SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Four Systems for Organizing Your Recipes | Family Economics

By Trisha

I don’t claim to be a gourmet chef or fancy cook, but I do love finding new recipes to collect. That’s right, I clip them from magazines, tear them out of my local paper, print them off of my computer and even ask others for their favorite recipes only to find myself with piles of recipes and a need for how to organize them. Maybe if I organize them, I will actually use them and become that fancy cook one day.

Here are some simple ways you can organize all your recipes:

Three Ring Binder* –
• Purchase a three ring binder, set of dividers, and plastic protective sleeves. 
• Decide which categories you would like to organize your recipes under and label your dividers. 
• Begin organizing your recipes into piles for each category.
• Place recipes inside plastic protective sleeves. When I have a small recipe I’ve clipped out I attach it to a sheet of paper then place it inside the plastic protective sleeve.
• Insert them into your binder in the correct section.
• Be sure to label the front of your binder.
* This is the system I currently use

File Box System –
• Purchase either a file box from your local big box store or find a cute basket or container that can hold files.
• Purchase file folders in any style along with a permanent marker and plastic protective sleeves.
• Decide which categories you would like to organize your recipes under and label your dividers. 
• Place recipes inside plastic protective sleeves.
• File your recipes into the file folders in the categories you have chosen.
• Now place your files into the container. This way, they are easy to retrieve and pull out when needed.

Computer –
• One idea is to use an old laptop that is no longer needed in your home and dedicate it to the kitchen.  Now you can store all of your recipes on the laptop by creating files.  You can scan your recipes into the computer and file them as well.
• Another idea is to use your existing computer and create files for each recipe category and file your recipes there, scanning in any recipes you have saved over the years.
• There are also several online recipe organizers you can use.  Search “online recipe organizers” to find the one that works best for you.

Photo Album –
• Purchase a photo album book with removable pages.
• Make copies of the front and back of your recipes, if needed.
• Place recipes into the picture pockets of your photo album.

No matter what system I use, the one thing I always do for my holiday recipes (including my favorite cookie recipes) is make copies of them and then place them in a file folder so I can quickly recall my favorite recipes when making a shopping list and holiday meal plan. No more guessing which sugar cookie recipe is my favorite!

2 Comments so far

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On Wednesday, July 27, 2011, Tammy wrote

I use a 3-ring binder for clipped or printed recipes (try to keep them by category) and also have 2 photo albums that I use to write out recipes on large index cards - one for desserts and one for everything else. Thanks for the tips.

On Sunday, December 12, 2010, Paula in Tacoma wrote

Last year one of my New Year resolutions was to organize my recipes. I used a 3 ring binder with clear protective sleeves. It worked awesome! The recipes stay clean and are easy to find.

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