Direct Shots

  • Check for Recalls online: To provide better service in alerting the American people to unsafe, hazardous or defective products, six federal agencies with vastly different jurisdictions have joined together to create www.recalls.gov, a ‘one-stop-shop’ for U.S. Government Recalls.
  • How Much Does it Cost You to Drive? AAA has created a brochure and provided an in-depth explanation to help you understand what it costs to drive your car. This data is dated 2016.
  • My Little Libraries promote literacy and the love of reading. Did you know there are over 50,000 Little Free Library book exchanges around the world?
  • The Cost of Raising a child: BabyCenter.com allows you to plug in certain variables to determine the cost of child rearing (with all the pertinent disclaimers, of course).
  • What’s for Dinner? That age-old question now has some help with these online menu planners which could help for a less stressful week!  Relish, All Recipes, Dinner PlannerQuick Healthy Meals in 45 minutes or less, Blue Zones Meals.
  • Informed Dining: See restaurant inspections on the web by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. Search by filling in the information in the search boxes.
  • Agency Reporting of Gifts, Bequests and Grants: Reports from state agencies on gifts, bequests and grants they receive from private or other government sources can be viewed at the web site for the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, this includes gifts the Governor receives on behalf of the state.
  • Obtaining your Credit Report: It’s a good idea to periodically check your credit report to spot errors or fraud. The official site to obtain your free credit report is www.annualcreditreport.com. There are three main credit reporting agencies: Equifax,  Experian, and TransUnion.
  • Cost of Gasoline: There is a web site that helps visitors find the lowest gasoline prices in an area after typing in a specific zip code. GasBuddy is a portal to over 170 local or state sites that track what stations in each community are charging.
  • Appliance Help: If you’re in the market for new home appliances and enjoy research before purchase, you might want to visit www.appliance411.com which they claim provides “unbiased, helpful tips about home appliances.”
  • Life Expectancy Calculator: Ever wondered how your lifestyle habits and family history affect your longevity? The non-profit Alliance for Aging Research has a Life Expectancy Calculator based on centenarian studies and other medical research.