Our Most Impactful Purchases, Tools, and Hacks Under $50 (Part 1) and $250 (Part 2)

Show notes may be found below the two videos

Part 1 (Under $50)

Can low cost items – or even free things – truly impact your quality of life positively? In this episode, Eric and Jason talk about some of their favorite purchases under $50, as well as some tools and life hacks that have done just that. Topics discussed in part one of this series include apps, books, games, outdoors essentials, and organizational tools.

Part 2 (Under $250)

How big of an impact can a single purchase under $250 make on your life? In part two of this series, Eric and Jason talk about some of the best things they’ve bought in recent years. Topics discussed include travel, outdoor gear, concert tips, kitchen aids, and more.

Show Notes

Below you’ll find each of our lists broken out by price point, with links out for further information on most items. In addition to our “Under $50” (Part 1) and “Under $250” (Part 2) lists, we’ve also shared some of our favorite subscriptions – a topic we didn’t have time to cover in these two episodes.

Under $50


  • Apollo (Reddit client) app (free for basic; $5 for Pro)
    • Sadly, this app ceased to function on Jun 30, 2023 as part of a response to changes that Reddit rolled out that impacted 3rd party apps.
  • Video Games
    • Jackbox Party Pack 3 ($10) – Tee K.O. is a simple, very fun party game. Multi-platform
    • Moss ($20) – Puzzle platformer for Oculus Quest (and others). Immersive, beautiful, fun
    • Beat Saber ($30) – Best rhythm game! Can mod + add custom tracks too! Multi-platform
  • Wine Folly: Magnum Edition, The Master Guide ($20)
    • A great wine reference guide for all levels; easy reading, beautiful graphics


Under $250


  • Dutch oven – Lodge enameled ($75)
    • With this and a santoku knife (also <$250) I am 90% the way there
    • I made all the classic Oaxacan moles with this and many soups, etc.
  • Altra Torin 5 sneakers ($100-150)
    • Essential for me to be able to do all the long walks
    • Never had “expensive” sneakers before. Most comfortable I’ve had.
  • Reading glasses ($150)
    • Could be easily under $50 if you can use drugstore readers vs. a prescription.
    • These have been a huge benefit given aging + how much I read.
    • Do better than me: Don’t fight it! It was a huge game changer getting these.


  • Experiences / Travel
    • Premium Concert Tickets – Our goal is to be close enough to catch a pick from every show we see. Could be substantially more $ depending…
    • Guided tours while traveling
    • PreCheck $78/five years (Chase Sapphire card covers the cost)
  • Merino shirts / underlayers ($80 – 110)
    • temp regulating, odor resistant, versatile for traveling you can wear in many different situations.
    • Not all are made equal: I like Proof 72-hour shirts (size up: 87% 16.5 micron merino wool, 13% nylon, can machine wash + tumble dry). Nylon keeps it from shrinking which can be a problem with 100% Merino
    • Smartwool 250 underlayers ($110) 100% Merino, midweight
  • Apple Pencil 2 ($129) – Sort of a cheat as it requires an iPad, but I use my iPad Pro every. single. day. It’s an essential pairing with Procreate an entire art supply warehouse at your fingertips.



  • Audible Premium Plus audiobooks ($15/mo) – Eric agrees and is also a subscriber!
  • Learned League trivia ($30/yr)
    • An invite-only competition that is self-described as “the greatest web-based trivia league in all of civilized earth, and one of the most glorious activities of mankind”
    • Incredibly fun, very competitive, and keeps my mind active! How tough does it get? Jeopardy stars like Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer used to compete in the higher tier of the league yet never won a LL championship!


  • Apple Music – ($10/mo)
    • Threads into my workday routines and focus
    • Over 100 million songs and 30,000 playlists, ad-free
  • Adobe Lightroom + Photoshop – ($10/mo)
    • Using Lightroom and Photoshop for image organization and editing has improved my technical skills, understanding of color theory and composition, and is a necessity for marketing operations, communicating ideas to my YouTube channel’s audience, for creative projects in my architecture business, and documentation of family travels.
    • The photographer’s plan via Adobe’s Creative Cloud is only $10/month and I use it daily.

You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

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