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Winter life hacks: Household items can help with snow and ice

SEATTLE -- Surviving the next round of winter weather doesn't have to put a strain on your budget.

If you need supplies, just look around your kitchen and pantries for the following winter life hacks:

  • Sandwich bags and sandpaper: Grab two sandwich bags and a piece of sandpaper. You can sand the bottoms of your shoes, creating a rough surface for built-in traction. Those sandwich bags can also be used to waterproof your socks. Just slip them on before you put on your boots. This is also great for the kids before they play in the snow.
  • Cooking spray or WD-40: If you have to shovel your sidewalk to get to your car, you can spray a little bit of WD-40 or even cooking spray on your shovel. Both of them will help the snow slip off the shovel and make your shoveling easier.
  • Socks: If you're looking for ways to protect your windshield wipers from freezing and breaking, this is where those pesky, mismatched socks come in. Slip one on each windshield wiper (clean ones), and your blades will be good to go after a frosty night.
  • Hand sanitizer: Sometimes it's hard to get in your car after a snowstorm or deep freeze because the lock is frozen. It's nothing a little hand sanitizer can't fix. Coat your key with sanitizer, place it inside the frozen lock, and you're good to go.
  • Car mats: If you find your tires spinning while trying to leave a parking spot, the solution is right under your nose. Grab your car mats and place them under your tires. That will give them some traction so you can get moving.
  • Zip ties: If you're opting to ride your bicycle instead of braving the roads by car, you can wrap zip ties around your bicycle tires to create added traction and help with slipping and crashing on ice.
  • Old-fashioned clay cat litter: If you're struggling to get your car moving, try throwing kitty litter down around the areas where your tires are sticking. This can help absorb moisture around your tires and allow them to get the traction they need to get moving.

Although all of these can be helpful for surviving the snow, the most important thing you can do is use your best judgment. If you don't feel safe, don't risk it.

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