When you hear someone utter the phrase, “There’s something going around,” it’s a clear sign that cold and flu season are in full effect. While a visit to the doctor is a good idea if your symptoms get worse, you should have to pay a hefty bill for every sniffle. And, with the long winter months, the chances you’ll get sick again are pretty high.
So, here are some cost-effective ways to go about treating your common bug:
1. First line of defense. When it comes to steering clear of an infection this year, the cheapest option is to not get sick in the first place. This starts with an annual flu shot. Many insurance companies may cover low-cost, or possibly free, vaccinations administered by drugstores and health organizations. By taking advantage of these offers in your area, you could be saving yourself and entire season of stuffy noses and sort throats.
2. Reliable alternatives. Over-the-counter medicines can be just as effective as the prescription stuff, at a fraction of the cost. Make use of coupons and sales to load up on cough syrup, nasal spray, and pain medicine to provide you with some quick relief. You may want to opt for the bigger packages in case your symptoms return. If you are living with family or friends, this can also come in handy as more likely than not, once that cold gets you, it’s going to get someone else. Not to mention, this takes away the hassle of running around to different places and waiting for prescriptions to be filled, and eventually refilled. Pick up what you need and take it when you need to.
3. Seal the germs. Keep tissues, cough drops, and hand sanitizer on you at all times. That’s just common courtesy! Because these items are in such high demand during this time of year, they are often located in dollar stores or discount sections of retail stores making it that much easier to stock up and save. Grab a couple of the inexpensive travel packs to keep in your car, at work, and in your coat pockets. Those around you will be grateful you did.
4. Nourishment needs. One of the first things to go when you begin to feel sick is your appetite. While soup hasn’t been proven to be medically beneficial in treating that sore throat, it is always a great thing to have to keep you nourished when you just don’t feel like eating. Grocers are well aware of this need and will often run sales or promotions on canned and ready-made soups during the winter so you can get more for less. While you’re there look for deals or coupons that will help you stock up on water, teas, and sports drinks to keep you hydrated and full of electrolytes.
5. Miracle cures. Here is your chance to experiment and be resourceful with items around the home such as herbs, spices, essential oils, and even leftover fruits and vegetables, to create remedies or concoctions that will provide relief to your symptoms. The possibilities here are endless. Mix hot water, lemon, honey, and cinnamon to sooth a scratchy throat. Drop peppermint oil in boiling water then cover your head and breath in the steam to clear a clogged nose. Gargle water and apple cider vinegar to clear bacteria from your body. Another method to rid the body of bacteria is to slice onions and garlic, wrap them in saran wrap around your feet, then cover with a sock at night. No matter how bizarre these methods seem, they will make you feel better and save you on an extra trip to the store.
6. Clear the air. In addition, investing in a humidifier may also be a good idea to help subside the dryness in your home and provide some much-needed moisture. Never pay full price. Scour the internet and newspapers for coupons to get yourself the best deal possible. Your sinuses will thank you later.
Overcoming these pesky symptoms can make the winter months that much tougher to bear, but finding simple, cost-effective remedies that don’t have your wallet feeling sick too, will have you feeling better in no time!