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  • Our Budget-Friendly May Long Weekend Ideas - DGI Direct
    can have a fun filled Victoria Day in your very own backyard Soak up some culture This long weekend doesn t have to be all about the parties Why not indulge your sophisticated side and soak up some cultural sights and sounds For 20 you can explore the Art Gallery of Ontario s 100 galleries What s more bringing the little ones won t cost you anything children s admission is free Not too big on still life Explore the Royal Ontario Museum instead general admission on Fridays is just 10 Have a picnic When was the last time you had a picnic If it s been so long that you can t even remember this long weekend is the perfect time to do so What to put in that wicker basket The options are almost endless For a kid friendly basket pack Cream cheese sandwiches Peanut butter jelly sandwiches Baby carrots with dip Cheese and fruit kabobs Celery sticks with peanut butter For a deli lover s basket pack Rotisserie chicken Coleslaw Potato salad Baked beans For a romantic basket for two pack Baguettes sliced Butter or flavoured cream cheese for spreading Cubed cheese Grapes Wine or cider Chocolate Go camping The May long weekend is the perfect time to whip out those tents and sleeping bags and spend some quality time with Mother Nature and with friends and family Some campsites are more expensive than others but there are also many free or affordable places to camp in Ontario Preparing your food ahead of time purchasing second hand camping gear and bringing your own supplies like firewood drastically reduces camping costs too Take a long weekend hike If you want to enjoy nature this weekend but don t want to commit to sleeping outside why not take a leisurely or lively hike through some of Ontario s most scenic hiking trails Not only will you be exercising you ll also be soaking up the stunning natural wonders that this province has to offer So what are you waiting for This long weekend put on your hiking shoes bring a friend or a few and start exploring Go to the library If you haven t been in years this long weekend is the ideal time to whip out that library card and re discover the simple joy of visiting your local library Make a day of it Bring the kids and give them free reign to borrow whatever books their hearts desire Not only will you be spending valuable time together you ll also be fostering a love of reading which will set them up for future success both in school and at home The best part It s completely free Take advantage of events in town There are plenty of fun filled ways to spend this May long weekend as a family and many of them are inexpensive to boot Why not head to Blue Mountain for a jam packed weekend of hikes gondola rides and local concerts

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/general-tips/our-budget-friendly-may-long-weekend-ideas/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Is Your Car Road Trip Ready? 7 Questions to Ask - DGI Direct
    tire tread an easy way to do so is by using a quarter Take a regular quarter and turn it to the side with the caribou Next turn the quarter so that the caribou nose faces down and insert it into one of your tire s tread grooves If the tip of the caribou s nose is covered then your tire tread is sufficient but if you can see the tip of the caribou s nose you should get your tires replaced 4 Are my hoses belts secured Next check your vehicle s belts and hoses Are any of your hoses brittle leaky or soft Are there any loose clamps Make sure all your belts are aligned and adjusted and check for any cracks or tears If any hoses or belts don t pass inspection get them replaced 5 Does my air filter need to be replaced Air filters are easy to change and inexpensive to boot make sure you re not driving around with a dirty air filter in your vehicle as this actually reduces fuel economy You should replace your air filter roughly every 16 000 kilometers using your owner s manual instructions 6 Do I want to invest in a GPS If you re still using worn out paper roadmaps it may be time to bring your navigation technology into the 21 st century Investing in a GPS system can save you time and frustration no more stopping to ask for directions A GPS can also help you find points of interest in real time like gas stations parks or restaurants so you won t be stuck driving around looking for a place to eat or fill up on gas 7 Have I done my spring car maintenance If you haven t prepped your car for the

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/car-tips/is-your-car-road-trip-ready-7-questions-to-ask/ (2016-05-01)
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  • 8 Barbecue Tips to Stay Safe by the Grill - DGI Direct
    the bubbles persist you should contact a qualified technician to fix the issue Remember never use a lighter or match to check for leaks on your barbecue 3 Light It Properly If you ve checked for leaks and the coast is clear it s time to light up the grill Open the barbecue lid then turn on the gas supply by turning the valve on the propane tank Then turn on the burner Once you ve turned the burner on quickly hold the ignition button or switch 4 Keep a Distance from Your Home Your grill might be close to your heart but if you keep it too close to your deck railings or home you re putting your property in serious danger Ensure that your grill is at least three metres or ten feet away from any doors windows heat sources or obstructions Make sure there are no overhanging tree branches above your barbecue and always keep children and pets away from the barbecue area Always barbecue outside in a secure and well ventilated area 5 Be Ultra Cautious With That Fire Fire is not a force to be taken lightly even when it s safely contained within your barbecue Be vigilante when grilling and keep a fire extinguisher on hand at all times Make sure you know how to extinguish a fire and how to cut your barbecue s fuel supplies in a hurry Stay versed in fire safety rules and always have someone in charge of a fire whether you re grilling on a BBQ or sitting around a firepit In the unfortunate event of a fire you should call a claims advisor as soon as possible to get any emergency assistance needed Then you can start the claims process right away 6 Make Food Safety a Priority Each year over 4 million Canadians get food poisoning Make sure you and your family and friends aren t included in that statistic Always separate food keep raw meat away from fruits and veggies to avoid cross contamination Don t use the same surface for cutting meats and other foods afterwards wash all cutting boards plates and utensils that were touched by raw meat Use new utensils when your food has been cooked Always wash your hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds before handling raw meat or preparing any kind of food Always cook meat thoroughly even if that burger looks done on the outside it may be raw on the inside Use a food thermometer to be absolutely certain your meat is cooked insert it into the thickest part of the meat and cook until it reaches proper temperatures Turkey or chicken 82 C Hamburgers ground beef 71 C Fish 70 C Pork 71 C Hot Dogs 74 C Steak 63 C 7 Dress for the Job When you re outside grilling this summer make sure you re wearing the right kind of clothes for job that means sticking to a wardrobe

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/home-tips/8-barbecue-tips-to-stay-safe-by-the-grill/ (2016-05-01)
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  • How to Outfit Your Home to Beat Spring Allergies - DGI Direct
    prefer carpets to hardwood floors make sure to vacuum weekly In Your Bathrooms While dust mites love bedrooms mold loves bathrooms keep mold to a minimum by regularly cleaning bathroom walls with a non toxic cleaner and inspecting pipes for leaks Clean your bathroom weekly scrubbing away any mold on fixtures and pipes Wipe away that mold with a simple chlorine bleach solution a quarter cup of bleach to two and a quarter cups of water Keep counters and other surfaces dry to avoid standing water To keep mold from forming in those nooks and crannies run your bathroom s ventilation fans for at least half an hour after a bath or shower If you can recaulk your tub and sink every few years to keep mold from forming behind walls In Your Kitchen One of the most overlooked corners of your home is most likely right under the kitchen sink This dark damp area is perfect for mold growth but rarely gets cleaned by most homeowners Don t forgo this trouble area take everything out of the cabinet under the sink and check for mold leaks or spider webs Clean the cabinet thoroughly and fix any leaks In Your Living Room The fabrics in your living room may actually be helping to create dust and allergens in your home Swap curtains for blinds and carpets for wood tiled or linoleum floors If you re extra determined you can even replace upholstered furniture with wooden furniture to keep dust harbouring fabrics to a minimum Clean the walls and other surfaces of your living room regularly using a damp mop to trap and eliminate dust Once again if you prefer carpet to hardwood vacuum every week preferably with a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter Dust your living room every week and wash blankets in hot water If you just can t live without those lush curtains make sure they re machine washable and vacuum them weekly with a vacuum attachment As lovely as a spring breeze may be when you let in that cool air you might be letting in allergies with it Keep your windows closed between 10 a m and 3 p m this is the time of day when pollen count is the highest At the Front Door To keep outdoor irritants from making their way into your home do as they do in Europe Asia and many other parts of the globe take off your shoes before entering the house If you simply can t get used to being in socks place a doormat in front of each entryway so that guests can rub their soles free of dust dirt and debris With Your Air Filter Besides cleaning dusting and de cluttering it s wise to change or clean your air filters in order to keep in home allergens to a minimum Replace or clean the filters in your home s cooling and heating systems following manufacturer s guidelines With Your Pets Canadians love their

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/home-tips/how-to-outfit-your-home-to-beat-spring-allergies/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Spring Car Maintenance: 7 Tips to Prep Your Car for Spring - DGI Direct
    good post winter washing both on the outside and inside Use a checklist to make sure you clean every nook and cranny that means washing and waxing clearing out that built up clutter and whipping out the handheld vacuum to pick up all those crumbs 3 Take a look at your battery After a harsh Canadian winter it s a good idea to make sure that your car battery is still running strongly Car batteries are especially susceptible to cold weather a harsh winter climate can lead to faster deterioration If your car battery is more than four years old and it takes a few seconds to start up your motor you should consider driving down to your local auto parts supplier to get your battery tested and possibly replaced 4 Check up on your brakes Before setting off on any spring road trips make sure your brakes are in good working order Is your braking rough and noisy Is the brake check light on your dashboard illuminated If so you probably need new brake pads Take a look between the spokes of your wheels to figure out whether these need replacing or not if they do get a trusted mechanic to do an inspection 5 Inspect your wiper blades and lighting Snow sludge and ice can take a toll on your wiper blades in wintertime make sure they re ready for April showers and check for tears or cracks If your wiper blades are worn out or if they make that high pitched squeaking noise as they streak across your windshield it s time to replace them with a fresh new pair Note measure your wiper blades before purchasing new ones you don t want to end up with new wipers that don t fit properly Afterwards check up on your vehicle s interior and exterior lighting A defective lighting situation especially when it comes to headlights can spell disaster on the road Don t leave those signals up for interpretation make sure your lights are in good working order both outside and inside your vehicle 6 Change your oil and check your fluids To make sure your car runs smoothly straight through springtime get your oil and oil filter changed as per your owner manual s recommendations This is one of the best and easiest ways to keep your engine running properly forgoing those all important oil changes can lead to higher fuel consumption poor engine performance and can even result in severe engine damage Oil is not the only car fluid that needs your attention however power steering fluid windshield washer solvent and transmission and brake fluid should be changed as well All of these fluids are cheap and easy to change but forgoing these simple steps can lead to expensive repairs not to mention compromised safety in the future 7 Revise your policy After you ve topped up your fluids inspected your lighting and switched out those winter tires it s wise to give your insurance

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/car-tips/spring-car-maintenance-7-tips-to-prep-your-car-for-spring/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Tax Tips to Save You Money: Part 2 - DGI Direct
    and generously give to charity there are many tax rewards out there to recompense your good deeds If both you and your spouse donate to charity the best thing you can do is claim these donations on one tax return The first 200 of your donation to a registered charity is only eligible for a 15 credit but any amount over 200 will get you a much larger return 29 Whether you file an electronic or paper tax return remember to keep your official donation receipts for five years If you filed a paper tax return be sure to also include your completed Schedule 9 form Use the CRA s online search tool to find out if your charity or foundation of choice is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency No Income Should Not Equal No Tax Return Think that no income means no need to file Think again Many people with low or no income falsely assume that they don t need to bother filing a tax return If this sounds like you that assumption could end up costing you some serious money There are plenty of credits and benefits out there for no and low income earners like the Canada Child Tax Benefit and the GST HST credit If you re not filing a return you may be missing out on benefits that are solely distributed through the tax system There are even property and sales tax credits out there for low income earners If you re a parent of teenagers you should consider guiding them through the filing process as well Even if they only make a few thousand dollars a year filing their taxes now will create RRSP room that can be carried forward and used at a later time when they do owe tax In short no tax return no benefits Be Completely Truthful It should go without saying that when it comes to taxes honesty isn t just the best policy it s the only one There s no circumstance in which cheating or lying on your tax return is a good idea Because after tax season comes audit season and if the CRA Canada Revenue Agency doesn t agree with your return your refund money could be revoked with interest If you need to make a correction on your return do so as soon as possible The penalties for tax evasion when there s willful intent are severe to say the least On the milder end of the spectrum is a fine 200 of the tax evaded plus penalties and interest and on the other end jail time Be Wary of Scams Over the phone behind the wheel in the mail and on the Internet scams are unfortunately everywhere and even the CRA is not immune Any email claiming to be from the CRA but asking for personal information or requesting that you click on a link to get your refund is a phishing scam Do not reply to these emails or open

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/general-tips/tax-tips-to-save-you-money-part-2/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Windshield Repair 101: Questions, Answers, Tips - DGI Direct
    repairable it s important to get a small chip fixed before it turns into a long crack Identifying the Crack While you re surveying the damage take some time to read the crack There are a handful of windshield crack types Star cracks are those that have a center with small radiating cracks Bulls eye cracks are those that have a circular rock chip with a center Half moon cracks are those that have a bulls eye break with an incomplete circle Combination cracks are those that have the circular shape of the bulls eye and the radiating cracks of the star crack Keep a Small Crack from Turning Into a Big One When the damage is done but you still have places to go there are a few things you can do in order to prevent a small windshield chip from turning into a big headache Protect the Damaged Area Seal the crack or chip to prevent it from spreading any further clean out the area with a dry towel then use clear tape or nail polish to seal the damage protecting it from dirt and debris Avoid Drastic Temperature Changes Extreme temperature changes can make a small crack spread avoid washing your car with cold water in summertime or blasting the air conditioner on a hot day Be Careful When Handling the Damaged Windshield Avoid placing too much force on your cracked windshield for example when washing or clearing ice or snow don t press against the glass too hard this stresses the fracture and could lead to your entire windshield breaking Avoid Aggressive Driving If you re driving around with a crack or chip in your windshield make sure you re not putting unnecessary stress on the damaged area by driving roughly or aggressively Also avoid slamming your car doors or driving over potholes and other obstacles The Repair Options Do It Yourself If you ve determined that your windshield is repairable and you re willing to take a crack and fixing it yourself there are a variety of repair kits out there to help you patch things up These kits come with all the elements necessary for repairing a minor windshield crack or chip like resin and an injector Retailers like Wal Mart and Sears as well as traditional auto parts stores often carry windshield repair kits Leave It to the Pros If the chip or crack is too large or deep for a DIY repair or you simply feel more comfortable leaving the glass fixing to the pros then it s time to drive down to your local auto glass technician What happens next Your technician will clean the area thoroughly then drill a hole in the glass into which she will attach an injector tool that will seal the chip or crack with a special resin This resin will then be cured and polished All of this takes less than an hour sometimes even thirty minutes The Insurance Side of Things After inspecting the

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/car-tips/windshield-repair-101-questions-answers-tips/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Types of Road Rage and How to Respond
    who suffer bad cases of road rage tend to see bad driving as a personal insult Keep in mind that your fellow drivers have their own worries their own lives and their agendas have nothing to do with you Leave traffic enforcement to the police If someone else s driving annoys you don t try to educate the person in any way Focus on being a good example on the road rather than trying to teach those around you Indicate an apology Don t underestimate the power of an apology in curbing drivers aggression and reducing the risk of conflict If you make a mistake while driving simply indicate that you re sorry and continue on your way Stay off the horn Avoid honking your horn at other drivers unless you feel it s absolutely necessary A light tap on the horn is often sufficient If you find yourself being antagonized by an angry driver keep on moving Don t pull over and give the driver an open invitation to you or physically harm you If you re being followed go to a busy public place If you feel very uncomfortable and feel the situation warrants pull over and make an emergency call Avoiding Road Rage Even if you re not likely to feel aggression on the road the following tips can make your trip less stressful and more efficient Always give yourself plenty of time and plan your route to avoid congestion Consider changing your schedule to avoid traffic Never drive when you re feeling overtired or upset about something Take enough time to calm your nerves before you hit the road If you re taking a long trip take frequent breaks to stretch your legs Try to relax and get comfortable when you re stuck in traffic Roll

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/car-tips/types-of-road-rage-and-how-to-respond/ (2016-05-01)
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