Sunday, 6 December 2015

5 easy ways to winterize your home

Seal up those hidden leaks
One of the simplest ways to retain heat and reduce energy costs this winter is by installing proper weather-stripping and caulking around the house. According to Hydro One, up to 40 per cent of home heat loss in winter is due to air leakage, and if you added up all the cracks and leaks in the average Canadian home it would be like having a hole in your wall the size of a basketball. 
Invest in a programmable thermostat
It's wasteful to heat an empty house, so why not take advantage of a programmable thermostat? The David Suzuki Foundation recommends automatically lowering your household temperature while you sleep or are away at work, and bringing the heat back up when you wake or arrive home.
Add insulation
Adding extra insulation into your attic and crawl-spaces is another simple and effective way to reduce heating needs by up to 30 per cent
Tune-up your furnace and water heater
Now is also the time to check your furnace and water heater to make sure they are working at peak efficiency.
Mind your pipes and gutters
By making sure that your gutters are clean and pipes are protected, you can save yourself some major repair headaches down the road. Keeping your gutters free of leaves, sticks and other debris will help melting snow and ice to flow freely, and prevent ice dams that can cause water damage to your home's roof and walls.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

free things to do and get, in Canada!

1) Family golfing 
Kids golf for free during Take a Kid to the Course week in July, when 675 courses across Canada offer free golf and junior club rentals to children under 16 when they are accompanied by a paying adult.

2) Museum passes

You can borrow more than books from the library. In Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, a valid library card allows patrons to take out a weeklong family pass for free admission to museums and other local attractions.

3) Home improvement workshop
Learn how to tackle your next DIY project—whether it's installing a faucet or building a wooden fence—at The Home Depots workshops. Kids aged four to 12 can also get in on the DIY fun with a monthly in-store craft activity. Register at

4) Run and walk club 

Keep up with the pace or set your own at Running Rooms free weekly Run Club, which offers practice walks and runs on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings.
5) Fitness sessions 
Try a free one-hour yoga class (also available online), running club or other fitness program at Lululemon stores across the country.

6) Start stargazing 
Take advantage of free public telescope viewing nights at select observatories across Canada. Visit the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada website for more details.

7) Coin counters 
Don't pay to have your change counted by machines at the supermarket! Personal-banking customers at TD Canada Trust and Bank of Montreal can cash in using the free self-service coin counters at select locations.

8) Nutrition advice 
Improve your diet with the help of in-house dietitians at all Loblaws and Zehrslocations and select Real Canadian Superstore. Complimentary services include menu-planning advice, cooking demos and hands-on label-reading store tours.

9) Cooking class
Improve your culinary skills with free one-hour lessons at Williams-Sonoma. Bonus: You get to sample the dish you prepared in class!

10) DIY fun for kids
During Lowes Build and Grow Clinics, kids aged six to 10 can take home their own do-it-yourself woodworking project, a certificate, an apron and goggles. Clinics are held every other Saturday at 10 a.m. Register in store or at

11) Family Bowling
Register at and your kids will receive two free games a day, all summer long, courtesy of participating bowling centres. Purchase of a family pass (for parents) is optional. Use the Canadian search feature on the site to find age restrictions and a participating alley near you.

12) Lego lesson
Free Lego! Yes, you read that right: Kids can take home a free mini model constructed during monthly builds at Lego stores or during Make n Take events at Toys "R" Us Canada across the country.

13) Outdoor tutorials 
Outdoor-recreation retailers MECCabelas and Bass Pro Shops provide a variety of free in-store tutorials. Events are listed online.

14) Park visits 
Celebrate Canada Day (July 1) with free admission to the more than 200 national history sites, marine conservations areas and parks administered by Parks Canada.

15) Pet freebies
Register at or to receive a free bag of Purina puppy or kitten food.

16) Tea-steep deal
Become a Frequent Steeper at Davids Tea to receive a free cup of tea at sign-up and on your birthday.

17) Slurpee special 
Celebrate 7-Eleven Day on July 11 with a free 12-ounce slurp. Participating stores across Canada serve the treat in special birthday cups while supplies last.

18) Coffee reward
Register a Starbucks card at and receive a free birthday drink or treat.

19) Smoothie certificate
Join Booster Juice's Booster Nation 24 hours prior to your birthday for a free smoothie.

20) Language lessons  
Take "classes" whenever you choose by downloading audio lessons in more than 40 languages at, or study grammar in 16 languages at

21) Kids' eyeglasses
Each August, Loblaw Optical offers a free pair of eyeglasses (frames valued up to $29, with single-vision lenses) to children aged four to 10 with a prescription from within the past 90 days. Some restrictions apply. Visit to find an optical location near you.

22) Creative inspiration
Want to try your hand at jewellery making or fine-tune your scrapbooking skills? Michaels two-hour intro classes provide expert instruction. (You provide your own supplies.)

23) Makeup samples
Become a Beauty Insider at Sephora to receive a birthday cosmetics gift—available any time during your birthday month—every year.

24) University education offers 871 free online classes from top universities in dozens of disciplines, including law, art, biology and social sciences.

25) Birthday breakfast

Show a valid ID on your birthday and Dennys will treat you to a Grand Slam breakfast.

26) Tech tutorials

Both Apple and Microsoft stores offer free programming and workshops. Or keep the kids (aged 8 to 12) busy this summer at Apple Camp, a series of three-day workshops held in July at Apple store locations.

27) Family fishing 
Kids can fish without a licence, and adults can, too, during Family Fishing weekends ( held in June and July. Beginners can download the free Catch Fishing booklet for tips.

28) Swim pass
Tim Hortons sponsors free swimming at pools in participating communities during March and summer breaks. Check for dates and locations.

29) Car seat installation
Receive hands-on instruction on how to properly install a childs car seat—from infant to booster—at Chevrolet Safe and Sure workshops offered in partnership with Parachute Canada. Check for courses in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, or find a free St. John Ambulance Car Seat Safety Clinic near you at

30) Favourite freebie sites
The best freebies go fast. These Canadian sites track the hottest offers so you dont miss out: