There are several frugal ways to stay healthy in cold and flu season. If you're sick, you have to take time off from work, which impacts your paycheck. Unfortunately, there's no stopping cold and flu season. But if you take the necessary precautions, you can avoid viruses. Here are seven frugal ways to stay healthy in cold and flu season.
1. Get a Flu Shot
Getting a flu shot is one of the best frugal ways to stay healthy in cold and flu season. You can walk into just about any pharmacy or health department and request a flu shot. You can get one for $20 to $30, and many pharmacies accept a variety of health insurance plans. Getting a shot not only protects you, but also your family.
2. Stock up on Antibacterial Gel
Go to the travel section of your local grocery store and stock up on antibacterial gel for the winter. You can typically buy a small bottle for as little as $.50. Keep one in your house, in your car and in your desk at work. Also, you might send one with your children to school. Regularly sanitize your hands to kill germs, and avoid touching your nose and mouth.
3. Disinfecting Wipes
Like antibacterial gel, disinfecting wipes are a cheap way to keep yourself healthy this cold and flu season. You can buy a small packet at any grocery or retail store. Periodically, wipe the light switches in your home or office, as well as other commonly touched surfaces, such as telephones, doorknobs and tables.
4. Fruits and Veggies
It's certainly cheaper to prepare your own food at home -- and fruit and vegetables don't cost a lot. Five servings of each per day gives your body the antioxidants it needs to build a strong immune system and fight colds and viruses.
5. Get Fit
It doesn't cost a dime to stay active during cold and flu season. Yes, you can get a membership at a gym – but you don't have to. Even if you exercise in your living room for 20 to 30 minutes a day – something is better than nothing. Regular activity helps build a stronger immune system, which helps your body fight off viruses.
6. Herbal Teas
Rather then drink soda and other sugary beverages during the winter, which can reduce the effectiveness of your immune system, add herbal teas to your daily mix. Several teas are proven to give your immune system a boost and fight colds and flu, such as echinacea and green tea. For the most part, these herbal teas won't break the bank.
7. Get Plenty of Sleep at Night
To keep your immune system strong, it's best to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. Therefore, adjust your sleep schedule to make sure you're in bed at a reasonable time each night. Getting plenty of sleep may seem like a small adjustment, but this simple move reduces your risk of getting a cold or flu this year.
Protecting yourself from colds and viruses doesn't take much effort. There are plenty of things you can do and often times, is simply a matter of making minor changes to how you take care of yourself. What are other frugal ways to protect yourself from cold and flu this year?