So I’ve been on this kick here lately where I’ve been trying to make our home a more organized, less cluttered home. I’m not sure what gave me the idea of doing a recipe binder – probably Pinterest – but it’s something I’m so very proud of doing. It was something I wanted to do for awhile and finally got up and did it! Although I have nothing against recipe boxes and little cute index cards filled out with ingredients and instructions – I have the tendency to lose them. Lose them often and repeatedly. A binder allows me to keep everything together in one spot and in a way that is much easier for me to navigate and plan out meals for the week. In short – it works for me. So now, without further ado, allow me to show it to you…
Now I think my recipe binder is more interesting than most because I’m guessing it’s one of the very few out there that has a tab for small game, big game, and game bird/waterfowl. You need a recipe for squirrels? I got a tab for that! But they’re all different and if you should decide to make one – I suggest you to cater it to your family and what you all like to eat, and organize it to how you would search for meals. In making a recipe binder, you only really need a binder, divider tabs, and sheet protectors… oh, and I guess recipes. 🙂
I, myself, chose to use a 2″ binder and 2 packs of 8 divider tabs with pockets. The categories I chose for my tabs were the following: Appetizers/Drinks, Breads/Muffins, Breakfast, Soup/Salad/Sauces, Vegetables/Side Dishes, Pasta, Chicken, Beef/Pork, Dessert, Holiday Foods, Game Bird/Waterfowl, Big Game, Small Game, Fish, and Canning.
Once you figure out how you want to organize everything, you start the fun and exhausting task of sorting out your recipes. The picture below is our “hunting” recipes sorted. Thought it would be easier starting with these since they were all the same size 🙂
Once this daunting task is done, just slip them into sheet protectors under the appropriate tab. Congratulations, you’re almost done! Now I got the divider tabs with pockets – this is not a “must-have” but it’s definitely a plus to have. For recipes that I find in magazines or that are given to me, I simply place these in the pockets. It’s sort of my “new recipes to-try” area. That way if I don’t like it I can pitch it, and if I do like it it’s added to the binder. Pretty cool, eh?
Now the front of the binder is still a work in progress. For now I have sheets for Recipes to Try and Favorite Recipes, and one of the same sheets but for Holiday Recipes. The favorite recipe sheet is more like a bookmark for recipes I like to use in cookbooks that I have. That way I don’t need to get out multiple books when I’m trying to plan out our meals. (we go grocery shopping once every 2 weeks, so I plan out 2wks of meals at once).
I think one of the most beneficial points of doing this is just going thru everything. I know I wasn’t one with a whole lot of recipes, but I had a good group of them. But I did realize how many recipes I had that I never used or cookbooks that I keep with only one recipe I use from it. By doing this, I was able to not only get more organized, but I was able to downsize which is ALWAYS a good thing in a growing family. Here are some shots of what the recipes look like in it…
I had such a good time doing this, that it actually is making me want to redo the way I organize bills and other household “paperwork”. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try, right? If you’re interested, I have provided links to where you can download the recipe pages that I used.