Written by Emily McClements of Live Renewed.

This is the first year that I am really going to try my hand at natural, herbal and home remedies for getting our family through the cold and flu season.  The only problem with many of these remedies? They might be natural and homemade, but they are definitely not free!

If you are also just starting to look into natural and herbal remedies, you probably had the same reaction as me – “Wow! This stuff is expensive!” And you wonder how in the world you can stock your natural remedies medicine cabinet without forking over what feels like an entire paycheck.

Because as many of you know, I am all about green and natural living while saving money at the same time, I’ve come up with a few ideas for stocking your home remedies cabinet without breaking the bank.

1. Share With Friends

Find some like-minded friends who are also interested in natural healing, and buy items in bulk that you will both use, but may not need a large quantity of. Usually buying a larger quantity will get you a better price, but it also costs a larger amount upfront, a cost that you might not be able to afford on your own, so split the cost, as well as the shipping, with a friend.

2. Buy in Bulk

Now, on the other hand, if you know there is something that you are going to be using A LOT of, maybe raw honey, or coconut oil, then it’s a good idea to go ahead and buy it in bulk so you can get the largest amount for the cheapest price.

You could also check into bulk ordering with friends, I just bought a gallon of high quality coconut oil for a great price with free shipping by ordering with six other people.  I found the group order through Facebook, so don’t be afraid to go out and ask other people to join with you.

Photo by HealthHomeHappy.com

3. Start Slow

While you would probably like to jump right in and buy every ingredient that you might ever need, start with purchasing items that will give you the most bang for your buck, rather than something with a very specific purpose.

Purchasing the ingredients for elderberry syrup which can be taken daily as a preventative measure against getting sick, and then taken in higher doses if you do get sick, will be a better investment than buying specific ingredients for a cough syrup that you may only need for a week or so.

4. Plan Ahead

Many home remedies take time to sit and “brew” before they are ready to use. You want to have an enchinacea tincture for when you get sick, but it takes four to six weeks to be ready, so invest in ingredients now that you need to make stuff ahead of time, and then you can spend some money on ingredients that you can use right away, later.

It’s also important to plan ahead by stocking your medicine cabinet with home remedies so that you don’t end up running to the pharmacy for medicine when your child has a coughing fit in the middle of the night.

5. Check Local Health Food Stores and Drugstores

Not everything that you need to stock your natural medicine cabinet has to be ordered from a specialty online shop.  You can find some great natural remedies at your local health food store and drugstores, and if you keep your eyes out for a good sale or deal, you can often get them at a very affordable price.

I usually stock up on Emergen-C when it is on sale buy-one-get-one-free at the drugstore, and I recently found some Chestal Cough Syrup on clearance for $2 when it was originally $9, I saved $14 on two bottles!

You can help keep your family healthy this winter by building a natural, herbal and frugal home remedies cabinet.

Check out these other great resources for what to stock your natural medicine cabinet with:

Stocking Your Natural Herbal Medicine Cabinet from Passionate Homemaking

Stock Your Natural Remedies Medicine Cabinet from Kitchen Stewardship

Using Essential Oils to Build Immunity During Cold and Flu Season from More than Mundane

How do you save money and stock your natural and herbal remedies medicine cabinet?  What are your favorite home remedies for getting through cold and flu season?