We each have our own needs and priorities. I think there are now some semi-disposable, sock type traction devices that are extremely low profile. I've never used one and don't know how good they are. But I assume they are easier to get on and off than chains, and less likely to damage anything. Bonus, they won't damage the roads.I only get snow 3 or 4 times a year and it has usually melted, at least on all the paved roads within a few days. Buying a set of wheels and dedicated snow tires isn't practical. I'd like to just have a $75 set of chains that I could install in the comfort of my garage when needed. It is retarded of Mazda not to have designed their suspension to accommodate the occasional use of snow chains.
I may just do an online search and try to find some that really hug the sides of the tires so as to not interfere with any components and do a test fit in the garage. I can always send them back before driving on them.
Your winter sound similar to ours, we usually get 1 or 2 storms. But my house is at the bottom of a steep driveway and that 1st 1/4 mile can take a couple more days to become easily passable. With AWD, I could probably still get out with All Season tires, but for me the extra traction in all cold weather, plus the benefits in snow are worth it for me to outlay ~ $500. Swapping in and out the winter wheels and tires is no more difficult than doing the recommended tire rotation, other than storing them.