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What to buy for those last-minute holiday gifts

Consumers plan to spend this holiday season, an average of nearly $936. That is one of the highest averages on record, according to the National Retail Federation.

With so many options, how do you find the perfect gift without going over budget? Consumer Reports, which reviews products all year, recommended a broad list of stocking stuffers and full-fledged gifts.


Stocking Stuffers

Source: Consumer Reports

"When it comes to stocking stuffers you want to get the most value for your dollar," Lauren Lyons Cole, Consumer Reports' money editor, told CNBC's "On the Money" recently. Her suggestions may appeal to the foodie on your list.

For example, the Sur La Table Citrus Reamer ($5) is a hand juicer designed to get every last drop of juice out of your fruit.

"Our testers found super easy to use, easy to clean and it's the price of one fresh juice," Cole told CNBC's On The Money.



Source: Consumer Reports

Another option for a simple gift is Sidehill Farm Jam ($6 for a 9 oz. container) The tasty jam is handmade in Vermont and contains only natural ingredients, fruit and sugar.

Source: Consumer Reports

The last stocking stuffer Consumer Reports recommends is the Microplane Premium Classic Zester/Grater, which sells for about $15.

"It's easy to zest with and it adds a lot of flavor to your dishes," said Cole.


'Everyone's taking photos'

Source: Consumer Reports

If you are looking to spend a little more, Consumer Reports says there are great options that won't break the bank.

Their first recommendation is the Photojojo Telephoto Lens 2X ($20), a lens which can be added to a smart phone to make pictures sharper.

"Everyone is taking photos on your phone these days and I think this is a gift that is going to look a lot more expensive that it actually is," Cole said.


Source: Consumer Reports

For music lover, Consumers Reports recommends the Scosche SportClip 3 Earbuds ($30).

"These are only $30 but these tested as having very good sound quality, which is hard to find at this price point," said Cole.


$50 Budget

Source: Consumer Reports

If you're looking to spend around $50, Consumer Reports recommends the Cuisinart Power Advantage HM50 ($40), a hand mixer their testing found outperformed models that cost twice as much. There are less add–ons to this mixer, but the magazine said the wire beaters work.

Source: Consumer Reports

For the cord-cutter, Consumer Reports suggests the Roku Streaming Stick ($50), which lets you get your favorite shows and movies anywhere with an Internet connection. While Roku sells more expensive models, the magazine said this one rated excellent in picture quality and features.

$100 Budget

Source: Consumer Reports

If you're looking to spend more, there are items that will appeal to the techie on your list.

The Merge VR Goggles ($80) are a virtual reality headset that works with both Apple and Android smartphones. They are made of soft foam and have adjustable lenses for a better fit.


Source: Consumer Reports

For the coffee-lover, there is the Bruer Cold Bruer ($80), which makes cold-brewed coffee.

"It's the fastest rated cold brewing system …and it also has a permanent filter, so it's easy for cleanup," Cole said.


Source: Consumer Reports

For the home-chef, Consumer Reports recommends the Cuisinart Classic Knife Set ($80).

"It comes with 50 knives. That's like $5 per knife, you can't find that. They're very lightweight so they performed well," said Cole.


Splurge Gifts

Source: Consumer Reports

If budget is no object, the magazine recommends the Sonos Play 5 Wireless Speaker ($500), which also happens to top Consumer Reports' rating list.

"This is amazing for getting sound all throughout your home. It is wire free, so very simple to set-up," Cole said.


Source: Consumer Reports

It may seem pricey for a vacuum, but Consumer Reports recommends the Roomba 960 Robotic Vacuum ($700). The smart-home device makes pushing a vacuum a thing of the past, and can be operated remotely with a smartphone app.

"It performed excellent in terms of cleaning hardwood floors, carpets across the board. So if you have an animal at home it could really be a priceless gift," said Cole.


On the Money airs on CNBC Saturday at 5:30 am ET, or check listings for air times in local markets.