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Is a Snow Blower Worth Your Money?

Snow’s pretty sweet while it’s falling, but getting it off of your porch and walkway is mostly just a hassle. Have you been thinking about trading in your faithful shovel for a snow blower? They generally cost $300-$1000, so it's no small decision. Here are three factors to consider before you reach for your credit card:

Your Hatred-Level for Shoveling

Much like a snowflake, everybody’s patience for shoveling snow is unique. If you can chug a cup of coffee, put on some Kanye West and get to shovelin’ without any internal strife, you may not need a snow blower’s help. If each one of those shovel-pumps feels like it’s scraping a year off of your life, a snow blower makes more sense.

Your Snow Removal Responsibilities

If you have a 20x20 driveway and a walkway that’s akin to a private hiking trail, first of all, congrats! Second, a snow blower is going to save you a lot of time when those big storms roll in. If your driveway and walkway are a bit more modest, you might be retired and living in Miami before you earn back the cost of that snow blower.

The Time of Year

Snow blower prices fluctuate quite a bit depending on the season. The end of winter is actually the best time to buy one because stores are trying to get rid of their extra inventory. Any point during a mild winter is also pretty good. Right before or after a blizzard is the worst time to buy a snow blower because the stores know you’re freaking out about that 5-foot drift on your deck.

If, after careful deliberation, you’ve decided to go the snow blower route: awesome! Enjoy the gas-powered snow removal in your future. If you’re sticking with the shovel, here are a few quick tips to make your life just a little bit easier:

  • Use Your Legs. Lifting with your arms and back is a recipe for soreness or, worse, a pulled muscle. Squat down and use those thighs!
  • Stay Hydrated. You may not realize how much energy you’re exerting when it’s cold outside, but that doesn’t mean your body won’t get tired. Drink a lot of water or a Gatorade before you start shovel-duty.
  • Be a Little Lazy. You don’t need to shovel your snow into a new county. You just need it out of the way. Start in the center of your walkway or driveway and work your way out. Once you’ve cleared a passable route, go inside for some hot cocoa.
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