A while ago, I shared how I organize my recipes on my computer. Fortunately, that method is still working great for me years later! However, I must confess that I was definitely not so great at organizing my printed recipes. I like to print recipes before I use them, and I must confess that I was wasting a lot of paper printing recipes out and then throwing them away. I have finally found a solution to that which I’m so excited to share with you!
First, I got 3 report binders from Barnes & Noble. I love these because they are fairly small (thin), and they are just a book full of plastic sheet protectors. I think each book has places to put 50 pages (using the front and back of each). Since the sheet protectors are bound together they are even thinner and lay flatter than the discbound notebooks. Also, the sheet protectors and glossy cover are perfect for using in the kitchen, so you can easily wipe off spills and splatters.
Next, I labeled each of the 3 binders. One is for main dishes, one is for desserts, and one is for breads & sides. I thought keeping three broad categories like this would be the easiest way to help me find the recipes. For me, it’s difficult if I have too many categories, because it’s not immediately obvious which category a recipe might be in. I decided to keep them in three different binders rather than one binder with different sections so I would have enough room for all my recipes. I would have much preferred 3 of the solid black binders, but I had the other designs on hand, so I used what I had.
Next, I put the title pages in the front of each binder:
I had previously gathered up all my printed recipes plus I had printed a few of my most frequently used recipes that I didn’t already have printed. I separated them into the 3 broad categories which only took a couple minutes. Then I placed them in the appropriate binders (in no particular order) starting with the 3rd page (the first 2 pages are reserved for the title page and the index page). Most of my recipes are on full size sheets of paper but a few are clippings from magazines or recipe card size. These fit in the binder as well:
Next, I designed some number stickers for each page. I used my favorite Avery removable sticker paper along with my Silhouette machine to create these. The numbers are drawn on with the Silhouette sketch pens, and then I put in the blade to cut the circles around the numbers. You could, of course, use any stickers and just hand write the numbers. I also think Avery sales some printable stickers you could use.
Now that all my recipes were in the binders and all the pages were numbered, I filled out and index sheet for each binder. This really only took 10 minutes. Since I’m only saving the recipes I want to make again, I don’t have a whole bunch of recipes, so it’s not hard to scan the list to find what recipe I need.
When I print a new recipe that I want to keep, I’ll just add it to the next spot in the binder and jot it down on the index sheet. I think this system is going to work really well, and I’m so happy with how well it turned out. While I was on a roll, I went ahead and created matching inventory sheets and filled one out for my freezer:
I also created a matching menu planner. I laminated them so I can reuse them. If you click on the image below, you can download the menu planner for free:
I offer this whole set of recipe binder printables inside the Sweet Life Society (along with the same thing in a completely different style and a replay of how to organize your recipes workshop which walks you through how to organize digital and printed recipes).
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