Simplify Your Life by Organizing Your Recipes

Are you like me and have oodles and oodles of recipes printed off the internet laying around your house? 

I am a total recipe whore 😝  I also have probably at least 50 cookbooks that are in various boxes and bookshelves around my home.  I love to cook and with that, I love to collect wonderful recipes.

But, the biggest issue I have is that I will make something delicious and never remember where the recipe went (did I find it online?  did I read it in cookbook?  I have no idea!).  So I had implemented my recipe binder back in the day, which was a total life saver!  No longer did I need to search for my favorite recipes, I had them neatly tucked away in some plastic sheets in my binder (the plastic helps to keep them clean) which I kept neatly tucked in a spot next my microwave.  It's been that way for around 6 years now.

But, a few days ago, I went to get my binder down and found that the cover was splitting off and everything was spilling out of it.  Turns out, you can only stuff a binder with so much paper before it explodes!

Well, that's not working anymore.

And to tell you the truth, it was never really working well in the first place, as I just put the recipes I used most in the front with no category separations and let the back end just get pushed beyond its breaking point. 

So, I found a new binder, one probably 3x the size of the old one, and now I have all my recipes stuffed into that one. 

In other words, I have a total mess.

My 2017 resolution/motto/theme is to:

Not only does this mean becoming more minimalistic in my life, but also taking whatever I have left and organizing the ever-loving shit out of it 😆

So, my first project for the year will be to organize my massive recipe collection and stop the chaos at dinner time by not having to wonder where my recipes are at any given time.  And by using very specific binder tabs, I can easily find either what I am looking for OR I can just peruse through it for meal ideas.

Do you want to make one, too? 

What you'll need are the following:

-a big-ass binder (at least 3 inches)

-sheet protectors (the better the quality, the longer they will last, but cheap ones will also work--I have both)
-binder dividers (the kind you write on--you can also get printable tabs so you don't have to hand write them)
-folders with 3-holes punched in the spines
-3-hole puncher
-acid free tape
-tons of recipes

Here are the tabs you can use to really, really organize your recipes:

  1. Breakfast
  2. Lunch
  3. Dinner
  4. Sides
  5. Breads
  6. Snacks
  7. Desserts
  8. Condiments & Sauces
  9. Seasonings
  10. Beverages
  11. Crockpot
  12. Salads
  13. Soups 
  14. Pet Food (don't laugh, we had a quinceanero for our dog Harley when he turned 15 in the summer of 2016 and served all sorts of pet-friendly deliciousness--; the chicken/sweet potato/cranberry/rice dish was a fav!)
  15. Specialty tabs (likes gluten free, paleo, sugar free, etc.)
  16. Holiday
  17. Family recipes (from your parents, grandparents, stuff you grew up eating, etc.)
  18.  OAMC (once a month cooking recipes, if you use these)
  19.  $5 Meal Plan (I also buy the $5 meal plan, so I'll add this into my binder as well)
  20. Anything else that applies to your recipe collection (like specific cookbook recipes or specific TV chef recipes, etc.)  Don't worry about adding more categories, it's better to over-organize at first than to under -organize!
First things first, go through your recipes and throw any away that you've never used or know you never will (or put them in a container and donate them to someone).  Then, group your recipes into these categories above as you sort, and then add them either to the sheet protectors or your folders.  Like I love, love, love Taste of Home recipes, so I have a stack of those and they will go into a folder instead of getting hole punched to go in between the dividers.  Less work for me and no cutting involved!  (If you get this magazine, they include 4x6 recipe cards you cut from sheets, 4 each, and they includes lots in every issue!)

Have lots of old-fashioned recipe cards?  Get a sheet of paper and if they are one-sided, then tape them to the paper (or cardstock) with other recipes of the same category.  If they are two-sided, then slip them into a folder or loosely into a sheet protector. Or you can pick of some of these bad boys and place them directly in each slot (not an affiliate link).  I think I'll buy these the next time we get paid, I had no idea they even existed!  Whoo hoo!

Then you can go here and pick up your printable recipe binder cover I made for you and then go here to get your printable recipe sheets and then go here to get a weekly menu.  And then head over here to get some kick ass recipes (also from yours truly).  

And BAM!  You're done.  Well, at least until you get more, but for now you'll have a working system in which you can take your new recipes and immediately file them before they get out of hand.

And that's how you make a Big Ass Recipe Binder (trademarked!  not really.....but we can pretend!)

Because screw the teeny-weeny recipe boxes our mothers used, big-time cooks need big-time recipe books!  (well, binders...)

If you make one or have made one, link me some pics below!  I'd love to see yours! 

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