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The Coupon Lady: Stockpiling items pays off during sickness

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Have you ever had a week of plans go completely down the tube? It just happened to me.

I’ve been psyching up myself for my annual fall deep cleaning, and a few weeks ago, I started cleaning out all my closets and attics. My goal was to start getting ready for the holiday season and make room for my daughter’s birthday gift of new furniture. However, the delivery came late that Friday night and my friend and I rushed to put things up in their new places so she could sleep on her new bed.

On Saturday, holding her birthday party and spending time with our family took up most of our day. We even managed to have my husband attend the birthday party from Afghanistan using a Wi-Fi connection, iPad and Skype. My daughter was happy and the day was a success.

On Sunday, I played with the kids and helped my daughter find places for some of her new toys, planned out my column for the week, did a few loads of laundry, cooked dinner and got the kids’ backpacks ready for school and their lunches made. I collapsed into bed on Sunday with every intention of hitting the ground running Monday.

I had a lot of plans for the week. I wanted to start my weekly obligation of volunteering at my kids’ school, completely clean out my fridge, organize and clean out my pantry, finish my daughter’s bedroom, clean out and reorganize the garage and go through my children’s wardrobe and box up everything they had outgrown. On Monday morning, I started strong and was able to do the fridge and most of the pantry not long after the kids were off to school. My father was feeling pretty good for a change, so we went out for a nice father-daughter lunch.

But by dinner that evening, I knew something was up. I started getting a runny nose and my throat began to tickle. Less than 48 hours later, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Body aches, headache, coughing, swollen neck, earache, sore throat and severe congestion would plague me for the rest of the week.

I wish I could say I was productive during my sickness, but the rest of the week was spent forcing myself up out of bed to get my kids to school. Once I saw they had safely gotten on the school bus, I headed straight back to my bedroom for a few more hours of rest.

Over the course of the week, I did manage to meet with my son’s teachers, finish my school orientation and volunteer training and run a few errands. I tried to keep the dishes from overtaking both sinks and got enough laundry done to make sure we all have clean towels.

Instead of my holiday plans to introduce my dad to the local drive-in movie theater on Friday and having a football season-opener cookout on Saturday, my Labor Day weekend was spent trying to manage two healthy, energetic kids while being barely able to stand without being dizzy or nauseated.

There is no doubt in my mind that I couldn’t have gotten through this weekend if I hadn’t been prepared. Couponing has its advantages during a sickness.

Because I had a medicine stockpile, I didn’t have to go out for a medicine run when my symptoms started. Instead, I was able to go to our medicine cabinet and pull out what I needed. I also already had Kleenex for my runny nose and lozenges to soothe my sore throat.

Because I plan meals and keep a few ready to go in my deep freeze, I didn’t have to worry about what we were going to eat. I made a homemade chicken noodle soup for lunches out of my stockpile ingredients and defrosted dinners as needed. I used what was already on hand and only had to make a quick stop to the grocery store for milk and bread.

Being prepared this week was definitely a blessing. Now I just hope I’m on the mend soon.

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