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Consumer Confidential: Saving money on Thanksgiving; toy safety

November 21, 2011 | 10:29 am

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Here's your Martha-my-dear Monday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

--Looking for ways to save on your Thanksgiving feast? You're not alone. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average holiday meal for 10 is expected to total $49.20, up $5.73 from last year. Here are some ideas for keeping costs down: 1) Buy a frozen turkey. They're just as tasty as the unfrozen type. Just make sure you leave enough time to defrost that puppy. 2) Have your guests bring a dish or two. That's how the pilgrims did it, after all. 3) Try co-hosting a meal with friends or another family member. The more the merrier, right? 4) When possible, turn to canned goods or other frozen options. Your guests won't even notice. (MoneyWatch)

--Toys are getting safer -- but they're also getting more dangerous. That's the takeaway from a new report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which found that toy recalls have been declining since a tough new product-safety law was enacted in 2008. There were 34 toy recalls in the 2011 fiscal year, ended Sept. 30, down from 172 in 2008. At the same time, though, toy-related deaths of kids younger than 15 increased last year, and injuries remain alarmingly high. Seventeen child fatalities last year were toy-related, up from 12 in 2010. Almost half were from choking on balloons and balls -- products so common they're hard to regulate. The report also shows nearly 252,000 kids younger than 15 were treated in emergency rooms due to toy-related injuries last year. (USA Today)

-- David Lazarus

Photo: You can cut corners on your T-Day meal without cutting quality. Credit: Matthew Mead / Associated Press

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