Thursday, February 21, 2008

Germs Are NOT Cheap Nor Fabulous

Tip Of The Day: I know, I promised you a post on the power and frugality of daydreaming, but that was before I came down with the same nasty head cold half my office is suffering from. But in suffering there is cheapness! Cheap cold remedies for sick chicks.

Tip For Tomorrow: It’s all about YOU, THE READER. A compendium of all the amazing cheap tips I got via e-mail since Monday’s TV appearance. And thank you for your support!

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: Yup, I’m sick. Again. This is what I get for not bathing in Purell, like El Jefe recommends. Granted, he had the flu last week, so even Purell baths won’t always stave of germs. Here are a few other get-healthy-stay-healthy tips from folks like you:

1. Take vitamin C and zinc: from my Dad, Ma, stylist Lynn, and health magazines.
2. Use saline nasal spray or (UGH) a Netty Pot: from Ma and my trainer, Shayne.
3. Strong drink and Totino’s Party Pizzas: another from El Jefe. I whole-heartedly agree with the Totino’s idea.
4. Humidifier and a hot shower: my manager.
5. Hot drinks/soups, like herbal tea and chicken soup: various people and health magazines.
6. SLEEP: Me. It’s the best cure for what ails you.

In my search for relief, I skibbled off (once again) to Target, source of all frugal goodness. Right now, they have DayQuil on sale for $4.99 and Emergen-C for $7.99. I love the latter, and try to drink it every day. Guess I’ve missed a few days, huh?

I’m not a big fan of DayQuil, as its active ingredients are acetaminophen (aka PLACEBO, unless you can’t take anything else, in which case, sorry), faux-pseudoephedrine that you can buy off the shelf (aka DOESN’T WORK ON ANYONE I KNOW, including me), and a cough suppressant (well, I don’t have a cough).

Instead I take Target-brand ibuprofen and Target’s version of real pseudoephedrine– the stuff you have to buy from behind the pharmacy counter. And THANK YOU SO MUCH, meth heads, for making it difficult for the rest of us to find relief from sinus pain and pressure. Target-brand pseudoephedrine is $5.49 for 48 tablets, by the way.

Here’s something odd. Did you ever notice the discrepancy in Target’s pricing of ibuprofen? A bottle of 100 orange caplets is just $2.44, but the brown pills are $2.99 for 100. And yes, they have the same dosage of ibuprofen. I’m sure there’s a secret reason, known only to Target employees, for this 55 cent difference. I’m not privy to it, so I just get the orange box.

To try out the less icky suggestion from my Ma, I bought a small bottle of saline spray for my nose. Target’s brand is only $1.74 for 1.5 fluid ounces. I still can’t stomach the idea of using a Netty Pot, but if you go here, you can join Amazon’s Netty Pot community. No, I’m not kidding, there’s a whole COMMUNITY for these things. FYI, it is also spelled Neti Pot. Education is fun.

As far as the hot drinks are concerned, Mrs. Kelly’s Teas are the best hot drinks EVER. Go here: if you’d like to order a bunch for yourself. Plus, it’s a MN product. Way to support your home state! In sickness and in health!

Prima-donna that I am, I don’t care for soup from a can. No, I have high-brow tastes that run to gourmet fare like Ramen noodle soup. Yum. However, it is so loaded with fat and sodium that I had to switch to something less destructive to my innards.

Now I consume Thai Kitchen’s Instant Rice Noodle Soup. Each packet is less than $1 (92 cents at Target) and has 3.5 grams of fat. If you don’t throw in the included oil packet, I bet it’s even lower in fat. Plus, they have two spicy flavors, to clean out your sinuses faster than any Netty/Neti Pot.

Well, I’m off to enjoy my favorite cure-all, sleep. Nighty-night, all, and I hope you are feeling better than I am.


LaRUE said...

FIRST! (Hah! You can't smack my upside the head virtually.)

In the spirit of the prior Fantasy Gifts post, there is an old wives tale (which appears to be true) that orgasms can actually clear up stuffed noses/sinuses. Really.

Another less pleasant option is Habanero Peppers. Rated WAY HIGH up on the Scofield Heat Index, which is how peppers are measured. You could actually wipe some Habanero juice directly into your sinuses, which will indeed clear them out (and cause them to leak continuously for days as well as tingle) and which can also cause asthma attacks. So there is a disclaimer that goes with that option.

Personally? I like baked potatoes with butter, hot cocoa and some kind of trashy magazine, as well as a lovely hot bath.

And remember - Purell doesn't cure cancer or colds, it has merely been known to cause spontaneous remission in lab animals. I am sure El Jefe will elaborate.

marjoriejohnsson said...

When you get your own TV show you know you need to take Larue along with you, right? She is invaluable in her dual role as mentor and sidekick. Like having the guiding “force” of an Obe Wan Kenobe with the observations of, ...Joan Rivers? -

OK, maybe not the ideal description but meant with sincere admiration.

The Cheap Chick said...

Don't give her any ideas! She is already referring to herself as "Gayle" and calling me Oprah! She even wrote her own blog post on how MY fame has affected HER.

But I do love her. She is the feng shui to my habitat.

Anonymous said...

Totinos is the best thing ever when you are sick. Real chicken noodle soup is a close second.

I'm making some for LaRue's G-ma this evening.

I'll save you some.

El Jefe

LaRue said...

Marjorie Johnsson, you are my favorite person EVER. Maybe even more than Sting.

It is just terribly exciting to know that I have managed to ride the Chick's coat-tails to fame, and what's more, YOU LIKE ME! YOU REALLY LIKE ME!

I am verklempt.

Watch for more LaRue tomorrow, right here at the Cheap Chick! (BWA HA HA HA HA...)

Shayne said...

I have to say that if you aren't willing to rinse out your nose, you aren't yet miserable enough. AND you only have to buy a neti pot one time in your life, talk about a thrifty idea.

Marketing Mama said...

I bought a neti pot after seeing it on Oprah. It's weird, but not painful. But I'm not going to join a neti pot community - that would be just too weird.

Anonymous said...

You don't need a neti pot. You can snort the same warm salt water mixture out of a cup. Much cheaper. And, cheapest cold remedy? Quarts of water. Drink them. Pee alot. Free, too.

Parker said...

Hello. My name is Rachel and I am addicted to Vicks.

"Hi Rachel."

Ok, in all seriousness, I do indeed love the smell of Vicks, and therefore, absoluletly ADORE the Shower Soothers! Has anyone tried these? The only brand I've seen is Suda-Care but they are tablets you throw in the bottom of the tub while you are taking your normally schuduled shower. Close your bathroom doors and don't turn on the fan. Soon the smell of Vicks will be pouring into your nose relieving your symptoms! It is awesome.

But, they aren't super cheap. If I remember correctly, they are about 6.50 for a box of 3. But if you ask me, totally worth it.

That's my 2 cents for today! I love your blog and read it daily up here in St. Cloud. :)

Hope you feel better soon!
Rachel (Parker's Mom)

Michelle said...

I hope your feeling better! :) There's way too much going around this week... everyone at my work (including me) has been stricken with the flu. No fun.

I'll have to try the Thai Kitchen soup. I love spicy food to clear out my sinsues.