Stocking Your Pantry for Flu & Cold Season

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Be prepared for flu and cold season by stocking your pantry with comfort and healing.

Stocking Your Pantry for Flu and Cold Season - Be prepared for flu and cold season by stocking your pantry with comfort and healing. Grab the printable list of supplies.

The irony is not lost on me: during the Pantry Challenge, we ate up our supply of saltine crackers, frozen orange juice, and chicken broth. And then five kids and I came down with the Head Cold of the Century.

It all worked out. The money I saved during the challenge went toward buying comfort foods and items rich in Vitamin-C. The month will be a wash, but I learned a valuable lesson.

Keep a small stock of foods to treat cold and flu.

At least during cold and flu season!

Just as I have an emergency stash in case of earthquake, I think it is wise to have some basics on hand, and perhaps stored separately from the regular food, so that folks in the house don’t eat it all before we really need it.

In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be looking for sales on items that I can keep on hand in the event of illness. Here’s my list:

What would YOU add to the list?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Leah says

    Frozen greens to add to soups and stews – spinach and kale being the top of my list. Having chicken soup frozen is terrific. That way no one needs to cook. We can all just be sick together. But I also have a stash of elderberry syrup as well as frozen elderberries so I can make more. This is a must-have for helping us avoid and/or move quickly through the crud. Thieves oil is great stuff as it lemon balm and coltsfoot compound.

  2. Melissa W says

    Ginger is a great addition to a honey and lemon tea, especially if you have a queasy stomach.

  3. annie says

    stickers and paper for the little ones.

    tea tree oil sprinkled on the pillow case or neck/chest/ nose bridge will help keep the younger ones asleep longer.

  4. Kristi says

    I try to keep chicken on hand for soup–either shredded and frozen or canned. I’m not a big fan of canned chicken, but since I can get a good price on it at Costco, it’s great to have on hand for times when we are out of frozen chicken. Also, I might add Vicks and Mucinex to the meds list. We needed these when the flu hit the week before Christmas. And tissues—–plenty of tissues!

  5. Leslie says

    Kleenex! Nasal spray, decongestant, Mucinex, Nyquil. And apple juice.

  6. Crystal says

    Aconitum napellus (Aconite), take a first sign of cold or sore throat; N-Acetyl Cysteine, (3000 to 6000 mg/day ) for sinus and chest congestion, hepar sulphuris calcareum, (Hepar Sulph) for those who can take sulfur.

  7. Charice L. says

    Umcka by Nature’s Way (homeopathic), either the cold formula or the cold/flu combination (frequently on sale at Sprouts). Start taking it the instant you feel something coming on; it will shorten the duration of the illness and reduce the ugly symptoms. My littles prefer the cherry flavor and there is absolutely no resistance to taking it (unlike the pain relievers/fever reducers). It’s kept our illnesses from going south to the point where antibiotics are needed.

  8. Karen says

    Tissues, definitely :0) Hope your family is feeling better. Flu is going around the workplace right now .

  9. Shannon says

    I did this a few weeks ago after I thought we had been exposed to the flu, we stayed healthy, but now when the next bug comes we don’t need to rush to the store. I included some homeopathic stuff that is for the flu and coconut water, along with soup, juice, crackers and popsicles. I just have to add that I love your blog, I find the way you approach healthy eating encouraging and reasonable, and I don’t leave it feeling guilty that I am not doing enough. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

    • No guilt! That’s not allowed. I’m figuring it all out right alongside you all. (I wish my family liked coconut water….)

      Thanks for taking the time to say such sweet things. I appreciate it!

  10. Vanessa B says

    For little ones we stock up on pedialyte and Similisan (all natural cough and cold medicine).

  11. Kathy says

    Ginger ale, covers for the digital ear thermometers

  12. Ann says

    I love to make “Chicken Soup Starter” whenever I make a roast chicken or pick up a rotisserie chicken. I will put the carcass in the crockpot along with onion, lots of garlic, carrots, celery, seasonings and water. I let it cook overnight then in the morning I will strain it, put it into quart containers and then pick through the solids to get as much meat as I can and will add that to the stock. This will then be frozen and is my starter. I can then pull a container out, dump the frozen starter into a pot and slowly heat it while I cut up a stalk of celery, a carrot and then prepare rice (or use leftover rice if I have it – which can easily be frozen in baggies). If I want it with noodles, I add the veggies in and cook until almost tender then add the noodles and let them cook until ready. It takes about 20-30 minutes to get a sick family member a bowl of hot homemade chicken soup. I make sure I have at least 6 of these on hand by the beginning of December.

  13. Sandi says

    We use Airborne, I’ve never tried EmergenC. AIrborne goes on sale at Costco, so I get it then. Perhaps Airborne is more to help you prevent getting sick while EmergenC is for after the fact? Not sure. If I know I’ve been exposed (or am around a lot of people when crud is going around) or am just feeling a little off, I’ll drink the Airborne. I thankfully have a good immune system anyway, so do not get sick all that often.

    Coconut water would be a great addition. I personally cannot stand the stuff. I’ve tried numerous times, and have to force myself to swallow it. Vita Coco has a blend of juice and coconut water at Costco, though, that I find perfectly drinkable. It’s marketed for kids, so clearly your children are not the only ones that don’t care for it. Perhaps you’d like to try that one some time.

  14. Dorothy K says

    I would add gelatin (jell-o) in any form. Great for upset tummies or sore throats, general malaise, etc. Can be made completely from scratch using fruit juice all the way to prepackaged in the refrigerated section, take your pick.

  15. julie says

    I make a drink with green tea coconut water and orange juice. Its great for staying hydrated.
    Also I keep elderberries on hand for making elderberry syrup.


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