Recipe Binder

I am not a fan of clutter. I will not sit and sort through endless stacks of paper to find one thing. I do not have the time or the patience for that. Kitchens can be a breeding ground for paper clutter. One These things are everywhere. It's hard to find new recipes in the stack, so I usually end up going back to past dishes. Does anyone else have this problem?

I needed to come up with a system. I keep a household binder to keep everything running smooth, so why not have a similar system in the kitchen?

On my next trip to Target I picked up a pretty 2 inch binder, a few dividers, some page inserts, and picture dividers for a photo album. When I got home I pulled out all my cookbooks, magazines, and recipes and planted myself at the table on a mission.

I designated each divider to a catagory and added a few page inserts behind each one. I printed up pretty labels and I was ready to start.

Then I sorted through all my recipes and placed them into their categories. How many catagories you have will be up to you and how detailed you want to divide your recipes. I get semi detailed because I dont like to mix soups, salads, and breads. I prefer it seperate so I can find exactly what I want. It is completely up to you how you chose to do it.

My tried and true recipes where placed either in the page inserts on pretty colorful paper I stole from my scrapbook supplies, or if they were recipe cards I placed them in the picture inserts. I didnt like the way the empty slots stood out, so I added some pretty recipe designed scrapbook paper to fill them.

I chose to cut up my recipe magazines and only keep what I would actually try and placed them with my other to-try recipes of that category in the pocket of the divider.

Some of you will not want to cut up your magazines, and that's fine, I wasnt going to cut up my cookbooks! For that solution a made a list that I placed first behind the divider. It has the book/magazine name, the recipe, and the page number it is found on. I use this only for my tried and true recipes, you may wish to print two and have a list for your tried and true and your to-try recipes.

The first divider in my binder is for my inventory lists. Here I keep my freezer, and pantry inventories so that when I make my shopping list I will know what I already have on hand. When I make my list I do not want to get up and search. I shop early in the morning when there are no crowds so I want to get going. If I assume I know what I have I always assume wrong it seems. So this iventory system keeps me sane.

For me, I find that having all my recipes in one place instead of searching here, then searching over there, now trying to seaerch through this book helps me to actually try the recipes I have. The ones I love go in the page inserts the rest get tossed. Plus, trying someting new keeps my family from getting picky or sick of what we've eaten a million times before.  I also keep a page insert for extra shopping lists, and one for menu planners.

Once I had my binder set up the way I wanted, it was time to start planning my menu. My binder has a pocket in both the front and the back so I decided to use these to my advantage. When I select a recipe to try I place it in the front pocket. Since it would be a lot to have a month worth of recipes in there, and defeat the purpose of the system, I paper clip each weeks recipes together. That way I know which ones Im supposed to be working with. Once I have used the recipe for that week, I either toss it right then if it wasnt up to par, or I store it in the back pocket and file it next Sunday when I sit down to do my shopping list.

No system is ever set in stone and every system I have grows and changes with my families needs. So far this recipe binder has proven to be very effective for me. If you like my designs you can find them in my etsy shop.

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