S.O.S Recipe HELP

So when it comes to cooking, I pull out a recipe MAYBE once every 2 or 3 weeks – HOWEVER as I use more and more of my food storage in daily cooking, I’ve had to swallow my pride and FOLLOW recipes! As I have begun to use more and more recipes and print them from sites like EveryDayFoodStorage.Net, I’ve run into a problem… As you can see:

recipes

So here goes the reason for this post. As we have grown our Facebook page Jodi and I have become very impressed with the amount of knowledge all our readers have to share…. I’ve committed to fix this problem recipe box of mine and I have a few ideas I’m excited to implement. Before delving into it however, I thought I’d selfishly canvas all our readers and ask you guys –

How do you organize and keep your recipes?
Do you have any systems for sharing recipes?
What is your favorite way to sort recipes?

I’ll make you a deal, if you give me your ideas then I’ll share them all and develop some ultra rad way of keeping it together!

Share your ideas in comments, on our Facebook page, or email us at info@foodstoragemadeeasy.net!

Thanks in advance, and I promise to share all the tips!


  • OutdoorsMom

    I keep all of my regularly used recipes in plastic page protectors in a binder.  I scanned them all and also keep them on my computer, and I’m in the middle of making duplicate binders for my kids for when they leave home.

  • well depending on how many and how large the papers are the recipes you have depend on what type of storage you should use. if you have a few hundred then you should in a small filing cabinet or a small file binder. Also you could put them on your computer in a Microsoft word doc. pretty much what ever you can keep track of and that would best help you out. Josh Smith

  • anna leon

    I have a large flexible binder i use for all my recipes. I have dividers separating various categories such as; beef, chicken, soups, salads, side dishes, breads, cakes/pies, etc. Most recipes are printed from online on 8×10 paper and slipped in wipeable sheet protector. Other recipes easliy slide into protector sheet. I love my my system. It really works for me.

  • anna leon

    I have a large flexible binder i use for all my recipes. I have dividers separating various categories such as; beef, chicken, soups, salads, side dishes, breads, cakes/pies, etc. Most recipes are printed from online on 8×10 paper and slipped in wipeable sheet protector. Other recipes easliy slide into protector sheet. I love my my system. It really works for me.

  • Kandy Howard

    I sat down one day at the computer and typed up all my favorite recipes. I printed them off in hard copy, made a binder and put each page of recipes in a page protector to keep them from getting messed up when I cook. I keep the recipes on my computer so when a friend asks for a recipe, it's as easy as attaching it to an e-mail. Our ward is working on a Relief Society Cookbook and when it came time for me to submit my favorites, all I had to do was copy and paste into the electronic program the publisher put together. It takes a bit of time to do it, but for me, it's been the best way to organize my recipes and keep them handy and easy to use.

  • Kandy Howard

    I sat down one day at the computer and typed up all my favorite recipes. I printed them off in hard copy, made a binder and put each page of recipes in a page protector to keep them from getting messed up when I cook. I keep the recipes on my computer so when a friend asks for a recipe, it’s as easy as attaching it to an e-mail. Our ward is working on a Relief Society Cookbook and when it came time for me to submit my favorites, all I had to do was copy and paste into the electronic program the publisher put together. It takes a bit of time to do it, but for me, it’s been the best way to organize my recipes and keep them handy and easy to use.

  • julene

    These are such great ideas. It worries me though how many people rely on the computer for organizing their recipes. What will you do if there is no power and you need to cook the meals your family is used to? That is just a thought I had while reading through the comments.

  • Anonymous

    These are such great ideas. It worries me though how many people rely on the computer for organizing their recipes. What will you do if there is no power and you need to cook the meals your family is used to? That is just a thought I had while reading through the comments.

  • I type them up in Microsoft OneNote, especially for recipes I don't make often. I can organize them electronically by notebooks and folders. It's easy to keep them organized, move them around, print them, search…Then I just carry my laptop into the kitchen and put it on the counter behind me (my kitchen is a horseshoe) so it doesn't get messy.

  • julene

    These are such great ideas. It worries me though how many people rely on the computer for organizing their recipes. What will you do if there is no power and you need to cook the meals your family is used to? That is just a thought I had while reading through the comments.

  • I type them up in Microsoft OneNote, especially for recipes I don’t make often. I can organize them electronically by notebooks and folders. It’s easy to keep them organized, move them around, print them, search…Then I just carry my laptop into the kitchen and put it on the counter behind me (my kitchen is a horseshoe) so it doesn’t get messy.

  • I type them up in Microsoft OneNote, especially for recipes I don't make often. I can organize them electronically by notebooks and folders. It's easy to keep them organized, move them around, print them, search…Then I just carry my laptop into the kitchen and put it on the counter behind me (my kitchen is a horseshoe) so it doesn't get messy.

  • Anonymous

    I know I’m way late reading this post (it’s May now), but I thought I’d toss out my recipe organizing method. Wow, this turned out really long…bear with my rambling please.

    —————————–

    I’ve tried it all…copying them all on cards in a box, sticky notes on cookbook pages, entering them in some database for search capabilities…etc. But I still had the same meal-prep problems as always…1) no ideas when dinnertime comes around, 2) didn’t have the right ingredients on hand, 3) I spent too much on groceries and 4) food I did buy goes bad in the fridge.

    Then I discovered food blogs and created binders with clear sleeves. I manage a significant number of food blog feeds in Google Reader. If I’m fairly confident that I want to make a recipe, I’ll print it and throw it in the appropriate binder. I also toss magazine recipes (if I have any) in a sleeve. I have one day a week when I file my recipes into their binder categories. I don’t waste any more time than that 15 min. I grab a highlighter and highlight ingredients that I don’t normally have around. ie: salt, flour, mushrooms – no highlight. Garam Masala & Shriracha – highlight. That way I can see immediately what I’ll need that isn’t commonly in the house.

    First, I look in my fridge and freezer and write down the ingredients and foods I want to use up. Then, I skim (and I mean skim–I am not a serious couponer) the newspapers and flier to see what’s couponed or on sale, and write those items on a list next to the stuff I want to use up. Third, I search those ingredients in my Google Reader blog and/or eye skim my printed recipes. I’ll only buy an ingredient if I have at least 3 other recipes that would use up the rest of the amount that would be left over. If I have a fave recipe in a cookbook, I print a copy from my scanner with the xerox mode (and in the binder it goes). I don’t worry about retyping scribbled recipe notes, I just throw them in the binder as-is (but you can bet your tail that they are placed the the correct section of the correct binder).

    My binder started out with 2 sections: recipes to try and recipes tried. I rate them 1-5 stars and note any changes for next time. If it rates 2 stars or less, it goes in the garbage. 3 stars are kept if there is something fast or easy about them (they earn their keep). But in general, why eat anything less tasty than a 4 star meal? But then my binder filled, and you know how it goes after that for binder addicts. Now I have an Asian Foods, Main Dishes, Side Dishes/Breads, Garden Ingredients, Soups/Salads/Sandwiches, Desserts/Drinks, Food Storage Recipes, and Breakfast/Grill/Holiday. They’re all full. *sigh* I thought I’d miss my traditional cookbooks, but the only ones I kept in the kitchen were my Thai cookbook and America’s Test Kitchen: 10 Years. The rest are now stored with the other books in the guest room. Not missed.

    It sounds complicated, but it’s really not–because of course I created a spreadsheet that pretty much does the work for me! 🙂 My meal-planning process for 2 weeks to a month of meals (including recipe selection and grocery lists) takes about 1/2 hour now, and I don’t waste food anymore. Of course, I could always do better, but this is so much better than it used to be.

    (My next step is making my own color-coded sticker dots to slap on the corner of the recipes that say One-Pot, Crockpot, Freezer, etc for mood accommodation)

  • mishqueen

    I know I'm way late reading this post (it's May now), but I thought I'd toss out my recipe organizing method. Wow, this turned out really long…bear with my rambling please.

    —————————–

    I've tried it all…copying them all on cards in a box, sticky notes on cookbook pages, entering them in some database for search capabilities…etc. But I still had the same meal-prep problems as always…1) no ideas when dinnertime comes around, 2) didn't have the right ingredients on hand, 3) I spent too much on groceries and 4) food I did buy goes bad in the fridge.

    Then I discovered food blogs and created binders with clear sleeves. I manage a significant number of food blog feeds in Google Reader. If I'm fairly confident that I want to make a recipe, I'll print it and throw it in the appropriate binder. I also toss magazine recipes (if I have any) in a sleeve. I have one day a week when I file my recipes into their binder categories. I don't waste any more time than that 15 min. I grab a highlighter and highlight ingredients that I don't normally have around. ie: salt, flour, mushrooms – no highlight. Garam Masala & Shriracha – highlight. That way I can see immediately what I'll need that isn't commonly in the house.

    First, I look in my fridge and freezer and write down the ingredients and foods I want to use up. Then, I skim (and I mean skim–I am not a serious couponer) the newspapers and flier to see what's couponed or on sale, and write those items on a list next to the stuff I want to use up. Third, I search those ingredients in my Google Reader blog and/or eye skim my printed recipes. I'll only buy an ingredient if I have at least 3 other recipes that would use up the rest of the amount that would be left over. If I have a fave recipe in a cookbook, I print a copy from my scanner with the xerox mode (and in the binder it goes). I don't worry about retyping scribbled recipe notes, I just throw them in the binder as-is (but you can bet your tail that they are placed the the correct section of the correct binder).

    My binder started out with 2 sections: recipes to try and recipes tried. I rate them 1-5 stars and note any changes for next time. If it rates 2 stars or less, it goes in the garbage. 3 stars are kept if there is something fast or easy about them (they earn their keep). But in general, why eat anything less tasty than a 4 star meal? But then my binder filled, and you know how it goes after that for binder addicts. Now I have an Asian Foods, Main Dishes, Side Dishes/Breads, Garden Ingredients, Soups/Salads/Sandwiches, Desserts/Drinks, Food Storage Recipes, and Breakfast/Grill/Holiday. They're all full. *sigh* I thought I'd miss my traditional cookbooks, but the only ones I kept in the kitchen were my Thai cookbook and America's Test Kitchen: 10 Years. The rest are now stored with the other books in the guest room. Not missed.

    It sounds complicated, but it's really not–because of course I created a spreadsheet that pretty much does the work for me! 🙂 My meal-planning process for 2 weeks to a month of meals (including recipe selection and grocery lists) takes about 1/2 hour now, and I don't waste food anymore. Of course, I could always do better, but this is so much better than it used to be.

    (My next step is making my own color-coded sticker dots to slap on the corner of the recipes that say One-Pot, Crockpot, Freezer, etc for mood accommodation)

  • Oops sorry for the re-post of this post. Having facebook troubles this morning 😉

  • Oops sorry for the re-post of this post. Having facebook troubles this morning 😉

  • Barbara

    Like so many others, I use 3 ring binders too. I print up labels to separate the categories. I have three separate binders because I have so many recipes. One is just for desserts! This has definitely worked out the best for me. In the past, I had stacks and stacks of recipes and could never find the one I needed. Now, it’s a breeze. I keep a 3 ring punch nearby and file my recipes as soon as I print them.

  • Barbara

    Like so many others, I use 3 ring binders too. I print up labels to separate the categories. I have three separate binders because I have so many recipes. One is just for desserts! This has definitely worked out the best for me. In the past, I had stacks and stacks of recipes and could never find the one I needed. Now, it's a breeze. I keep a 3 ring punch nearby and file my recipes as soon as I print them.

  • Julene

    I use a three binder with the plastic inserts too. I have a 5 week menu plan written out in the first sleeve and then all the recipes are in order after that. I also have other categories like breads, treats, snacks,etc. My menu plan changes, but it is easy to put a new recipe into the plastic sleeve. I love knowing what is for dinner and not having to think of it. I keep plastic inserts for my newspaper recipe clippings and smaller recipes that I have cut out or that I don’t use very often.

  • Julene

    I use a three binder with the plastic inserts too. I have a 5 week menu plan written out in the first sleeve and then all the recipes are in order after that. I also have other categories like breads, treats, snacks,etc. My menu plan changes, but it is easy to put a new recipe into the plastic sleeve. I love knowing what is for dinner and not having to think of it. I keep plastic inserts for my newspaper recipe clippings and smaller recipes that I have cut out or that I don't use very often.

  • I don’t know if my last comment posted. Here is a link to my recipe book: http://murrayandmathews.blogspot.com/2009/09/recipe-book.html

    The blog site “Controlling my Chaos” made darling dividers. She used them in a recipe box, but I used it in a binder.

  • Shauna

    I am working on the exact same issue, plus planning to pull the recipes together for an upcoming family reunion. I am compiling all the recipes into a Microsoft Word document, then myself, friends and family can print on either 8 1/2 x 11 paper and put into a binder or just keep on the computer. Mine are going into a binder and page protectors. My current sections:
    Appetizers, Entrees, Desserts, Breads, Salads and Sides (keeping it simple)

  • You have to look at this site “Controlling my Chaos” she made the cutest cards that I printed out. Here is the link to her site: http://www.controllingmychaos.com/2009/07/recipe-card-dividers-binder-cover.html

    I made mine into a binder and here is the link to my post: http://murrayandmathews.blogspot.com/2009/09/recipe-book.html.

    It’s really cute and I’m organized. I feel this is a HUGE tool in being prepared – by having all these recipes organized and ideas of what to do as you stare at your food storage.

  • Shauna

    I am working on the exact same issue, plus planning to pull the recipes together for an upcoming family reunion. I am compiling all the recipes into a Microsoft Word document, then myself, friends and family can print on either 8 1/2 x 11 paper and put into a binder or just keep on the computer. Mine are going into a binder and page protectors. My current sections:
    Appetizers, Entrees, Desserts, Breads, Salads and Sides (keeping it simple)

  • I just wanted to add, I have a cookbook holder that drops down from underneath my upper cabinets. I love it! It makes it so I can read out of the books and still have counterspace.

  • Sarah Weiss

    I’m liking the 3 ring binder method that everyone is posting. I like to organize my recipes by genres. Since I have so many different dinner recipes I organize it into Asian, Italian, Mexican, American, etc. I then also have baking, breakfast, garden, kids, etc. I stay clear from computer software, because I have to walk back and forth between my kitchen and computer, and if there ever was a power outage, I would not have access to my recipes.

  • Alisa

    When I find a new recipe, I put it into a folder to try out. If we like it then I type it up and place it in my three ring binder under the correct title. If it has a picture I cut that out and tape next to the recipe. I used to do one recipe per sheet but I was ending up with 3 binders. With more than one recipe on a page it takes up less space and for now it is in one binder. Then when I do my monthly planning I just flip through my binder and write down what we are having each night. Hint: the more you catagorize the easier it is to find a recipe. For example all my main meals are divided into the catagories No cooking, Stove Top, Crockpot, Oven, Grill. This really helps me out especially in the summer when I do not want to use my oven and in the winter when I do. My binder is full of stick on/ write on tabs that I bought and so easy to use to find what I am looking for.

  • Anonymous

    3-ring binder! It’s also great for printing off recipes from the web and just sliding them in! Plus it keeps the recipe clean!

  • Chassidy

    I just wanted to add, I have a cookbook holder that drops down from underneath my upper cabinets. I love it! It makes it so I can read out of the books and still have counterspace.

  • Sarah Weiss

    I'm liking the 3 ring binder method that everyone is posting. I like to organize my recipes by genres. Since I have so many different dinner recipes I organize it into Asian, Italian, Mexican, American, etc. I then also have baking, breakfast, garden, kids, etc. I stay clear from computer software, because I have to walk back and forth between my kitchen and computer, and if there ever was a power outage, I would not have access to my recipes.

  • I use a regular 3 ring binder to organize my recipes. I have tabs with labels like: breakfast, breads/pastas, sauces, main dishes, etc. I then have everything in protector sheets. So, if I see a recipe in a magazine or online I would like to try, I just put it in a proctor sheet and put it in it’s section. For small recipe cards, I just tape them onto a regular piece of computer paper and slide it in a protector sheet. When it comes time to use a recipe for dinner, I just take out the sheet I am using/leaving it in the protector sheet. I make the recipe and put it back when I get done. Super easy and if something spills on it, it’s alright, I can just wipe it off!

  • Alisa

    When I find a new recipe, I put it into a folder to try out. If we like it then I type it up and place it in my three ring binder under the correct title. If it has a picture I cut that out and tape next to the recipe. I used to do one recipe per sheet but I was ending up with 3 binders. With more than one recipe on a page it takes up less space and for now it is in one binder. Then when I do my monthly planning I just flip through my binder and write down what we are having each night. Hint: the more you catagorize the easier it is to find a recipe. For example all my main meals are divided into the catagories No cooking, Stove Top, Crockpot, Oven, Grill. This really helps me out especially in the summer when I do not want to use my oven and in the winter when I do. My binder is full of stick on/ write on tabs that I bought and so easy to use to find what I am looking for.

  • rose paul

    I have a very usual way to organize recipes. I put recipes on computer – not so usual but how I organize them is.
    My problem is I need to know what recipes I have for a certain product. For example: I have a garden so when I get a lot of a certain product I want to look at my recipes using that item. So I have each recipe copied in a file of that item. (Yes I realized I have several copies in my computer. I use to uses shortcuts, but when my computers where replaced my shortcut didn’t seem to work, so now I use several copies) . (also I have in the past put hours of work into something using someones program and they sell out or go under and I have lost all my work, so I have become a little catous about using specialized programs)

    We have our own rabbit meat which is frozen, Since my last step is to make broth and pick the bones, I want to know what recipes call for cooked meat ect. For example: My chicken file has a sub folders for each of these categories: chicken Breast, legs, whole, chicken meat pieces cooked, chicken meat uncooked. and I might have some subcategories in these folders with recipes I have found that use grain in the recipe or would be easy to put grain into it. (This way I can have a easy place to get ideas on how to add grain to my partial meat I have in the freezer or I just found of sell. ( In Beef I have a folder for the different cuts –chuck roast, hamburger, etc..)
    I also have folders using each kind of grain. (That way when I want to learn and experience with “teff or mullet” etc I can go to that folder.) Also I list grains by how you use them in the recipe. like berries, popped, flaked, flour, cracked, etc. that way if I’m good at using that grain in a flour form but need to learn how to use it in berry form or I have cooked wheat berries in refrigerator and I need to use them fast I have a resource to go to.
    I know this way would not be the best for many people. Especially if your style is to pick a recipe type and then go to the store and buy whatever you need. But if you store, or raise everything and you need to “use it or lose it” this system works great for me

  • janeilj

    3-ring binder! It's also great for printing off recipes from the web and just sliding them in! Plus it keeps the recipe clean!

  • ladybugzchaz

    I use a regular 3 ring binder to organize my recipes. I have tabs with labels like: breakfast, breads/pastas, sauces, main dishes, etc. I then have everything in protector sheets. So, if I see a recipe in a magazine or online I would like to try, I just put it in a proctor sheet and put it in it's section. For small recipe cards, I just tape them onto a regular piece of computer paper and slide it in a protector sheet. When it comes time to use a recipe for dinner, I just take out the sheet I am using/leaving it in the protector sheet. I make the recipe and put it back when I get done. Super easy and if something spills on it, it's alright, I can just wipe it off!

  • rose paul

    I have a very usual way to organize recipes. I put recipes on computer – not so usual but how I organize them is.
    My problem is I need to know what recipes I have for a certain product. For example: I have a garden so when I get a lot of a certain product I want to look at my recipes using that item. So I have each recipe copied in a file of that item. (Yes I realized I have several copies in my computer. I use to uses shortcuts, but when my computers where replaced my shortcut didn’t seem to work, so now I use several copies) . (also I have in the past put hours of work into something using someones program and they sell out or go under and I have lost all my work, so I have become a little catous about using specialized programs)

    We have our own rabbit meat which is frozen, Since my last step is to make broth and pick the bones, I want to know what recipes call for cooked meat ect. For example: My chicken file has a sub folders for each of these categories: chicken Breast, legs, whole, chicken meat pieces cooked, chicken meat uncooked. and I might have some subcategories in these folders with recipes I have found that use grain in the recipe or would be easy to put grain into it. (This way I can have a easy place to get ideas on how to add grain to my partial meat I have in the freezer or I just found of sell. ( In Beef I have a folder for the different cuts –chuck roast, hamburger, etc..)
    I also have folders using each kind of grain. (That way when I want to learn and experience with “teff or mullet” etc I can go to that folder.) Also I list grains by how you use them in the recipe. like berries, popped, flaked, flour, cracked, etc. that way if I’m good at using that grain in a flour form but need to learn how to use it in berry form or I have cooked wheat berries in refrigerator and I need to use them fast I have a resource to go to.
    I know this way would not be the best for many people. Especially if your style is to pick a recipe type and then go to the store and buy whatever you need. But if you store, or raise everything and you need to “use it or lose it” this system works great for me

  • I use MasterCook software as well. So easy to type up my favorite recipes and print them out. It’s easy to adjust ingredients as well to make recipes healthier, change portion sizes, scale recipes up or down for smaller or larger families, etc. Love it!

  • I use MasterCook software as well. So easy to type up my favorite recipes and print them out. It's easy to adjust ingredients as well to make recipes healthier, change portion sizes, scale recipes up or down for smaller or larger families, etc. Love it!

  • Its a little work to rewrite, but I have my cookbook I love with lots of blank pages that I just copy the brand new recipe onto and can organize any way I want. I’ve had my book too long so sadly don’t remember where it was bought.

  • Anonymous

    I type all my recipes in a program called mastercook. I love it! I then print the recipes out and put them in page protectors by category in a notebook. It’s great because it’s organized and neat and easy to find what you are looking for. Whenever someone asks me for a recipe I can just print it off. I also have printed them all several times and put them in notebooks for wedding and Christmas gifts! You can buy the softwear at any office store or online.

  • Its a little work to rewrite, but I have my cookbook I love with lots of blank pages that I just copy the brand new recipe onto and can organize any way I want. I've had my book too long so sadly don't remember where it was bought.

  • Anonymous

    My favorite recipes are in a 4×6 photo album (easy to wipe clean) and then I began typing them in 8×11 full page, putting them in a vinyl sleeve and then in a 3 ring binder. I’m liking the full page for a few reasons: easier to read (larger font for those of us getting older), can write notes on it, easier to insert/take out/reorganize recipes, and add recipes from the Internet.

  • mlz01

    I type all my recipes in a program called mastercook. I love it! I then print the recipes out and put them in page protectors by category in a notebook. It's great because it's organized and neat and easy to find what you are looking for. Whenever someone asks me for a recipe I can just print it off. I also have printed them all several times and put them in notebooks for wedding and Christmas gifts! You can buy the softwear at any office store or online.

  • Anonymous

    Oh please somebody tell me the solution! I’ve got the exact same problem and am totally stumped!

  • friedalovesbread

    My favorite recipes are in a 4×6 photo album (easy to wipe clean) and then I began typing them in 8×11 full page, putting them in a vinyl sleeve and then in a 3 ring binder. I'm liking the full page for a few reasons: easier to read (larger font for those of us getting older), can write notes on it, easier to insert/take out/reorganize recipes, and add recipes from the Internet.

  • emstermeister

    Oh please somebody tell me the solution! I've got the exact same problem and am totally stumped!

  • Forgot to add that our favorite, we-use-them-every-week recipes are actually taped the inside of one of the kitchen cabinets. Always handy, there’s no need to pull out the whole binder for these.

  • We keep all of our recipes, no matter the format, in a 3-ring binder filled with sheet protectors. It’s held up to three teenage cooks so far, with no problems. Some of our recipes have been in there for years. I see others here use the same method.

  • Jenni G

    I’ve been coping with this same problem, and this year I decided to change, slowly but surely. The first thing I did was sort through the 3-ring binder full of recipes that I used throughout college, and I pulled out any that I either have never made, or haven’t made in the past year or so. I threw most of them away, except the ones I really still want to try. I also went through most of my loose recipes (print outs, cards, hand-written, etc) and I did the same thing. I also tried to group “like” recipes together (beef and potato casseroles, spaghetti sauces, etc) and just picked one if I had 2 or more recipes that were almost exactly the same, and then I threw the other one away. Once I had a more reasonable stack of recipes, I divided them into 2 binders: the first binder is full of recipes I know and love, and I’m sure I will use again. The other binder is full of all those recipes I keep telling myself I’ll try, but I just haven’t yet. At the beginning of the year, I made a commitment to slowly go through this second binder, and I have been, slowly and surely. As I meal plan, I reference both binders. If I make something new, I evaluate with my husband, and if we really like it, the recipe is transferred to the “tried and true” cookbook. If we don’t like it enough to make it again, I toss it. This way I’m slowly sorting through all my recipes, and hopefully at the end of the year I’ll have just one binder. =).

  • Cindy Sue

    I just found you all and look forward to coming back and exploring and learning. Thanks!

  • Forgot to add that our favorite, we-use-them-every-week recipes are actually taped the inside of one of the kitchen cabinets. Always handy, there's no need to pull out the whole binder for these.

  • We keep all of our recipes, no matter the format, in a 3-ring binder filled with sheet protectors. It's held up to three teenage cooks so far, with no problems. Some of our recipes have been in there for years. I see others here use the same method.

  • Anonymous

    Most of my recipes are printed from websites, so I bought a 3 ring binder (medium duty, so it’s pretty tough) in a color I liked. I punched holes (we have a 3 hole punch, so not too much work) in everything. I do have some recipe cards from before the computer era, LOL, and they fit neatly into the inside pocket of the binder. I have some recipe books, but I don’t use them much. My red-checked cook book (Betty Crocker or Better Homes & Gardens, I can never remember!) stays in the kitchen with the binder, and everything else is on a bookcase in the office. Not a perfect system, but it’s working for me 🙂 If I had more cabinet space, I’d make one the kichen bookshelf… but alas, I don’t have the room.
    Oh, and I bought dividers for my binder to organize it a bit. I have main courses, breads, side dishes, desserts, and misc.

  • Heather B.

    Ditto on the binder with page protectors. The pages can be taken out individually and used when cooking. The page protector means your recipe won’t get ruined. Other than a couple cookbooks I use for sentimental reasons, the binder contains all my recipes. You can use tab dividers to divide into sections of your choice. My are currently divided into: “favorite main dishes,” “main dishes to try,” “side dishes,” and “breads.”

  • Jenni G

    I've been coping with this same problem, and this year I decided to change, slowly but surely. The first thing I did was sort through the 3-ring binder full of recipes that I used throughout college, and I pulled out any that I either have never made, or haven't made in the past year or so. I threw most of them away, except the ones I really still want to try. I also went through most of my loose recipes (print outs, cards, hand-written, etc) and I did the same thing. I also tried to group “like” recipes together (beef and potato casseroles, spaghetti sauces, etc) and just picked one if I had 2 or more recipes that were almost exactly the same, and then I threw the other one away. Once I had a more reasonable stack of recipes, I divided them into 2 binders: the first binder is full of recipes I know and love, and I'm sure I will use again. The other binder is full of all those recipes I keep telling myself I'll try, but I just haven't yet. At the beginning of the year, I made a commitment to slowly go through this second binder, and I have been, slowly and surely. As I meal plan, I reference both binders. If I make something new, I evaluate with my husband, and if we really like it, the recipe is transferred to the “tried and true” cookbook. If we don't like it enough to make it again, I toss it. This way I'm slowly sorting through all my recipes, and hopefully at the end of the year I'll have just one binder. =).

  • Cindy Sue

    I just found you all and look forward to coming back and exploring and learning. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    I’m a binder with page protector fan too, I use photo album refill pages for the cards so i can do two to a page.
    I have a photo box with handwriteen recipes that I haven’t tried yet, but they are sentimental, so i keep them in order by type of foods, maybe one day i’ll try them all.

  • I also use a binder with page protectors. I don’t bother typing up the recipes though. The scraps of paper from friends? Into the binder they go. Recipes ripped from magazines? Into the binder. One of these days I actually plan on ripping our favorites right out of my cookbooks and putting them into the binder as well, but that hasn’t happened yet. I just keep the recipes in order by category (salads, soups, pasta, sides, desserts, etc.) but don’t worry about the order in each category. And since I’m a messy cook, the page protectors are great. They wipe right off. It works for me!

  • hbrooke

    Most of my recipes are printed from websites, so I bought a 3 ring binder (medium duty, so it's pretty tough) in a color I liked. I punched holes (we have a 3 hole punch, so not too much work) in everything. I do have some recipe cards from before the computer era, LOL, and they fit neatly into the inside pocket of the binder. I have some recipe books, but I don't use them much. My red-checked cook book (Betty Crocker or Better Homes & Gardens, I can never remember!) stays in the kitchen with the binder, and everything else is on a bookcase in the office. Not a perfect system, but it's working for me 🙂 If I had more cabinet space, I'd make one the kichen bookshelf… but alas, I don't have the room.
    Oh, and I bought dividers for my binder to organize it a bit. I have main courses, breads, side dishes, desserts, and misc.

  • Heather B.

    Ditto on the binder with page protectors. The pages can be taken out individually and used when cooking. The page protector means your recipe won't get ruined. Other than a couple cookbooks I use for sentimental reasons, the binder contains all my recipes. You can use tab dividers to divide into sections of your choice. My are currently divided into: “favorite main dishes,” “main dishes to try,” “side dishes,” and “breads.”

  • I’ve typed up all the recipes that I use and put them in page protectors, so they can be wiped off in a mess. It’s useful because I’ve made the font large so that I can see it from far away or when I’m older. If you don’t want the hassle of typing them all up most of those can be tucked into page protectors anyway.

  • mindingmomma

    I'm a binder with page protector fan too, I use photo album refill pages for the cards so i can do two to a page.
    I have a photo box with handwriteen recipes that I haven't tried yet, but they are sentimental, so i keep them in order by type of foods, maybe one day i'll try them all.

  • I also use a binder with page protectors. I don't bother typing up the recipes though. The scraps of paper from friends? Into the binder they go. Recipes ripped from magazines? Into the binder. One of these days I actually plan on ripping our favorites right out of my cookbooks and putting them into the binder as well, but that hasn't happened yet. I just keep the recipes in order by category (salads, soups, pasta, sides, desserts, etc.) but don't worry about the order in each category. And since I'm a messy cook, the page protectors are great. They wipe right off. It works for me!

  • I've typed up all the recipes that I use and put them in page protectors, so they can be wiped off in a mess. It's useful because I've made the font large so that I can see it from far away or when I'm older. If you don't want the hassle of typing them all up most of those can be tucked into page protectors anyway.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been trying to figure out this very thing. I have the same mess you have with all kinds of different sources for my recipes. I have been thinking that I may pick out the recipes I have actually used and type them up and laminate them and put them in a binder. Then I can pull out the whole book or just the recipe and use it. The laminating would keep them nice and clean during cooking and spills. I figure the meals that we have for our 3 month food supply would be the ones to do 1st and our staple recipes like bread. I can’t wait to see everyone’s ideas. Great idea for a post!!!!!!!!

  • scrapbaby6

    I've been trying to figure out this very thing. I have the same mess you have with all kinds of different sources for my recipes. I have been thinking that I may pick out the recipes I have actually used and type them up and laminate them and put them in a binder. Then I can pull out the whole book or just the recipe and use it. The laminating would keep them nice and clean during cooking and spills. I figure the meals that we have for our 3 month food supply would be the ones to do 1st and our staple recipes like bread. I can't wait to see everyone's ideas. Great idea for a post!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know if you have a Mac. But, I use MacGourmet– a downloadable program for my Mac. I imported all of my recipes– and can cut and paste new ones from the web into it. I can make tags and labels and then sort and search any and every field I want to. I can create shopping lists: drag all my desired recipes into a list and it combines the amounts of ingredients I need so I can print it out and go shopping. It’s awesome. You can also put pictures with your meals too. I’ve had it for almost 3 years– and I think it was only like $25. Definitely worth my money. When people ask me for my recipes, I can just export them to a text file and email it to them, instead of typing it all up first. Oh and they have an app for the iPhone (which is handy when I ask my husband to pick up something for dinner on his way home from work, because he’s got my recipes all in his phone). I had low, but hopeful expectations. And it’s been wonderful for my needs.

    The only thing it doesn’t do is a calendar. But I use Google Calendar for meal planning, which works fine.

    Also, it wouldn’t be useful in a sans-electriciy emergency. But let’s be honest, if I had to cook from memory, in an emergency, I could probably figure something out. You could print out all of your recipes and still keep them in a binder or something in case of a computer-less situation.

    MacGourmet. I like it. I recommend it.

  • midcitygal

    I don't know if you have a Mac. But, I use MacGourmet– a downloadable program for my Mac. I imported all of my recipes– and can cut and paste new ones from the web into it. I can make tags and labels and then sort and search any and every field I want to. I can create shopping lists: drag all my desired recipes into a list and it combines the amounts of ingredients I need so I can print it out and go shopping. It's awesome. You can also put pictures with your meals too. I've had it for almost 3 years– and I think it was only like $25. Definitely worth my money. When people ask me for my recipes, I can just export them to a text file and email it to them, instead of typing it all up first. Oh and they have an app for the iPhone (which is handy when I ask my husband to pick up something for dinner on his way home from work, because he's got my recipes all in his phone). I had low, but hopeful expectations. And it's been wonderful for my needs.

    The only thing it doesn't do is a calendar. But I use Google Calendar for meal planning, which works fine.

    Also, it wouldn't be useful in a sans-electriciy emergency. But let's be honest, if I had to cook from memory, in an emergency, I could probably figure something out. You could print out all of your recipes and still keep them in a binder or something in case of a computer-less situation.

    MacGourmet. I like it. I recommend it.