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Posted: 2019-01-11 14:29:00

Repetition guarantees success and saves time and money.

Last week, when I wrote a post about "10 ways to eat frugally this month," one of my suggestions was to choose your recipe sources carefully. I'd like to expand on that today, after reading a thought-provoking article by Trent Hamm for The Simple Dollar, titled, "The balance between novelty and stability – and how that affects your dollars and cents."

In many ways, the title says it all. The quest for novelty in our lives – in this case, within the context of home cooking – comes at a higher financial cost than performing actions that are familiar. Familiarity breeds frugality in the kitchen because you're on established ground. You know your way around the grocery store with the cheapest prices. You know which ingredients to stock up on when they go on sale so you can make your family's favorite meals in large batches. And you don't waste time cooking them, which means savings of a different kind. As Hamm writes,

"If I want to simply have something new for dinner every night, the cost of all of those different ingredients is going to add up (not to mention the time invested in constantly jumping from culinary technique to culinary technique without mastering any of them)."

The problem for people like myself, who love to spend time in the kitchen, is that it seems boring to cook the same thing over and over again. And yet, whenever I've asked my family what they think of it, no one seems to care. My husband says he's happy to eat the same meal for three nights in a row, and my kids never seem to notice, especially if it's something they like.

I'm not the only one in this situation. Hamm said his wife and kids enjoy their "everyday" meals most of all, and pointed to Food52 founder Amanda Hesser's similar discovery, that despite her being a food writer her kids prefer their dad's tomato pasta. I think this repetition brings a deep sense of comfort to kids; it is comforting, grounding, and homey. Thinking of the foods

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