Getting Organized: Recipes

Recipe binder

Since one of my goals for 2014 is to cook more meals at home, I need a system to store and organize recipes. Office supply geek thing at work, clearly! I’ve been searching the internet for good recipes and culling the stacks of magazines all over my house for potential recipes and sticking them in a file folder. This is not an ideal way to find a recipe so I am headed out to the office supply store today to pick up a binder ($3.89) or two, dividers ($0.99) and an assortment of plastic sleeves ($12.79/box of 50) to store my recipes in a more orderly fashion. I like that the plastic sleeves will keep the recipes safe from spills too.

I’ve been searching all morning for a good source for standard 8.5″x11″ sheet protectors that are divided to hold two 5.5″x8.5″ sheets since I have a bunch of smaller pages from Everyday Food (now defunct) and to hold recipe cards instead of a box. Sadly, I have been unable to find any at a reasonable cost (most seem specific to holding archival photo prints and are quite pricey). I may end up with a small binder and sheet protectors for the Everyday Food recipes, specifically, if I can’t find a better option.

I will probably keep dessert recipes in a separate binder to keep all the binders light and agile. Besides, I don’t tend to use them with the same frequency as dinner recipes.

In case you are curious, I found a lot of great recipes on Budget Bytes, including easy-to-make crock pot dishes. Also, the Dragon Noodles dish is delicious, easy-to-make and infinitely customizable. I added frozen edamame to mine for some extra protein.

Does anyone else have a good system for organizing recipes?

(photo via Freesytlin’ Beth)

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  1. Since I find most of my recipes online, using Evernote is indispensable – super fast and easy using the web clipper option, and even auto-assigns basic tags and ingredients. When I find a recipe printed (on packaging or otherwise), I usually just quickly type it into Evernote from my mobile or later on my computer. I much prefer this digital method of recipe organization as opposed to storing page upon page of papers, personally. Altho I have printed out a dozen of my most-used, go-to recipes and keep them in a folder in my kitchen. Wishing you the best for 2014, and always enjoy reading your blog.

  2. I have stored my recipes like this for years. For all those that are smaller than a full page I simply attach them to a sheet of colored 8×11. If it is a 2-sided recipe (as in some of my recipe cards) I scan the back and attach it below the front.
    I will say that I currently use post it write-on (plastic) tabs to quickly locate recipes I use the most. And I have plans to add dividers to separate the categories. I tried traditional index tabs, but due to the extra width added by the 3-ring holes those were hidden from view and therefor rendered useless. I have since found these that I have in my cart (waiting for enough to qualify for free ship): http://smile.amazon.com/Avery-Worksaver-Dividers-Assorted-11903/dp/B00006IBY8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388246148&sr=8-1&keywords=Avery+Worksaver+Big+Tab+Plastic+Dividers+with+Slash+Pocket%2C+8+Tab%2C+Letter+Size%288.5+x+11%29%2C+Assorted%2C+8+per+Set+%2811903%29
    I also found that an old “magnetic page” photo album works better since it has extra allowance on the side to protect my tabs.

  3. I copy recipes I want to try into a notebook in a black ink. I put any changes I make in a different color. Once I get the recipe to what I want I copy the final revision onto a 3 by 5 card and put in my recipe box.

  4. I use to do the binder but now I am using Evernote and love the tags and web clipper. I just bought a new scanner to scan some of the binder recipes (and the 8 milion other things I want to scan). The tags is what I love the most and being able to look at recipes on my phone at work but then pull them up my computer at home to cook. Good luck.

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