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These Inexpensive Cold Remedies Help You Feel Better Fast

You start sneezing, your throat feels scratchy and you’re suddenly so, so tired.

When you’re hit with the telltale signs of a cold, it can be tempting to call the doctor and demand a prescription for antibiotics. But in most cases, it’s not necessary to spend the money on a doctor’s visit or prescription. Since the common cold is caused by a virus, you just have to let it run its course and treat the symptoms. So how do you feel better fast? Try these tried-and-true, inexpensive cold remedies.

Staying Hydratedman drinking tea as inexpensive cold remedy

Mom was right. Staying hydrated is key to feeling better (or at least not feeling worse), when you have a cold. Drinking plenty of water, juice or really any non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverage will help you stay on track to get better quickly and help give your body the energy it needs to fight off the virus. Hot tea (make sure it’s decaffeinated) with honey and lemon not only tastes good, it soothes a scratchy throat; and honey is proven effective as a natural expectorant.

Putting Humidity in the House

Of course, you have to heat your home in the winter. But the hot, dry air can make the symptoms of a cold even more uncomfortable. Be sure you’re replenishing the humidity in your environment by using a humidifier, letting the hot shower run a few times a day or boiling a pot of water on the stove to generate lots of steam. Don’t want to spend money on a humidifier? Placing bowls of water around the rooms and allowing them to evaporate has a similar effect.

Getting Salty

A key seasoning in flavorful food can also help treat your cold symptoms. One of the best ways to treat a sore throat is to gargle with a solution of warm salt water. It’s worth the momentary “yuck” factor to get the instant relief it provides. And since it’s already in your kitchen, salt is one of the ultimate inexpensive cold remedies.

Souping it Up

Soup is cheap, easy, filling and soothing; everything you could want in a meal when you’re feeling under the weather. There’s a reason everyone talks about eating chicken soup when you have a cold – the hot liquid is soothing to the throat and can help loosen congestion. Depending on your preference, sprinkle in some black or red pepper to turbo-charge the decongestant powers. Not a fan of chicken soup? Any broth-based soup can have the same effect. But steer clear of heavier, cream soups, which can worsen congestion and be harder to digest when you’re not feeling well.

Catching Your Zzzzz’s

Sleep is free! And getting plenty of it will help you kick that cold (or any virus) faster. Trying to power through and keep up your regular schedule will only make your cold last longer. Cut back your schedule as much as possible, get a lot of sleep, and you’ll be on the road to recovery before you know it.

Be sure to check out additional ways you can save money on healthcare costs.

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