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My Favorite Frugal Immunity Booster

When it comes to cold and flu season, there are a lot of things we can do to help keep ourselves healthy. But, even the strongest of us can sometimes use a boost. Even though I very rarely feel off kilter at all, there are times that even I need a little help. And when this happens, I go to my favorite frugal immunity booster to kick things before they really begin.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The first and foremost ingredient in any immunity booster I use is apple cider vinegar. While I have never been a huge fan of any vinegar taste, or smell, I can tolerate this one a bit better than most others. It helps that I only need to use about 1 Tbsp of it per warm drink at a time.

Apple cider vinegar has a ton of immunity boosting properties. Some of the most potent and common are:

  • Antimicrobial due to high level of acetic acid
  • Antiviral
  • Helps lymphatic drainage
  • Helps restore a more alkaline pH
  • High in antioxidants
  • Improves circulation
  • Prebiotics that help boost microbiome immunity
  • Reduces blood sugar levels
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Thins out respiratory mucous
  • Weight loss assistance

This list of benefits is pretty darn long and shows that apple cider vinegar can really help total overall health. And when it comes to buying apple cider vinegar, you want to make sure to purchase one with the mother in it. Since the mother is the healthiest part of the apple cider vinegar, you want to make sure you have one with it. If your apple cider vinegar is cloudy then you can bet the mother is still present.

And, in addition to that, I always go organic to help avoid any potential pesticides and herbicides that might still be present. After all, those would negate the positive immunity boosting properties of the apple cider vinegar to begin with.


I may start my immunity booster out with apple cider vinegar, but that isn’t where it ends. To help complete my powerhouse, I usually add the following spices also:

  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Cayenne

I suggest starting with 1/4 tsp of each to see how you handle the effects and the taste. As not all of us are fond of all 4 of these spices. I know that I generally prefer much less cayenne and ginger than the other 2 in my drink. But, all of these are added for a specific reason to help boost immunity. These are:

  • Cinnamon is high in antioxidants, antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Turmeric is high in curcumin which is a strong anti-inflammatory
  • Ginger has many anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory benefits
  • Cayenne contains capsaicin which can help reduce inflammation and treat colds and congestion
  • Add a bit of each to your apple cider vinegar in a mug and either stir or whisk. I personally prefer whisking because I feel that it gets a more uniform distribution throughout that way.

A Touch of Sweetness

After I have my apple cider vinegar and spices, a bit of sweetness is next. The best go-to I’ve found is local honey, but you can also use organic agave instead if you prefer. When it comes to boosting immunity though, local honey is a much better option. The reason is due to the fact that local honey tends to have:

  • Antibacterial properties
  • Antifungal properties
  • Antimicrobial properties
  • Antioxidants
  • Helps heal wounds
  • Can alleviate allergies to local allergens
  • Assists with sore throats
  • High in phytonutrients

As if these potential positive side effects weren’t enough, buying local honey helps local farmers. And I am always a fan of that! I usually only add between 1/2 – 1 Tbsp to each cup of my immune boosting drink, but you can add as much as you’d like. I would suggest less is more here though because you don’t want to risk spiking your blood sugar, as that would have the opposite side effect you’re going for.

Immunity Booster Summary

Once I have all of my aforementioned ingredients, I then add boiling water from a tea kettle and stir. If you want to get really fancy, you can add an apple slice and/or use a real cinnamon stick to stir it with instead of adding cinnamon powder.

Overall, this drink costs me very little to make, depending upon which ingredients I choose to purchase. And, since it is such a powerhouse when it comes to boosting my immunity, it helps to keep me well all winter long. By doing so, I eliminate trips to the doctor for weather related illnesses and am able to keep more money, and time. I call this a winter win-win!

Have you tried a drink like this to help boost your immunity? If so, what were the results?

How to Save Money on Your Electricity Bill During the Winter Months

DSCN2568Winter often brings an extra bit of stress on pocketbooks during the cold winter months, due to the fact that our electricity costs can rise substantially during this time of the year.  Between heat usage, and generally being indoors more, electricity costs can jump quite a bit if you’re not careful, especially if you live in a colder climate.  Here are some timely tips for keeping those electricity costs down and saving some money in the process:

1.  Analyze your electricity usage.  Are you leaving lights on all over the place that don’t need to be on?  Are you forgetting to unplug appliances that aren’t currently in use?  Those little things really do add up.  I remember being a kid and thinking my dad was a secret member of The Light Police, as he was always hollering at us to stop leaving the lights on.  Now, as a parent myself,  I don’t even have to holler because I’ve got the kids so well trained from my own years of being the Light Police Officer.

With careful scrutiny, you’re sure to find ways that you are wasting electricity, and therefore wasting money.   Be a Negative Nellie as you go through your home, objectively searching for electricity waste.

2.  Make a plan of action.

Now that you’ve found the places in your home where you might be wasting electricity, it’s time to trim the fat off of your electricity bill by changing those areas that you found during your analysis that are wasteful.  Always make sure you change your furnace filters every few months. Unplug those appliances that aren’t in use.  Stop washing your clothes in warm or hot water when cold will do just fine.  Search your area power companies for the best electricity deal.  Switch out regular light bulbs for the highly efficient LED bulbs.  Use nightlights in areas where you usually leave a regular light on at night.  If you have electric heat, turn your thermostat down at night and when you’re away.  Hand mix your baked goods and other recipes instead of using the electric mixer – not only will you save money, you’ll build up some arm muscles as well.

3.  Rethink what you’re powering.  Is there an area in your home where you can use window light instead of traditional lighting?  Can you swap out items that are electricity hogs for more efficient ones?  Can you read some at night instead of watching so much television?  Is cooking in your crockpot more efficient than using your oven?  Take a look at the electricity-run items in your home and look for ways they can be used more efficiently, or not used at all.  All sorts of options are available for those willing to put in the time to search them out.

Even in the winter months, you can cut down on electricity usages and costs if you work at it.  With careful analysis of your current electricity usage, and the willingness to be creative and find more cost effective solutions, the money savings will come!