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Frugal Cold Treatments

tissue box Fighting a cold and don’t want to spend $20 or more on all of those over the counter remedies? Below are some frugal ways to treat a cold.

Well, in spite my “germy-phobic” practices of making sure everyone washes their hands and use antibacterial glob, we all came down with a pretty nasty cold. I cringed when my husband called me from work the other day to say that his throat was getting very scratchy. Maybe he brought something home from work. Then again, it could have been that trip to Chuck E Cheese, our first in two years, that we experienced a few days ago.

At least, the kids don’t seem as badly off as the adults. Those little energizer bunnies hardly slow down long enough to drool a little mucus on the couch. Yes, it is not pretty here today. Mom is sick and tired.

Anyway, because I am nursing an infant and the kids are so young, we try to stay away from those over the counter cold remedies, preferring some more natural ways of treating our symptoms. Obviously, we would seek a doctor’s treatment if things got worse or continued for more than two weeks, but for now, we are just suffering from miserable colds.

As I was thinking about it, these treatments are all very frugal. Well, other than the huge boxes of tissues I am going through, we aren’t really purchasing anything new. Here is my treatment plan.


I really believe this is the best medicine, and it is free. My husband, for example, can sleep for four hours straight when he has a cold and wake up almost completely well. I don’t quite have the luxury of napping, but I do try to rest by getting out the puzzles and letting the kids play on the floor while I lay down. Another sneaky way to get in some rest without turning on the TV or a video is to play ball. I get a nice soft ball and plop myself on the couch and then toss it with the kids. They are still young and don’t throw very hard, so it works well.


A humidifier works wonders. You can also turn on the shower and camp out in a steamy bathroom. It will help open up your congestion. Saline nose drops help loosen up that mucus as well. You can always make your own, administering it with a child size medicine dropper.

Fluids and Food

Of course you know that you need to get plenty of fluids. Now is the time to defrost that chicken stock you have in the freezer. Studies have shown that chicken soup actually helps fight a cold and relieves symptoms.

Try some raw garlic. There is a reason you can buy commercial garlic supplements, because garlic does work in fighting off a cold. I keep a jar of minced garlic in my fridge that I use for cooking. It is actually very sweet when eaten raw (refrigeration brings out the sugars in the garlic). And don’t worry, with your cold, you won’t be able to taste much of it anyway.

Do you have any frugal cold remedies to share?

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com