The relevance of my insourcing was really brought home to me last week when our whole family was stricken with a particularly nasty virus. The mere thought of having to rise from our sick beds and feed ourselves, was almost more than we could manage.
As an experienced Mum of 37 years, I assessed the ailing family, and decided that it was indeed just a nasty flu with the predictable aches and pains, fever, headache and malaise so common at this time of the year. We could have all hauled ourselves to the doctor, but all he would have told us is that we had the flu and sent us home. Of course had our symptoms worsened, or vomiting and diarrhoea been in evidence, then haul ourselves to the doc we would. Common sense must prevail.
Disclaimer: Being sick is not usually a time for valuing money saving strategies over getting well, or seeking medical attention when warranted. I share the following information in the spirit of 'being prepared', and using common sense to help your family weather the usual ills and chills, flus and colds and general nasty viruses prevalent in the Winter months. If you are at all in doubt, or if your or your family's symptoms worsen, then do not hesitate to seek medical attention.
So given that were ALL under the weather, never was I more grateful for my well stocked refrigerator and pantry than over those few days. We had staples like milk and bread, plus powdered milk and gluten free bread mix had we run low. We had chicken soup galore, as well as miso powder (Japanese soup), and Bovril (beef stock paste)...covering all bases in the 'all I feel like is soup' brigade. Jelly (jello) featured heavily in the menu, as did Powerade icy poles made with the powdered premix I buy for The Diva, hot lemon drinks with lashings of honey and ginger, and good old fashioned peppermint tea for upset tums. All those good Nanna style home remedies did us the world of good, and in fact, for a bunch of sick people, we actually ate well. That's if you can call eating flavoured water in all it's forms 'eating'.
I always have some honey infused with lemon wedges and slices of fresh ginger on hand at this time of the year. This added to black tea or freshly squeezed lemon juice diluted with hot water, is really soothing and pampering too.
The main thing was, we focused on remaining hydrated, and slept when sleep called us. We banned visitors (even well meaning ones) and visited no-one, to diminish spreading of our illness. We stayed home. In bed. Rested. Drank water and soup and ate ice blocks.
And guess what?
We got better. We got better in four days. Friends of ours who were afflicted with the same virus a week or two ago (perhaps they shared it with US!), are still not well, having remained determined to soldier on. Now I am a fan of 'soldiering on', so I generally admire this. But sometimes, you have to say 'Ok...body telling me something. Stop now'.
So, the funny thing is, that being sick is certainly a novel way of limiting spending. If you don't go anywhere and you're too sick to care whether your milk is full cream or skim, and your eggs free range or just barn raised, then there really isn't a 'savings' strategy to report!
That said, I will mention the following....
Vicks on soles of feet to alleviate coughing saved on buying cough suppressants...saving $20...not an important saving, but rather one thrust upon us due to the fact that we were all too sick to leave the house and go to the pharmacy! The Vicks works well in case you're wondering!
The PowerAde iceblocks were a stroke of ingenuity, when I thought of asking my sister to stop at the pharmacy to buy Gastrolyte iceblocks to freeze, then remembered the PowerAde premix, which I intuited would be similar. A phone call to the pharmacy confirmed the idea. So I simply made up the drink, and froze it in iceblock molds. Frankly they tasted better than the Gastrolyte too. Saving $45.
The Musician Husband rang on his way home on Day One of not feeling the best, asking whether, since he was in the supermarket getting lemons, we might not want to stock up on ready prepared 'fresh' soups. Good grief, what was the man thinking? At $9 for 500mls, the answer was no, and anyway we had four litres of home-made-from-scratch Jewish style kill-anything chicken soup in the freezer. So let me see, that's the equivalent of 8 packets of the pre-made stuff, so a saving of $72.
I didn't grocery shop at all. You may recall from last week that I spent more than I usually would, so that was well timed. A top up shop would have been necessary though, and we simply managed without those things, or enjoyed the relief of being able to draw upon our stores of dishwasher tablets, body wash, shampoo and conditioner, toilet tissue and teabags. I guess we would have done that anyway, but in real terms, having those stocks (paid for with Flybuy dollars some months back) still generated a saving of $100 on those items.
We insourced entertainment, resurrecting old movies we hadn't watched in years, avoiding the DVD hire kiosk, and saving probably $60 in keeping our sick selves amused.
We used good old fashioned Panadol or Nurofen to manage temperatures, preferring to avoid the Cold and Flu type medications. Saving $30.
So all up, when being a sick family usually means all kinds of expenses, we still managed to insource as much as possible, and save ourselves some money. By being prepared, we saved over $300 on things that we may have considered 'essential' had we not had good alternatives on hand.