The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

Super Simple Recipe Binder

on May 10, 2012

**Update on how the binder has worked for me can be seen here.**

I have seen recipe binders all over Pinterest.  They range from complete menu planning systems that need a masters in engineering to figure out to the simple.   Goodness knows there’s got to be millions on Pinterest, so if you think I copied you, I apologize.

I first started with a 2 inch heavy duty binder from Target.  The mechanism that opens the rings for you is wonderful!!  It hardly takes any effort to open it.  And you don’t have to worry about bending the rings when you open them with your hands.  Been there, done that.

For the dividers, I used up & up index dividers with pockets again from Target.  The beauty of these dividers are the pockets.  Hot pockets!!  (Not really, I just watched Jim Gaffigan this morning.  I will never think about any type of pockets the same again.)  I use the pockets to hold recipes I want to try, as seen in the picture below, right side.

I had a ton of 4 x 6 photo pages from a long ago coupon organizing phase, so I used those to hold the recipes.  Even if the recipes are  smaller than 4 x 6, it doesn’t matter.

I also used full sized sheet protectors for magazine pages, 8 x 10 papers (I found many of my Grandma Blanton’s recipes hand written on paper mixed in with my Mom’s recipes.)

That lasagna up there??  It’s from Southern Living and it is to D-I-E for . . . it’s so good you won’t even care about what a pain in the rear it is to boil the noodles.

The organizing was kind of easy.  I had cookbooks I’d never used or cookbooks that I only used one or two recipes from.  I did the unthinkable.  I tore the recipes out of the books and then threw the remainder of the book out.  It was hard!  But some of the cookbooks I’d had for 15 years or more.  If I hadn’t tried recipes from them by now, I never would.  I do have a few favorite books that I didn’t get rid of, but you never know!  I went through every book I’d never used and picked out a few “to try” recipes and then tossed them as well.  I was a little skeered, but I lived.

Now for the menu planning.  Weekly I go through and pick out a mix of recipes that won’t have us eating chicken 5 nights of the week.  I love chicken that much, but the rest of the fam?  They prefer a bit of variety.  When I find the recipe, I pull it out and put it in the front flap:

I use the Smart Shopping app on my phone to make the shopping list . . . ahhhhhh, so easy!  I love that if I run out of something during the week, I can just put it on my phone.  No more ridiculous lists that I never seem to look at before I go to the store.  Shopping apps are probably old news to everyone else, but I’m a late comer to this whole smart phone thing.

Here are the categories I used for my binder:

  • Apps
  • Beef
  • Breads
  • Breakfast
  • Brownies/Bars
  • Chicken/Poultry
  • Cookies
  • Dessert
  • Fish
  • Pasta
  • Pork
  • Salads
  • Seafood
  • Side Dishes
  • Soup/Stew
  • Veggies

Some of this might be redundant, but I wanted something laid out that was very straightforward.  Another thing I’ve done is add 4 x 6 cards to act as place holders, like “Taco Night,” “Sub Sandwich Night,” etc.  I don’t necessarily need recipes for those dinners but if I don’t have a visual reminder, I’ll forget.  I guarantee it.

I pretty much think my binder is the answer to all my dinner dilemmas.  So far, so good.  Sometimes I just look at it and marvel that I have all of my family’s favorite recipes in one spot.  For me?  That’s monumental.

 

Advertisements

39 responses to “Super Simple Recipe Binder

  1. Amy Sue says:

    You are a bold one! That inspires me to tear out that one recipe I use and throw the book in the recycle bin. 🙂 The one I must keep is Pioneer Woman Cooks…it is a visual feast. Maybe we could plan a weekend get away and you could help me fix my recipe binder!

    • Julia says:

      The other thing you could do instead of tearing out the recipe is just copy it or retype onto a separate sheet and then donate the cookbook to a thrift store. That way someone else may be able to benefit from the recipes as well.

  2. laurie says:

    I too love my recipe binder…been a lifesaver time and time again:) I do love your idea of ripping out the recipes you would likely use and toss the book, very brave indeed!!

  3. I so need to do this. I went through all my Quick Cooking magazines (I had a ton) and pulled pages of either recipes we use or ones I want to try and then tossed the rest. Thinking I need to do the same with the cookbooks now to save space. Not to mention, almost any recipe can be found online now.

  4. […] couple of months ago I posted how I made a binder for all my recipes.  It’s been over two months since I started using it and it is a roaring […]

  5. Trish says:

    Looks great! I don’t know why I never thought to tear out my tried and true recipes from those books I’ve had for years. I’m going to get one of these started right away.

    Trish

  6. Shannon says:

    I admired your organization. I am working on getting my recipes organized as well! Thanks for the inspiration.

    Shannon @ Sewing Barefoot

  7. April says:

    I made copies of my tried and true recipes with my printer and put them in my binder. No guilt over tearing pages out! Love your binder!

  8. Judy Cook says:

    I love your idea for a recipe keeper. I’ve been looking online for quite a while looking for something that would work for me.

  9. Janie says:

    I’ve torn recipes out of books before, but I always recycle the rest of the book, guilt free. 🙂 Love this binder idea!

  10. Ginger says:

    I make copies and added the cookbooks to “yard sale fodder” box 🙂 So now when my friends tell me they are having a yard sale – I just give them the box 🙂

  11. Toodie says:

    I’m with the rest of the ladies…you are indeed brave. And you have inspired me to do that “ripping out” thing. Because I have more recipes than I’m sure I have days left of my life and I am only almost 50. LOL! I have books that I have NEVER even used a recipe out of. Sad.

    And…you mean there’s a shopping app? I did not know that and I am going right this minute to find it! Ah, I love you!

  12. Naomi says:

    I love this idea! I thought it was so funny that I’m not the only one that thought about tearing out pages from my recipe books. Thanks for sharing the great information.

  13. Carlyn says:

    Good to the point binder for recipes..thanks. I do neatly cut out the recipes I like or want from books or magazines, but I don’t throw them away. I donate them to the VA hospital near me for the soldiers or the wives of soldiers or vets so they can read them. Some of those ladies wait a long time for their spouses or friends and having magazines or books can help pass the time away.

  14. Maria B says:

    Hi Cheri, this binder is exactly what I need. I have folders full of recipes I’ve torn from magazines and this is a great way to organize them. I would love for you to share this at the Krafty Inspiration Thursday Link Party over at Krafty Cards etc. http://kraftycardsetc.blogspot.com/2013/08/krafty-inspiration-thursday-link-party-3.html
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Maria

  15. deni says:

    Great ideas! Instead of cutting out recipes, though, you could just make a photo copy, that way the book’s not damaged and can be passed along fully intact, or even gifted!

  16. Ginger says:

    I do this same thing and LOVE it!! It DOES NOT go into the 4×6 pages unless it’s a keeper! So, it’s nice to know that all the recipes in the 4×6 are tried and true. My “i’m going to try this” recipes go into the divider pocket pages until they are cooked — then it’s either the 4 x 6 or trash!

  17. Misty Rosson says:

    Very nice. I did kind of the same thing. I used a 3 ring binder with page protectors. I then go the sticky tabs and made divider tabs. I custom made the title page for each divider with a scrapbook software. Then (even though it to a while to find my niche due to my extreme OCD and perfectionist issues) I made a whole fill in the blank recipe page. But here’s the thing. I only add recipes that have been tried and the family likes. I had started adding my picture of the finished product on each one. But most times I would forget to take a picture before someone took a heaping spoonful out of my masterpiece. So I just search online for similiar pictures that look like mine and use those pictures. I fill in the blank on my recipe page and add picture then print. It sounds like a lot of work but once it is set up it takes me less than 3 mins to print my recipe for my binder. I prefer 1 recipe per page. It keeps it neat and clean. Also by printing them all on the same layout. you don’t have to hunt and search a recipe for information. You knoe exactly where to look. I then toss the torn out recipe. I also save these to my computer, so when people ask for the recipe, I print and ta-da, there it is.

    • Jill says:

      Don’t throw the cookbooks out after you’ve ripped out one or two recipes from each one!! I did the exact same thing last year but I then donated the books. Lot’s of women will pay a few dollars for a cookbook with only a couple of recipes ripped out! I say that because I know I would!!

  18. Angela Faye Lyshe-Thierry says:

    thanks for the super-easy and functional idea!

  19. kristy says:

    This sounds awesome. I will try it soon! Everyone knows I have millions of recipes on pintrest and dozens everywhere in my kitchen… very unorganized!

  20. Misty Rosson says:

    I have this binder set up, but I need to expand….So I was considering moving to a digital format so I could expand with out issues. Do anyone have a suggestion of their favorite digital recipe keeper? Or anything else?

  21. Tina says:

    Ah…recipe lovers unite…I have saved and bugged the heck out of my hubby with all my recipes. I had books and magazines and well….I’ve been narrowing my “view”….so many of the magazine’s recipes (Quick Cooking…or any by Taste of Home/Reiman) can be found online. I have Cook’n software http://www.dvo.com/index.php ..they just came out with apps so you can snag recipes from the Internet and books etc…and use your phone/laptop/ipad too! (should be fun to try) …and I’ve used the Iriscan book http://www.irislink.com/c2-2546-189/IRIScan-Book-3—Mobile-Scanner—Scan-from-books-and-magazines.aspx to scan from books and magazines. I’ve gotten so I print out recipes I’ve tried and liked…and save the rest to PC (so it doesn’t bug hubby! LOL ) You can save them to discs and they have “pages” you can add to your notebook..in their proper place(Breads/Meats/Veggies etc) so now I save the picture too (to get me drooling)…everyone has their own “way”…thanks for sharing yours! (all of you!)

  22. Seana Larson says:

    Instead of ripping mine out, I scanned them into the computer so I had a backup (just in case) and printed them off. That way I had the pictures as well. Made it super easy. I actually have one binder for desserts, one for drinks, one for the rest of the food. I also have a birthday/holiday binder. It tells who was there, what they made, what gifts were brought, where and when. I have 4 (about to be 5) kids and come from a huge family. Totally helps me keep organized!

  23. Lyn says:

    I too use a recipe binder and meal plan each week so that my husband (who grocery shops!) knows what to buy.

  24. Betty819 says:

    This is on my “To Do List” as well as buy a new address/telephone book..but when I’ll get “round tuit” is another story! I’m sitting here with recipes that I printed off Christy Jordan’s website yesterday. Kive her simple, het delicious recipes and her tuitorials!

  25. Betty819 says:

    So would you say that recipe binder might be a 3 in. notebook? Maybe I’ll make up one for main dishes, desserts, side dishes, etc. that way a 2 or 2 in. would suffice for each..

  26. […] A binder with tabs so she can print out her recipes and keep them organized (see how Cheri made hers HERE) […]

  27. […] A binder with tabs so she can print out her recipes and keep them organized (see how Cheri made hers HERE) […]

  28. Marjorie says:

    I absolutely LOVE this! I have recipes I’ve found or written and have is in a binder and just flip through to make what I want. Now, I’ll just have to categorize and make it pretty.

  29. Paula Gammariello says:

    I have one of these that I made copies of for my children and gave it to them when they moved out. A year before that event, we cooked together using all of the recipes so they had some experience cooking. The difference is that I have one binder with all of the recipes I haven’t tried but really want to. Once I try them I either throw them away or put them into the “Keepers” binder. This is a different book that contains all of my tried and true recipes, including family recipes from my mom, grandma, and aunts.

  30. Laura Best says:

    Hot Pockets!! LMAO!! every time someone says that word i chuckle too!!

  31. […] Find the how-to — with links to the Target products you’ll need — here. […]

  32. ketutar says:

    “complete menu planning systems that need a masters in engineering to figure out”
    LOL Wonderful! Thank you for that 🙂

  33. Debbie says:

    Just happened upon your site. Read about the lasagna recipe. Just FYI, you do NOT need to ever boil the noodles. I have used regular noodles and gluten free noodles and baked them to perfection every time. As long as sauce is on one side of the noodle …. and you cover it tightly with aluminum foil … and bake it for one hour 15 minutes ….. it will come out perfect. Once I remove my lasagna from the oven I uncover it and let it sit for 15 minutes. That way when you cut it, it stays in a nice firm piece. Just my two cents. I’ve been doing it this way for 26+ years.

  34. Sheila says:

    I have copied recipes and then donated the book if I have only used one or two from a book.

  35. Christina says:

    Quick question: How did you organize the recipes within each section?
    I love the idea of using both 4×6 photo sheets and full page protectors, and was thinking I’d alphabetize.
    But what if my recipe for lasagna and tuna noodle casserole are both on 4×6 cards and my recipe for spaghetti is on a full page? Do you let spaghetti be out of order, or just leave a few blank spots and put the tuna noodle after the spaghetti page? 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: