Ways to Put All That Snow to Good Use

If you live somewhere where winter means snow, here’s some good news: Just like fall leaves have a purpose, winter snow is useful in many ways. See how snow can be used around the house and garden, from watering plants to reducing pain to making better pancakes.

No matter what you think of snow, it makes our lives much more interesting. I’ll get a lot of exercises today, shoveling paths and de-icing the driveway. Then there’s snowshoeing in the nearby woods, which is more exercise and a healthy way to live in the quiet and beautiful woods.

Here are some other things you can do with all that snow besides building snowmen and having snow fights. Some of them might save you money, while others are just plain tasty.

  1. Make sweet treats with snow

If you’ve never made snow ice cream before, here are the most important things you need to know: The snow must be new, clean, and not touched by anyone. I mean, you’re going to eat it, so you should avoid the spots that are yellow.

Once you’ve found a spot with fresh, clean snow, scoop up about eight cups of it and mix it with a quick and easy mixture of milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla. This recipe for snow ice cream, calls for sprinkles on top because why not? I’m going to try this out for sure.

  1. Keep extra food and drinks on hand

I don’t know about you, but over the holidays and into the winter, I have more food than I can fit in my fridge. It’s mostly soup and other hearty dishes in containers that take up a lot of room.

I also keep liquor outside in the winter, but the hard stuff doesn’t have to worry about freezing. To keep animals from getting to my stash, I put everything in a cooler and pack snow around it to keep it safe for as long as the snow lasts.

  1. Snow Cones for Adults

Maybe it’s the college kid in me, but as soon as the news starts talking about a big snowstorm that could shut down schools, the government, and the roads for at least a day, I start making plans for my icy bar crawl.

On a snow day, that’s just what adults do. I care so much about this annual tradition that I have walked through blizzards to get to bars about a half mile from my house. Just make sure you wear the right clothes.

If you’re not the adventurous type, you can still have a snow-day party with homemade adult snow cones in front of your own fireplace.

  1. Scrub Your Winter Outerwear

Down or poly-filled coats and jackets, especially those made of nylon or polyester, should be kept out of the washer and dryer. Either the wash cycle will mess them up and make them lumpy, or the dry cycle will damage them, and then you won’t have any for the next storm. Instead, “snow wash” them by taking them outside.

Use a sponge or firm-bristled brush and clean snow to get rid of dirt and salt stains caused by winter. You probably don’t need a cleaner, but a tiny bit of dish soap will work if you rinse the item well and hang it up to dry.

  1. Fortify Your Garden

Gardeners will shovel snow on top of all the tender summer bulbs they’re trying to keep in the ground over the winter. Snow is the best way to keep delicate plant tissue from freezing in the soil.

  1. You should wash your hands, face, and hair

When I asked a group of my friends how they would save money with snow, one of them said that he would put it in his toilet. I had so many more questions after that, like why (he said to convert water), but I got off track and told myself that I wouldn’t drag a bucket of snow up my stairs just so I could go to the bathroom in it.

Some people have found more practical ways to use snow in the bathroom. They like to wash her hands, face, and hair in it.

  1. Switch out the water in your hot tub

If you put so many half-naked people in your hot tub or Jacuzzi in the winter that it runs out of water, use the snow to fill it up, so you don’t have to turn on your outdoor faucet and use the hose. You should turn this off in the winter anyway to keep the pipes from freezing and bursting.

  1. Keep melted snow for future maintenance on your yard, house, and car

If you have large containers, like coolers, barrels, or anything with a capacity of more than a few gallons that can be sealed, you can use them to store melted snow to water your plants, pressure wash your house, or wash your car later. This strategy could be helpful if your area has a dry spring and summer or is in a drought that limits how much water you can use.

  1. Wash a Wool Rug

If you put your large wool rug outside for at least 30 minutes when it’s well below freezing and then scrub it with snow, you’ll save at least $100.

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About Maki Hojo

Maki Hojo is a student at the University of Michigan. A foodie since birth, she enjoys cooking, eating, photographing, reading about, and playing with any and all types of food. Her idolization of culinary delights is complemented by her active spirit - she enjoys running, swimming, barre classes, and even spontaneous bursts of interpretative dance if the mood strikes her.

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