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Two Money-Saving Tips

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1. Stop buying Ritalin for your kid.

Did you know that a study showed that learning to swim well improved reading and writing skills in ADD-diagnosed children? If you do not have a body of water nearby, maybe other physical exercise will improve your child's focus and calmness.

For example, when I lived with a family in the countryside of Nicaragua – where there are no roads, no electricity (no TV or screens of any kind), and you hike a mile to get to the river to carry back water – I noticed that the children were much calmer and more focused. For example, four-year-olds expertly sharpened machetes then climbed trees to cut limbs for firewood.

Children are capable of so much more than Western Industrialized Society allows them to do. One child in particular comes to mind. She grew up running on hillsides, climbing trees, digging clay with her aunts on the rising of the full moon, scrubbing clothes on a rock in the river that birthed from a nearby spring where the Duende lived (the spirit of the mountain). I never heard her complain, even in the most physically uncomfortable of circumstances. She has grown up into a remarkably self-possesed young woman and a brilliant ceramic artist.

Save money on drug prescriptions and have happier children and a happier you.

2. Stop buying air fresheners.

Save money and protect your health. Those air freshener sprays are laden with chemicals that harm you and the environment from start to finish.

Instead, pick some flowers from that community garden you created with your neighbors. (Or ask your kid to run over and pick the flowers. More exercise for a growing body and mind!). The natural floral scent will freshen the room. And they are a lot more beautiful to look at than a can that will go into the garbage and then into landfills that won't be healthy for the earth for many, many years. When the flowers wilt and get slimy, add them to your compost and they will soon be nutrition for next year's flowers!

And to really clean the air, potted plants work great. Get a cutting from a friend, some dirt from outside, and a pot can be any old container. Place in a sunny spot and just add water. Potted plants suck out volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air in your home.

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About Lynette Yetter

Lynette Yetter is the author of the books "72 Money Saving Tips for the 99%" and "Lucy Plays Panpipes for Peace, a novel." Lynette is a permanent resident of Bolivia and a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program at Reed College.
  • Hello Karin,

    Do you work for Nokia E71? If not, they might want to hire you to advertise for them.

    – Lynette

  • Hello Rudy,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    – Lynette

  • Karin

    Very nice. Add to the list giving into your kids demands for an IPhone and the $110+ bill that goes along with it to Apple and ATT. I heard every plea in the book from my 12 year old for that phone and she was shocked on Christmas when she got a Nokia E71 from Straight Talk instead – boo yah! I paid about $100 less for the hardware itself and then its only costing me $45 a month with this seperate unlimited plan and she can talk as much as she wants to her friends and my bill is back at a reasonable amount. Prepaid, prepaid, prepaid – its the way to go.

  • Ruvy

    I just noticed this article now. Again, you strike a home run! Great job!!!