What to stock up on for flu season

It’s that time of year where we all tend to get the sniffles and sore throat, its flu season. I don’t want to get into a debate if you should or shouldn’t get the flu shot, this is a personal preference for you and your family.  But through winter I do like to make sure I stock up with a few essentials for flu season for when the kids, hubby or I come down sick.

My winter flu kit

I have mentioned some products below that I use with my kids, in no way am I saying you need or should use these products, this is just a guide.  Please ensure you read the directions on all medications you use and talk to your doctor making sure you are giving the correct dosage for each of your family members.


This is a no brainer really, but it’s always a good idea to have too many in your stock pile than not enough, don’t forget to have some in your handbag and the car. I’m not a fan of hankerchiefs, I don’t like the idea of carrying around the stuff you blow out your nose in your pocket and reusing it, it’s just all very germy to me.

Hot Water Bottle

A hot water bottle can be used to help with chills and to warm up beds and soothe strained muscles which can occur from constant coughing and sneezing. These hot water bottles pictured below (my daughter likes to use it at night as her bedroom is so cold) have a snuggly knitted exterior, available online here.



I use this on my kids chest when they have a flemmy cough, to help soath any aches and give some relief.  The kids also use the inhaler at school to help relieve the congestion of a runny nose.  It’s especially good for those moments you don’t want to blow your nose while all is quiet in the class room.

Soap and hand sanitiser

It’s idea to sneeze and couch into your arm, to prevent the spreading of germs, but sometimes it’s an instant reaction to cover your mouth or nose with your hand, allowing droplets to fall into the hand which can then wiped over areas in the home.  Have soap and/or hand sanitser to keep hands clean and to prevent further spreading of germs.

Antibacterial wipes

Use these to wipe over common areas in the home so the healthy people don’t pick up any sick germs, wipe over commonly used:

  • light switches
  • door handles
  • remote controls
  • phones

I use my own homemade reusable antibacterial wipes, see how to make them here.

Children’s ibuprofen

To help relieve headaches but can also help with any aches and pains.

Throat lozenges

My kids like to use throat lozenges to help sooth sore throats.  There are medicated and natural lozenges available, they dissolve slowly in the mouth and lubricate the tissues around the throat offering some relief.


I used a vaporiser reguarly during winter when my kids were young.  I found they struggled with getting a good nights sleep when they had a chesty cough. The vaporiser/humidifier attempt to ease the congestion making it easier for them to sleep. Vaporisers below are available online here.

Lots of toilet paper

Because with the flu sometimes you need to deal with lots of trips to the loo, so you want to be prepared and not run out and have to make a quick dash to the shops.

Rehydration Ice Blocks

Rehydration Ice Blocks are formulated to replace water and electrolytes lost due to vomiting, diarrhoea and heavy sweating. Most chemists stock a variety of rehydration options like the ice blocks, or powder to add to water or already mixed in a range of different flavours.  I keep a few in the freezer for the kids to suck on when needed.  Another option are the Electrolyte sports drinks (gatorade etc), they will help you stay hydrated.


My kids take a multivitamin all year round, but I ensure they have it every day through winter.  They have this to help maintain a healthy immune system and to support their growing bones.  They have this after breakfast each morning.


Important to have on hand to help monitor fevers.  I don’t use mine as much now the kids are older, I can tell by touch if they are unwell.

Crackers and Bread

When unwell it’s important to avoid food that can upset the tummy like fatty fried dishes, spicy or high sugar content foods.  Have on hand some dry unflavoured crackers or keep some bread in the freezer so you can make dry toast for these moments.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is a wonderful winter warmer to have in the freezer, ready for those moments you are  feeling under the weather.  I make this up but don’t cook the vegetables completely as they go mushy when reheating.  Then when you are ready to eat some defrost and when reheating it will cook the vegetables completely. View chicken noodle soup recipe here.


Comfort for the couch

Have a special throw blanket and pillow for the couch.  Each sick person should use the pillow from their bed on the couch, make sure they don’t use cushions from the couch to help reduce spreading of germs.  At the end of each day, put a new cover on the pillow.

Movies and TV’s ready to watch

It’s a good idea to have a few movies or TV shows recorded for family members to watch when they need to rest and relax.

Do you stock up during flu season? What is your number one essential?

What to stock up on for flu season

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Briony July 16, 2015 - 8:49 AM

ive always wanted to be prepared when the kids are sick, but haven’t got around to it, this is great that you kat.

Lisa July 16, 2015 - 9:02 AM

Great list Kat! I always have lemon and ginger tea bags on hand. I prefer making it from fresh lemon and ginger, but when I don’t have them, a teabag and a swirl of honey help soothe the throat and get some vitamin C in at the same time.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 16, 2015 - 2:38 PM

That sounds very soathing Lisa, I haven’t tried it before as I’m not a tea drinker, but I can imagine it would be reallyl nice on a sore throat, might get some to put in the pantry for the rest of the family 🙂

Vanessa July 16, 2015 - 9:15 AM

I now swear by the Nature’s Own Triple Strength Garlic + Vitamin C + Horseradish tablets. Strong smell and taste but seem to work.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 16, 2015 - 2:37 PM

Good to know Vanessa, it’s always great to hear others recommendations. I love garlic maybe the tablets wouldn’t be so bad for me 😛

Jo Murphy July 17, 2015 - 6:26 PM

Very true Vanessa, oir family has used Triple Strength H, G and C for years and we swear by it. Definitely the Triple Strength is the way to go.

Jane Leone July 16, 2015 - 9:26 AM

To be clear there is a very big difference in someone having ‘the flu’ (actual influenza) and just the common cold. This sounds more like remedies for the common cold. I think some people like to be dramatic and say “oh I’ve got the flu” but mostly it’s just a common cold.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 16, 2015 - 2:36 PM

Your spot on there Jane, I should change the title to cold and flu season.

momstheword July 16, 2015 - 12:13 PM

Yes, I do stock up on many of the things you mentioned. I also get some cough syrup that works well with my asthma, and nasal spray as well as some zinc lozenges. Whenever someone starts sneezing and coughing the unaffected ones start popping those lozenges, lol! 😉

Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 16, 2015 - 2:37 PM

I’ve used the nasal sprays previously and they work really well I find : )

Jo Murphy July 17, 2015 - 6:29 PM

I find that the best nasal spray with kids is the saline spray. It doesn’t contain medicine just salty water which helps to thin and dislodge mucus while helping to kill bacteria

Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 17, 2015 - 11:28 AM

I find the rehydration blocks work great, Danielle and the kids perfer them too.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella July 17, 2015 - 8:27 PM

This is very timely right at the moment Kat as I sit in bed with the flu! Hubby stocked up on boxes of tissues! 🙂

Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 20, 2015 - 11:10 AM

Oh no Lorraine.:( I hope you feel better soon x

Miriam June 6, 2016 - 11:01 AM

You should add paracetamol to your list. It’s the most gentle on the stomach lining and doesn’t cause stomach ulcers if you use it without food

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 8, 2016 - 7:30 AM

Great tip Miriam, yes I am always particular that my kids eat something when they need a painkiller.

Carol Collins June 6, 2016 - 3:02 PM

Thyme Tea. Thyme is an excellent anticeptic remerdy.
Fuse thyme in a cup of hot water. Sweeten with honey.

For a scratchy throat….
Lemon honey and a little
Glycerine. The glycerine is a great
Soothing Ingredient.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 8, 2016 - 7:30 AM

ooh Thyme Tea sounds so good Carol, thanks for sharing.


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