Frugal Sniffles: How to Save Money When You’re Sick

Sick woman holding thermometer
Photo by Hananeko_Studio / Shutterstock.com

Hear that coughing one cubicle over? Rhinoviruses and other invisible cooties are headed your way. We’re coming up on the cold and flu season, and now — when you’re not sick — is the time to build a sickroom stash.

I’ve been seeing coupons for and sales on cold medicine, cough syrup, tissues, vaporizers and throat lozenges. Those are a great start, especially if you can use coupons and rebates. In the past I’ve gotten such items free or nearly free.

Don’t stop there, though. Watch for sales on tea bags and cocoa mix because hot beverages are so soothing. I’ve been seeing good prices on canned soups, always a good bet when you’re sick. Chicken noodle is an obvious choice.

Get some crackers to go with the soup. Stock the cupboard with some canned fruit; if you’re sick you don’t want to have to go to the store for bananas or oranges. Hint: Chilled applesauce is kind to a throat raw from coughing.

Keep hot cereal on hand, too. If you can’t taste anything you might as well have oatmeal or Cream of Wheat for supper. Pick up some nuts and dried fruit to add flavor and nutrition.

Canned pineapple juice or frozen juice concentrates are great to have on the shelves. Even if you don’t think that extra Vitamin C has anything to do with fighting illness, it sure can’t hurt.

Best-case scenario: You make it through the winter without a single sniffle. Great! Your sickroom stockpile will hold over in case a spring or summer cold (yuck) should develop.

“Be prepared” is more than the Boy Scouts’ marching song. It’s what will make you slightly more comfortable no matter what time of year you succumb to a virus. Imagine feeling sick as a dog and discovering there’s not so much as a single aspirin in the house, let alone a can of chicken soup.

You may find yourself shambling out to the nearest store – maybe even a convenience store – in search of supplies. It’s bad enough that you have to take something as nasty-tasting (though terribly effective) as Robitussin. Overpaying for it would just be aggravating.

Bonus: You’ll learn that breaking up crackers into soup is just as much fun as it was when you were a kid.

More stories on DonnaFreedman.com:

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
How Much of My Social Security Benefit Can My Ex Take From Me?
How Much of My Social Security Benefit Can My Ex Take From Me?

A man wonders if his ex-wife will siphon away his Social Security benefit.

28 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free
28 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free

From entertainment to education, if you know the tricks, you can save big.

7 Ways to Save Even More at Dollar Stores
7 Ways to Save Even More at Dollar Stores

Yes, it’s possible to pay less than a buck for items from a dollar store. Here’s how.

25 Things You Should Never Buy — and What to Buy Instead
25 Things You Should Never Buy — and What to Buy Instead

If you really want to save money, become a more intentional shopper.

7 Secret Perks of Individual Retirement Accounts
7 Secret Perks of Individual Retirement Accounts

IRAs come with bells and whistles that many other accounts lack — including some perks you may not know exist.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach
10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach

Does the pandemic have you reaching for bleach more than ever before? Learn the ins and outs of using this powerful disinfectant.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.