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Personal Freedom vs Living Costs

We are brought up thinking that money can buy happiness, but freedom of time is what really leads to happiness. Yes, having money can give you the ability to choose how you spend your time, but this has more to do with your cost of living than it has to do with how much you make. If you can reduce your cost of living to the point that you are living substantially within your means, can stay as debt free as possible, can build savings and wealth, and can find ways to earn money that either doesn't require your time (like residual income) or is time you would be spending doing what you love to do anyway, then that will lead to true security, personal freedom, and happiness. Think of it kind of like a business. In business, you want to generate profits and invest those profits to build more profits. Here you want to generate time savings and invest that time to generate even more time savings. To generate that savings, you need to first consume less than you produce, then s
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Turkey Tetrazzini Using Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving leftovers are fantastic. Whether you heat yourself up a second Thanksgiving dinner plate the next day or make good old fashion turkey sandwiches, nothing beats it. Well, maybe one thing. My mother-in-law told me about a tradition in their household where my wife's grandmother would use the leftovers in a spaghetti pasta casserole dish called Turkey Tetrazzini. Turns out this recipe is out there and I tried it for the first time and it is awesome! It's like an epic chicken pot pie but with turkey as the base and it surrounded by hearty spaghetti instead of the odd use of pie crust. Be sure to give this a try next time you have a bunch of leftovers. I of course try to make mine as dairy free as possible but there are certain dairy elements that are totally worth. Ingredients 8 ounces dried spaghetti cooked just to al dente 2 tbsp olive oil (or butter) 1/2 cup diced onion 1/3 cup diced celery 3/4 cup matchstick carrots (or fine dice on whole carrots) 8 oz mushrooms sl

My Tire Buying Secrets

It's that time of year to make sure my car is ready for the winter. Most important on this list is the tires. These are likely the most critical part to safe winter driving, arguably more so than all wheel drive and traction control. Tires are the key to traction since they are the part of the vehicle actually touching the snow and ice.  I have a bit of an unusual process when it comes to tires that I'd like to share. First, I actually use studless winter tires all year long. I find it is a lot easier and more economical to always have winter tires. Sure they only last about 2 years or 24,000 miles but it keeps me from having to store an entire set of seasonal tires and I am always ready for the first freak snowstorm of the season.  Second, I actually like to buy my tires from the same place I get my car worked on. The reason is it is typical for the mechanic or dealership to offer free rotations for the life of the tires if you buy from them. Sure I might save some money by sh

Winter Household Prep Checklist

It's Halloween and that means it's time to check my list of winter household prep items. Every year going into Halloween, I perform some routine stuff to make sure my house is ready for the winter season. Here is my list of things to do: Blow out the sprinklers - I tried doing this myself but realized this should be left to the professionals. You really need a mega powered air compressor. Put covers on all the spigots. Fertilize the lawn one last time using a winterizer mix. Put the garden beds to sleep by pulling and laying down whatever was growing there and putting a layer of leaves on top to protect the soil and allow for some decomposition. Turn on the whole house humidifier. Change the filter on the humidifier. Turn on and test the furnace. Change the filter on the furnace. Turn on a test the fireplace. Check and change the water filter in the fridge. Check my pantry to make sure I have necessary water and bulk ingredients. Check my backup fuel tanks and emergency equipme

Costco Sweatshirt Epic Reviews

In one of my random newsfeeds, I saw a headline about how a Costco sweatshirt with the Kirkland Logo was not only getting great reviews but the comments were hilarious. I decided to check myself and sure enough, the article was right. The sweatshirt now has over 1,000 reviews with an average of 4.8 and of 5. But the best part is the reviews themselves. Here are several of the best. Warning, you may need an urban dictionary to translate some of these. Miggety Miggety Mack - Ordered a large, cause you know. Ditch the Roley for that K-Sig Drip . Wore mine backwards to the club and ended up at the Wobbly H. Sick, drippy, dope, fresh fireswag. Moosey from OR -  Kirkland Signature got in the class and fully understood the assignment . Glad I have both the black and heather grey now. Family Christmas photos will be classy now. Matthew from WI - This sweatshirt is amazing. The feel, the softness, the stretch, the weight of it. Pure quality. My wife can’t keep her hands off of me when I’m wear

Google Domains and Blogger Site

You may have noticed but this Don't Need Much Money website is built through Blogger. The reason I chose it is because I think it is the only free blogger website where you can use your own custom domain. Since Blogger is owned by Google, the best place to purchase your domain is from Google Domains. It is super easy and super affordable to built a website like this, but there are a few nuances to keep in mind. Pointing your Blogger blog to your custom URL The first issue I found is the sequence to follow to point your blog to our custom URL. Once you purchase your domain, you want to use Google Domains to point to Blogger. Don't use Blogger to point to Google Domains. To do that, follow these steps: Log into and click on the URL you want to use (assuming you've already purchased it). Click on the Website tab and click the Blog box. Click on the sign into Blogger button and log in.  You should then see a box with your blog name. Make sure the settings are

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

It is very difficult growing up in America and not be singularly focused on making money and becoming wealthy. We idolize those that are wealthy and are conditioned to then want that for ourselves. The problem with this way of thinking is it steers us away from what will truly make us happy, which is the feeling of fulfillment. We equate having money with fulfillment but this is not the case. It is possible to be fulfilled with or without much money. In fact, wealth usually comes through finding person fulfillment. The key is to not focus on how you'll make millions. Instead focus on what you'd do after assuming you make millions. There in likely lies the key to what you should be doing. Happiness comes from being able to make money from things that you want to do and that bring you personal joy and fulfillment. If you try to make millions doing something you don't enjoy, you could be doubly screwed. You won't make millions and you won't be happy. I'd you try to

Preserving Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is a key, yet underutilized, ingredient to creating rich and flavorful dishes, particularly soups, beans, and sauces. I didn't really appreciate or like this ingredient because of the waste factor. A recipe would usually only need 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste but a typical 8oz can has 10 tablespoons so almost all of it would go to waste. Not any more. I've figured out that tomato paste is so easy to preserve simply by freezing it. What I like to do is divide the tomato paste into 2 tablespoon size portions. A typical can has 5 of those (10 tablespoons total). I use 1 of the 5 in a dish right away. Then I preserve the other 4 portions in sandwich or snack size Ziploc bags. In each Ziploc bag, I store two portions, one in each bottom corner. This keeps each portion separated and ready to pull out of the freezer and use in the next dish. Therefore, for each can, I use two Ziploc bags to store the four remaining 2 tablespoon portions. So next time you see tomato pas

My Personal Grading Scale

Grades were a huge part of my upbringing. I was a perfectionist and enjoyed the satisfaction I got and that my parents got when I got great grades. This was a blessing and a curse. I was often driven by the grades themselves instead of what the grades resembled, which was the process of trying and learning. My focus on getting good grades also meant I was less prone to taking risks academically which kept me from exploring new subjects that I now know I would have enjoyed and been really good at. Now later in life, I've come to form my own grading scale that focuses on the process more so than the outcome. I wish teachers and parents would highlight this for kids so they understand it's less about the grade itself and more about the effort that you show. It would go a long way to making kids more curious about different subjects and not being afraid to fail. Here is my grading scale: F: Don't show up D: Show up but don't try C: Try but don't finish or finish unsatis

Jalapeno Bacon Peppery Beans

I recently traveled to Dallas and the group I was with took me to a local BBQ joint in Addison called Austin's. I like BBQ but what I like even more are the side dishes. They have the best tasting sides like mac 'n cheese, green beans, okra, cole slaw, and different types of beans. Austin's had two epic bean dishes - a cold salad featuring black eyed peas and a fantastic hot pinto bean side dish featuring jalapenos and bacon. I couldn't forget about them after I left and was determined to figure out how to replicate them. Fortunately, I found a recipe from Homesick Texan that seemed like a good place to start. The only difference appears to be it used kielbasa instead of bacon. The recipe as is had a bit too much chili powder and salt in my opinion but otherwise it was fantastic. I've made these tweaks below. I won't be able to do a side by side comparison of my recipe to Austin's for a bit to see if I indeed replicated it, but these beans are well worth ma

Sourdough Cornbread

With my sourdough starter, I am always searching for new ways to use the leftover batch. I came across a buttermilk cornbread recipe from Homesick Texan  and experimented with it knowing sourdough starter can make a great substitute for buttermilk. It turned out to be a success. This is on the flakier, sweeter side but still incredibly delicious. I will also experiment with making a more moist, savory version and will post that after I figure it out. Ingredients 175g sourdough starter 120g water (1/2 cup) 50g organic sugar (1/4 cup) 150g cornmeal (heaping 3/4 cup) 50g all purpose flour (heaping 1/4 cup) 10g baking powder (2 tsp) 2g salt (1/2 tsp) 50g vegetable oil (just shy of 1/4 cup) 1 egg (50g) Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees Grab a loaf pan. Glass or nonstick aluminum works great for this. Spray the loaf pan with cooking spray or rub with a teaspoon of oil. Mix the ingredients in a bowl until incorporated but not overmixed. Even better, try mixing them in the glass jar with

Everything Bagel Seasoning Blistered Green Beans

I had a great green bean harvest this year so I've been searching for new ways to cook them. I had some delicious wok seared green beans at a sushi restaurant. They had that blistered look with a coating of sesame oil and sesame seeds. It made me want to figure out a version at home. I had some everything bagel seasoning which has sesame seeds in it so figured they would go great with green beans. And boy did they. These beans were fantastic. The trick is to preboil the beans to get them tender. Then sear them in a dry, non-oiled skillet to give them that blistered look. Then add the oil and flavorings to coat them. If you try to add the oil and flavorings first, they'll never blister. They'll just get mushy.  Now I have a new go-to recipe for all those green beans. Ingredients 1 pound green beans, trimmed 1 tbsp oriental sesame oil 2 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp rice vinegar 1 tbsp raw or brown sugar 1/4 tsp ground black pepper 2 tbsp everything bagel seasoning (or sub sesame see

Lower Sodium Everything Bagel Seasoning

One of my favorite all purpose spices is Everything Bagel Seasoning. No surprise that it's also my favorite bagel flavor as well. But the seasoning works on so many other things. It turns a simple piece of toast into an everything bagel flavor. It goes great on avocados or eggs. It can be used to crust some ahi fish before searing it. I've even used it in stir fries because those sesame seeds with onion and garlic go great with Asian food flavors. As much as I like it, I am also very particular about the seasoning mix. You see, someone had the not-so-bright idea of adding too much salt to the mix and using thick salt crystals. Most of the time, I get hit with too much salt whether it be on a bagel shop bagel or in one of the store-bought seasoning mixes. The salt crystals belong on a pretzel, not a bagel. The first time I saw Everything Bagel Seasoning at the store, it was at Trader Joe's. Theirs has a clever name, Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seed Blend. My mind was blo