Flu costs a fortune

Posted July 4th, 2005 by Penny Wise

A new foe has attacked my carefully monitored budget already this month - its name is Influenza B. We all have it, but the boys have been worst affected, with one developing bronchitis as an added 'bonus' and the other laid out with pneumonia. Until last week, my two were the only children in their school not to have succumbed to the illness, but this one was just too prevalent to keep at bay. Let's face it, there's never a convenient time to be ill, but the cost of this one really annoys me. So far, our collective illness has amounted to us purchasing all the following items, which we would never usually have to buy:

  • 2 x weeks off school for the boys
  • 1 x new thermometer
  • 1 x giant size bottle Panadol
  • 4 x inhalers
  • 1 x nasal spray
  • 3 x antibiotics
  • 2 x bottles cough medicine
  • 1 x packet cough lozenges
  • 2 x doctor's visits
  • 3 x boxes of ice blocks
  • 1 x tub of icecream
  • 4 x 12 packs lemonade cans (very necessary for sore throats, trust me)
  • 5 x magazines (which I hate buying, such a waste of money!)

All of which adds up to approximately... I don't want to think about it, and it's not over yet! Apart from the magazines, everything else became a necessity to try and keep everyone cool/warm/comfortable as needed. The oil heaters have been on all day and night for the past ten days in the bedrooms and the fire has been roaring from morning to night, really economical I don't think. I think Michael Jackson had the right idea all those years ago when he started wearing face masks and shutting himself away in a space bubble. I've a good mind to recycle the trend and bring the face mask back in fashion if it saves us any more episodes like this.

Never mind, there is always a bright side to everything - sort of, in this case. Being on antibiotics for two weeks has meant a total alcohol ban in our house, which can only do the wallet good. Two weeks off school has meant no packed lunches for the boys, so the pantry stocks have remained untouched. In fact, nobody's really eating anything except ice cream, so grocery wise it has been very economical. Just as well, seeing as we've probably given next week's grocery money to the chemist already!

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