The harsh reality of this time of year is that the cold and flu season is upon us. The dreaded chills, congestion and headaches.
Nobody wants to be this guy with the man-cold so let’s get ready.
Take preventative measures, but also learn how to fight a cold and flu on a budget.
Surviving Cold and Flu Season On a Budget
Get Your Snooze On
Sleeping is one of the best ways to prepare for the cold and flu season. Being well-rested builds up our immunity and helps us fight germs.
Plus – no coupon is required for a good night’s sleep!
Consider a Flu Shot
Flu shots are an option to try to lessen flu symptoms, or avoid the flu altogether. Of course, a benefit is that many provinces offer free flu shots.
Many researchers conclude that exercise also boosts our immune systems. Web M.D. cites, “…women who walked for a half-hour every day for one year had half the number of colds as women who did not exercise….researchers associated regular walking with increasing levels of infection-fighting white blood cells.” And best of all, walking is….free!
Today’s Parent recently offered a post called, “5 Foods That Fight Cold and Flu.” Mushrooms, kiwi, yogurt, pumpkin seeds and garlic topped the list. Also research vitamins and supplements to boost the entire families’ immunity this season. And don’t forget to scoop up deals whenever possible!
Another budget-friendly tip is to simply stay hydrated during this season. It will help you flush out impurities, and maintain general health.
Great habits start early. Model consistent handwashing, especially when returning home. The other day my son said, “If I don’t wash my hands when I come home it feels wrong- it’s like I’m not wearing a seatbelt.” Use silly songs to reinforce the importance of handwashing with children.
Some experts caution not to use anti-bacterial soap, but handwashing is a necessary practice. And websites like SmartSource.ca often have coupons for liquid soap you can print off before your shopping trip.
Buy Medicine in Advance
Don’t blow your health budget by letting your medicine cabinet run low. One last-minute trip to the store for medicine can easily cost $20. Avoid paying full price by planning ahead.
Last year I stocked up on Tylenol for $1/box, saving over 90%. I watched the weekly coupon matchups on MapleMoney for the best deal on Children’s Tylenol. When Walmart reduced Children’s Tylenol to $4, I used a $3 printable coupon and stocked up!
Also, watch the expiry dates when purchasing medicine. Try to get the latest date possible, and don’t get too many close to expiry unless you plan to donate them.
Be Nice to Your Nose
My greatest joy is using tissue with lotion when I have a whole-tissue-box kind of cold. Scratchy, thin tissue makes me sad and buying high quality Kleenex doesn’t have to be expensive.
Companies mail out coupons on many items, including paper products. For example, GoCoupons.ca regularly offers $1 coupons for tissue.
Take practical steps to try to prevent flu and colds from entering your home. But if you are hit this season, be prepared with all the essentials…on a budget.
What are your favourite comfort measures when you have the flu or a cold?
By: Karen Gauvreau