When your kids go out to play in the snow let them wear pairs of unmated socks, probably more then one to keep warmer. Then when they come in just let them put on the regular mated socks. This way you won't run out of "good" socks.
My grandchild has yet to wear a matched air of socks to school. this is one of her local claims to fame. Her parents, both very busy women, are too busy to match them up, and their daughter has fun with picking the sox of the day.
When I was younger and money was tight, my mom used unmatched socks as improvised underwear for the entire family. In fact, for a few years, I only had one real item of underwear, which I saved for church on Sundays. On other days, we'd improvise and use socks of various size and colors. I even used socks for my first bra, until dad found a job. My brother got teased a few times in the locker room but he got used to it.
Even after we got money, we used unmatched and damaged socks for other purposes: Cat toy (rolled up like a ball of yarn), to protect my dad's golf clubs, to bake cakes, to store candles, to protect wine bottles in transit, as a pot holder, as a sachet (put in potpourri; use sheer socks), as a pest repellent (put in offensive odors), tea bag (put in tea leaves or herbs then steep). tourniquet, to store feather dusters, and as a hose warmer.
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