The kids are back in school, which means cold and flu season is upon us.


(Not really.)

You probably already know to grab some cold meds, clean out your humidifier, and stock up on tissues, as you get your kids their annual flu shots.

Here are 15 of my favorite items you can grab online or at your local drugstore to help you make it through this year’s cold and flu season with your sanity still intact.¬†Well, mostly.

Updated for 2021

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My top 15 cold and flu season drugstore purchases

1-3. Cold medicine,¬†throat lozenges / cough syrup and nasal spray.¬†For me, that’s the cold and flu season trifecta.

4. Hand sanitizer. ‘Tis the season. Times infinity.

Our 15 must-haves for cold and flu season: buy plenty of tissues!
5. Tissues.¬†Lots of tissues. Then get more because “lots” is never enough for a family.


Our 15 must-haves for cold and flu season: tongs for your tissues!
6. Tongs.¬†For those used tissues you’ll be picking up around your house. (Don’t tell me we’re the only family with tissue tongs!)

7. Lip balm. Works on lips and those little red noses. Grab a multi-pack.

8. A Neti pot. Maybe this will be the year the kids finally try it. I swear by mine!

9. Orange juice, and chicken noodle soup. Dinner of champions. Who are sick. And not feeling so champion-like.


Our 15 must-haves for cold and flu season: Bright lipstick! And yes, there's a reason why. | cool mom picks

10. A bright¬†lipstick.¬†I swear by a great lipstick when I’m under the weather but have to get out of the house. It helps me look awake and alive, especially when I feel like neither.

11. Dry shampoo.¬†Perfect for those occasions when you can’t remember the last time you felt awake and alive enough to actually wash and dry your hair.

12. Liquid hand soap. While you probably already keep a bottle at every sink, I feel better knowing I have a backup or two (or seven) at all times. Multi-packs are great to grab when you see them!

13. A humidifier. Because either you need one, or you have no idea what happened to the one you vaguely remember buying last year.

14. Two cozy blankets. This way you always have one available, even when the other is in the wash.

Our 15 must-haves for cold and flu season: ski mask!
15. A full face ski mask. Hey, sometimes even bright lipstick is just not going to do the trick when you’ve got a cold.