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Easy Ways to Organize Your Recipes

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Maybe you’re thinking about making one of your tried-and-true recipes. Do you know where to find it? Or you may be looking for something different and plan to flip through your collection of recipes. Can you even find them all in one place? We couldn’t so we went looking for a simple solution and want to share this with you!

Organizing recipes is not always a top priority, but there’s no doubt that taking some time to get them in order can make the cooking process more enjoyable and less time-consuming.

DYI Recipe Organizing System:

Gather Recipes

Collect all your recipes, including printouts, food-stained index cards, newspaper clippings, etc.

Compile the food magazines you've saved, tear out the pages you want and toss the rest.

Be ruthless. If a recipe goes back more than a few years and you've never tried it, throw it out.

Sort Into Categories

Take a look at your favorite cookbook for ideas on how to group your recipes. Choose categories like appetizers, chicken entres, desserts, etc.

Create your own categories. If you love to bake, for example, make separate sections for cakes and pies.

Set up Storage

Buy a few packs of 4", 6", or 5" x  8" index cards (you'll need at least one card for every recipe) and a binder with plastic sheet protectors. Purchase subject dividers, too.

Label subject dividers with the categories you've chosen and put them in a binder with the sheet protectors. Copy recipes onto your index cards and place them in the protectors by category. If you don't want to recopy all the recipes, staple them onto a card (if they don't fit, fold the paper).

Store the recipe-filled binder with your cookbooks.

Plan a Month of Meals

Select recipes you'd like to try over the next few weeks, remove from the binder and place in a recipe box. Choose enough for 30 days of meals.

Keep the box on your kitchen counter, so the recipes will be at your fingertips.

Rotate the cards once a month, filing the old ones and pulling a new batch out of your binder (ask your family to help choose). It will keep you from getting into a recipe rut.

Paper Recipes:


Even some very technologically inclined people still prefer recipes written on paper, whether a page torn from a magazine, an index card from a grandmother or a printout from a Web site.

One popular way to organize recipes is to create a recipe binder. Some recipe-specific binders are sold with pre-made labels, dividers and sheet protectors. Others require that you purchase those supplies separately. It’s also easy to create your own organizer with a standard binder from an office supply store.

Although snipping, collecting and organizing recipes for a binder requires more effort than using an app, it does give you the ultimate flexibility in terms of your ability to include anything you want, despite its origin, and allows you to customize your categories in a way that makes most sense to you.

For instance, you might organize your recipes by course: appetizers, salads and soups, main courses, desserts. Or, you could do it by food type: poultry, seafood, vegetables, fruits, etc.

Buy Recipe Binders from Here!

Digital Recipe Keepers:


There are several apps and Web sites that make digital recipe organization simple. A few of the most popular are Paprika Recipe Manager, Pepperplate and BigOven, but there are others. The best way to find which one fits your specific needs and organizational style is to simply try one out.

Paprika Recipe Manager

Price: $4.99 (Android and iOS)

Pepperplate

Price: Free (Android, iOS& Windows 8)

BigOven

Price: Free (Android, iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone)

Using a digital device has the advantage of keeping your kitchen clear of paper clutter and freeing up counter space. However, if you choose this option, you will have to spend some time inputting or scanning paper recipes.

Do you fall into one of these categories? Tell us!

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