Skip to content

How Not to Share…Colds and Flu, That is!

By Millie Reynolds, Home Economist

Updated in July 2015 by the Manitoba Association of Home Economists

Fall is the season for catching colds and the flu! Needless to say, everyone would like to avoid “catching” these seasonal downers. Here are some hints that could lessen the chances of “the bug” getting ahold of you or you passing it on to others:

  • Wash hands frequently. Wet your hands with warm water. Apply soap. Wash the palms, the back of the hands, the wrists and between the fingers for 20 seconds, which is the length of time it takes to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. Rinse and dry hands. Turn off tap with the towel.
  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Hands should be washed before touching or preparing food, eating and after using the bathroom, handling garbage, cleaning and holding used tissue.
  • If you are not able to wash your hands with soap and water use a hand gel with 60% alcohol. Follow the same process as for washing hands with soap and water.
  • Cough into your sleeve or into a corner to avoid spreading the virus to your hands.
  • Toss used tissues into the garbage – don’t recycle!
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes. Your hands can either introduce the organisms to you or pick up the organisms from you to pass on to others.
  • If possible, refrain from touching things that others frequently touch such as door knobs, railings, and taps.
  • Do not share foods, food utensils, drink containers, water bottles, or eye or lip makeup.
  • Wash raw fruits and vegetables before eating. Aside from having chemicals on them, they may have been the recipient of a sneeze or two when in the store.
  • Store toothbrushes so they do not touch each other. Avoid having the tube touch the toothbrush when its being loading with toothpaste. After you have recovered from the flu or a cold, throw away your toothbrush and use a new one.
  • Frequently clean the bathroom, kitchen counters and sink areas with household cleaners or a dilute bleach solution.
  • If you are ill, stay at home so you do not pass it on to others. Rest and drink plenty of fluids. If you have a sore throat, gargle with warm salt water (3 mL/1/2 tsp) salt in cup of water. See your doctor is symptoms persist more than a few days.


Saskatoon Health Region


Share and Enjoy!

What I Learnt From My Grandma

I’ve blogged before about spending time in the kitchen with my grandma but I’m going to do it again because I love it that much. I was fortunate enough to have her come visit me again from Toronto and we were able to find some quiet time amid the chaos to make meatballs and bean salad. Here are the little tidbits she shared with me:

  • Her grandma taught her that every proper housewife always has 60 meatballs in the freezer ready to be thawed for dinner (we only had enough to make 40)!
  • She brought with her a newspaper clipping of an article in her local paper. It’s up on my fridge now just in case I get stumped. I definitely didn’t really know what Deglaze meant—did you?


  • Her grandma didn’t measure when she cooked and she was also illiterate so if my grandma wanted to learn how to cook something she would take each ingredient out one by one and measured it and put it back in. Luckily for me, my grandma wrote the recipes out and passed them on to me.
  • She opened my eyes to a Fried Egg Sandwich. Fast, delicious and very satisfying! It’s perfect for a quick, nutritious meal when you are rushing around for work in the morning. I commute by bike to work so I’m always look for new breakfasts with protein that will satisfy my hunger.

Aside from the useful kitchen tips, I am always so thankful for the treasured memories I will have with my Grandma. It is not lost on me—I know how lucky I am to be able to have such a lovely lady in my life. Hope these tips help you too! Have a great day,


Meghan Rafferty is a very proud Professional Home Economist who works as a Policy Analyst for the Province of Manitoba. On the side, she is a clinician and professional coach for Skate Canada Manitoba. In her free time, she loves being physically active especially outside and sharing that with others!

Share and Enjoy!

Options for Reducing Your Debts

By Judy Hannah, Home Economist

Updated in June 2015 by the Manitoba Association of Home Economists

Being faced with debts can be an overwhelming situation but, while there is rarely a perfect solution, there are usually options for dealing with them. Take a look at the following ideas (adapted from the Credit Counselling Services of Alberta) to see if you can find any starting points:

Options for Reducing Debts

The strategy you choose to reduce or eliminate your debt will depend on:

  • the amount of debt you have,
  • your income and,
  • your personal goals.

Here is a brief overview of some of the options.


Does your income match your expenses (living expenses, irregular and debt payments)? Is there anything you can change? Sometimes it’s just a matter of putting it all on paper. Then you can decide where you can decrease expenses and where you want to increase your income.

Increase income by:

  • Having a garage sale
  • Getting a part-time job
  • Selling your used clothing
  • Renting out the spare room
  • Selling unsecured assets. Unsecured assets are anything you have paid for in full and haven’t promised as security to a creditor.

Decrease expenses by:

  • Minimizing bank charges
  • Rolling your own cigarettes or better yet give them up.
  • Using coupons
  • Borrowing books/videos/CDs from the library
  • Shopping at consignment clothing stores
  • Giving a gift of time rather than buying a present.
  • Taking your lunch. Saving $6 a day saves you $1,500 a year.
  • Skipping your morning coffee saves you at least $375 a year.

Refinance over a longer period of time

You can approach creditors with this idea. Some will be more receptive than others will.


A consolidation loan could mean a reduced interest rate, a longer payout period and lower monthly payments. The consolidator may want the debt secured and/or a co-signer.

Lump Sum Payment

Expecting a large lump sum of money? Talk to your creditors to see if they will take a lump sum payment. If they do be sure to get a final agreement in writing that states that you have settled for a final payment.

Negotiate with Creditors

Occasionally, creditors will set up a different payment schedule for you to make your payments more manageable. You make lower payments over a longer period of time. If you are able to negotiate this with the creditor, be sure to get the agreement in writing.

Debt Management Program

Available through non-profit credit counselling agencies. This type of program can help by consolidating all your monthly credit card statements into one monthly payment. More information can be found at Credit Counselling Society.

Consumer proposals

A Trustee in Bankruptcy handles consumer proposals (visit the Industry Canada site for more information). Creditors are offered so many cents on the dollar. Certain conditions apply, secured debt is not included and there is a trustee fee.


A Trustee in Bankruptcy carries out bankruptcies. There are certain types of debt bankruptcy won’t deal with. Choosing to resolve your debt situation through bankruptcy is an important decision. Before you decide be sure you understand:

  • How declaring bankruptcy affects you.
  • What it will cost.
  • How it works.
  • What other options may be available to you.

Information from Bankruptcy Canada website.


Share and Enjoy!