As a fresh blanket of snow covered the greater Buffalo area this morning, it was a not so gentle reminder from Mother Nature that winter is pretty much here to stay (with the exception of this coming Saturday) in Western New York.

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I finally did the deed, and moved the riding mower into the shed, and cleared out the garage so I could get the cars inside at night.  The problem is, I forgot to put the cars in the garage last night.  DOH! So needless to say moving forward I can avoid the mess that I had to deal with this morning.

With the winter snow and ice season squarely upon us, here are 5 snow and ice removal tricks, that might make your winter a little easier.

1. Coat Your Snow Shovel With Cooking Spray - Here in Western New York, the snow can definitely be heavy and wet from time to time. When that time comes, and the snow is tough to move, coat your shovel with some cooking spray.  It will help keep the snow from sticking to the shovel, plus it will help the shovel cut through the snow a bit easier.  Bonus; your yellow snow will have buttery goodness to it!

2. Make Homemade Ice Melt - Have you ever been in a pinch and run out of ice melt, and you find yourself scrambling to chop away the ice, so the Amazon delivery guy can get up your sidewalk to drop off that last-minute gift?  Well, there's a hack for that!  Simply combine 1 teaspoon of dish soap +1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol,  and 1/2 gallon of water in a bucket, and Viola!  Pour the mixture on the ice, and a safe path will soon be cleared.

3. Shovel broken? Use a Tarp - So I have a shovel that's on its last legs, and about to break.  I know I should get a new one, but ya know..I'm lazy.  If you ever find yourself without a shovel, grab a plastic tarp out of the shed, and cover the sidewalk the night before the snowfall.  When you wake up, just drag the tarp of snow out of the way.  Good luck though if it's the heavy wet kind.

4. Wear Socks....Outside of your shoes - Ok, I know this sounds weird, but it works.  If you ever find that getting a grip with your feet while shoveling is a little too tricky, simply slide a pair of heavy socks on, outside of your shoes.  The fabric will provide you with a better grip.  Pro Tip - Keep an extra pair in your car, just in case you need more traction to push it out of the snow.

5. Use a Leaf Blower...on Snow -  I was cursing myself this morning when I realized i put my leaf blower in the shed for the winter.  I saw my neighbor doing this last year, and it's genius.  When you have a driveway, or sidewalk full of that light fluffy snow, fire up the old leaf blower, and it'll be gone in a jiffy.  Using the snowblower on that stuff is more trouble than it's worth. The leaf blower is now an all-season tool.  Your welcome.

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