but it’s great for the price,” explains one Amazon.com owner. Users posting at Walmart.com agree, stating that it’s a “good juicer for the money.” However, if you’re looking for a juicer that will withstand heavy use for years, the CitrusMate Plus CJ625 isn’t your best bet.

The 5-inch screen is one of the headline features of the Galaxy S4, thanks to its whopping 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution. That’s Full HD to me and you. It’s an impressive boost from the 720p display of the Galaxy S3, but for most tasks, you probably won’t notice much of a difference.

The S4’s screen is pin-sharp, with icons and text showing no fuzziness around the edges at all. Reading long passages of text in Web pages is perfectly comfortable, and of course high-definition images look beautifully crisp.

Samsung Galaxy S4 4G
The screen is big, bright and incredibly bold.

The HTC One has the same resolution, but its slightly smaller screen size means its pixels are packed tighter. The One boasts 468 pixels per inch (ppi), which narrowly beats the S4's 441ppi, but I really couldn't tell any difference between them, even when looking close up. More pixels might mean a sharper image, but even above the 720p threshold of the S3, there's little point in choosing between them — there's just not enough difference.

What really counts is how well it displays your photos, videos and apps. Luckily then, the S4 does a great job here, too. Its display is the Super AMOLED type found on some of Samsung’s earlier phones, making it incredibly vivid.

Colours are rich and bold, almost to the point of being a little oversaturated. If it’s too garish for you then you can choose from different colour profiles in the settings menu. It’s bright too, but isn’t quite at retina-burning levels. My colleague Jessica Dolcourt struggled a little with reflections under the bright San Francisco sunlight, although I didn’t have the same issue under the grey London skies. Sadly. It easily countered our office lights, however.

One thing that new parents notice is that babies cause a lot of waste: from toy packaging to essential (yet short-lived) baby products to, of course, diapers. While cloth diapers have been long touted as the most environmentally friendly diapering option, some claim that the energy and water needed to wash cloth diapers evens out the landfill waste. Let’s get the facts straight:

Cloth Diapers

  • Many cloth diapers are made from cotton, which traditionally uses large amounts of pesticides and water to produce. However, there are more and more organic options on the market now.
  • The laundering process does require water and energy, as well as detergents to be released into the environment.
  • You can make cloth diapers even greener than they are by using biodegradable, phosphate-free detergents; a cold-water cycle and air drying; washing the diapers in a full load as to not waste water; and buying a front-loading washing machine, which uses less water.

Disposable Diapers

  • According to gDiapers (a cloth and hybrid diapering system), 50 million disposable diapers get thrown into landfills every day, and each one takes 500 years to break down. That’s a lot of garbage sitting on the earth.
  • Throwing out disposable diapers can cause fecal pollution.
  • Many chemicals are used to manufacture and dispose of the diapers.
  • A study done by The Landbank Consultancy for The Women’s Environmental Network showed that disposable diapers use 3.5 times as much energy, 8 times as much non-renewable material and 90 times as much renewable material as cloth diapers.
  • There’s a much higher environmental impact from manufacturing and disposing the thousands of disposable diapers each child uses vs. the dozen or two cotton diapers.

Disposable Diapers vs. Cloth Diapers

Cloth

  • Pros:
  • Although cotton can require pesticides and water to grow, the alternative is chemical-filled plastics that take a large amount of manufacturing to produce.
  • Cotton, whether organic or not, is a softer, more comfortable material for your baby to wear.
  • Cotton is also more breathable, allowing more ventilation and less diaper rash.
  • Cloth diapers will save each family thousands of dollars throughout their child-rearing years.
  • According to the National Association of Diaper Services “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” cloth-diapered babies generally toilet train a year before disposable-diapered babies. Many parents claim this as well, saying that their children were able to feel the wetness more and didn’t like how it felt.
  • The average cloth diaper is used 100 to 150 times, while a single disposable diaper is used once.
  • Cloth diapers can be used for multiple children, saving parents even more money.
  • Cons:
    • Less convenient.
    • More laundry to do.
    • There’s more work involved in assembling and using.
    • Some childcare services are reluctant to use cloth.
    • They can leak more, especially if they’re not used correctly.
    • There are so many varieties that parents might waste money when trying to find the right type for their child.

Disposable

  • Pros:
  • More convenient, especially when out and about.
  • Disposables are more absorbent and leak less.
  • There are a wider variety of biodegradable, healthier disposable options on the market now – but they’ll cost more.
  • This could be a pro or a con: While there are definitely toxic chemicals used in the manufacturing of disposable diapers, there aren’t any studies indicating that these materials definitely hurt babies in the long run. However, it’s hard to say if the chemicals are actually safe or if there just isn’t information available yet.
  • Cons:
    • Less air ventilation and a higher risk of diaper rash. Disposable diapers feel drier than cloth, which leaves babies at risk of sitting in bacteria and irritating chemicals for longer than they should be.
    • There are known toxic chemicals in most disposable diapers, like sodium polyacrylate – the same chemical removed from tampons because of toxic shock syndrome – which hasn’t been tested for its long-term effects yet in babies.
    • Fecal pollution.
    • It’s harder to potty train when kids can’t feel the wetness.

1: Buy Items You Use

As you become an extreme couponer, it’s important to remember to only purchase items you’ll use. Don’t buy 15 cans of tuna because you can get a great if you don’t like tuna and will never eat what you bought (unless you want to donate the cans to a good cause — then go ahead). Use your couponing skills for items you need. Besides, if you buy a plethora of products you won’t use, you haven’t actually saved any money. You’ve just wasted precious funds on things you don’t need, so be a wise shopper and look for sweet deals on stuff that you’ll actually enjoy.

2: Go Where the Sales Are

Just as you need to be willing to purchase different brands of goods at the grocery store, you should also be OK with shopping at different stores. Extreme couponers go where the sales are instead of always shopping at the same place. Getting the best deal might require going to three different supermarkets.

This, however, can be easier said than done. Trips to multiple stores during the week or in a single day can take up precious time and gas money, so plan your shopping accordingly and see if you can combine trips. The shrewdest couponers save themselves money when they buy from different stores, but they do have to set aside to time to make those savings possible.

3: Forget Brand Loyalty

To save big at the grocery store, you need to forget brand loyalty. You want to get the best deal for your money, and the items that go on sale or that you have coupons for may not always be made by the same company. For example, one week it might be best to purchase a certain kind of pasta, while the next, you buy a different brand because you’re able to stack coupons and get a sweeter deal. If there’s an item that you adore and can’t imagine switching to another brand, keep a lookout for sales and coupons for your beloved product and buy it in bulk at a low price.

4: Buy in Bulk

Extreme couponers don’t buy an item when they need it — they buy it when they can get it at the lowest price. These savvy shoppers then stock up when the going’s good (and cheap), so they save money in the long run. Think about it: if you run out of toilet paper, you’ll be stuck paying whatever the retailer is charging to get this much-needed essential. Extreme couponers, however, plan ahead by purchasing numerous rolls when the cost is low so they avoid such expensive emergency trips to the store.

If you buy in bulk, though, you need to have space to stockpile your reserve items. The free space available in your home may determine how “extreme” of a couponer you become. Only buy what you can fit in that extra pantry, closet or garage. Otherwise, your home itself might start to look like a supermarket!

5: Give Time, Save Money

Putting expert couponing techniques — even the ones for normal people — into practice will require your time and attention. For example, it’s going to take a bit of research to find good deals on the items you want, so go ahead and put grocery store ads on your weekly reading list. You also have to be willing to spend a few hours sorting through and organizing your coupons before each trip to the supermarket.

If you’re busy (like most of us), try to find ways that you can fit your couponing activities into your schedule. Instead of reading a novel before you go to sleep, peruse and clip coupons. Finding the time to locate and organize your coupons might be difficult, but you can feel good knowing that your hard work will save you money.

If you’ve just got a new Amazon Kindle Fire HD, you’ll probably want to start

downloading applications from the off.

The Kindle range of tablets doesn’t actually include Google Play, so you’ll have to use Amazon’s own App Store to download apps and games.

It’s no issue though and there’s plenty available, even though it’s not the full store. We’ve done the hard work for you though and picked out our favourites of the year.

Angry Birds

Who doesn’t love Angry Birds? The full suite of Angry Birds games is available on the Amazon Kindle HD, whether you want to play in space, with the piggies or just the original. What’s even better is many of the games are either free or cost less than £1. What better way to pay this strategy game than on a 7-inch Kindle Fire HD screen?

BBC iPlayer

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD has the perfect sized screen for watching BBC TV on the move. The app alongside the BBC’s media player is a must-download onto the Kindle Fire too, because it doesn’t support Flash in the browser. You will need to be connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot to stream and the iPlayer does use a lot of data, but it’s well worth it to catch up on Eastenders while on your commute.

TuneIn Radio Pro

TuneIn Radio allows you to create your very own radio station on your Amazon Kindle Fire HD. With a huge range of radio stations on offer, ordered in genre, location, language, trending, recommended and recent, it’s easy to find something you want to listen to. You can even listen to podcasts on the move. This is truly the best radio app available for the Kindle Fire HD.

IMDB

The world’s favourite movie information site is available on the Amazon Kindle Fire HD as a handy app. With all the cast information, plus trailers, synopsis and spoilers (if you want to view spoilers), this truly is the font of all move knowledge, whether you’re a fan of sci-fi or chic flicks.

ChefTap

If you’re an avid cook, the Kindle Fire HD is a great accessory to help you along the way. ChefTap allows you to store recipes from anywhere on the web in a cookery file, making your very own cookbook with recipes available in a finger tap. Some are preloaded, meaning you can get cooking straight away.

Words With Friends

Words With Friends is a virtual version of Scrabble. Just like the original, you’re given letters and have to create words on the board. Each letter has a different score and there are opportunities to increase your score by placing the tiles on the award squares. You can play over your data connection whether your friend is sitting next to you or on the other side of the world.

Pinterest

Pin your favourite pictures, products or anything else you see around the web on your Pinterest account. Whether you’re planning a wedding, decorating your house or just have a fad for a certain colour, pin it to your wall and let the world see what’s trending in your life.

Temple Run

This addictive games will keep you entertained for hours as you try and escape the Evil Demon Monkeys chasing you round an island. You’ll have to jump, slide and turn your way to the end (although there doesn’t actually seem to be one) and freedom.