My BFF has a monster of a cold. Thankfully, it is not anything approaching the feared corona virus, mind you, but she’s still congested and sniffy and while clearly on the mend, there is nothing more miserable than battling a spring or summertime cold. It got me thinking about how expensive even the common cold can be in terms of medications, time off and sheer misery. So, below is my go-to list of frugal ideas for combating the common cold/flu:
1. Dollar store hand sanitizer. Very important to not infect others. Use frequently.
2. Dollar store Theraflu or generic version, the kind that you infuse into a cup of hot water. I’ve never had an issue using the dollar store version though some disagree.
3. Dollar store cough drops. I like the eucalyptus-flavored version.
4. Dollar store chest rub. It feels and smells the same as the more expensive pharmacy brands.
5. Homemade chicken broth. Keep a stash from your ‘something from nothing’ efforts. This is liquid gold when you have the flu. I literally label mine “Emergency Use Only”. Thaw the minute you start feeling under the weather and when thawed, season liberally with salt and pepper. I like to toss in a couple of coins of ginger root and some lemon slices while it warms up to infuse the broth with more flavor. Some people like to add in vegetables and chicken meat. Fools. I like mine just as is; seasoned well and naked. I have friends who literally call me up begging for my chicken broth. I bring it to my daughter and grandchild when they are suffering from allergies too. Like I said, liquid gold.
6. A mister. Also called an essential oil diffuser. Mine cost about $15 from Amazon and is worth every penny. I keep some inexpensive oils including eucalyptus and mint around and a few drops in the mister are very helpful when I am feeling sick. Good for congestion.
7. Zinc-based medications that are designed to help shorten the duration of a cold. I find that these can help though I don’t buy the expensive brands. Generic seems to work fine and costs about $9.
8. Vitamin C. Use liberally. And buy generic. Chemically, vitamins are essentially the same.
9. Crisp, clean sheets. No kidding. The second you find yourself getting sick, put fresh sheets on your bed and hunker down.
10. The softest tissues you can afford as this is your poor, sniffy nose we are talking about. And some generic petroleum jelly for moisturizing your nose and lips.
11. Tea and lemon and honey please. I love a good cup of tea and it costs next to nothing to brew up a pot with honey and lemon when you are under the weather.