How to Organize your Favorite Recipes
I have always aspired to be an organized person. In High School, algebra and calculus would base a portion of your final grade on how well the student kept their binder organized. Needless to say, I took pride in receiving 100% on those “binder check” grades. I love tabs, page protectors, and could spend hours in the office supply store purchasing endless back to school items. Instead of going “back to school” shopping this year, I decided to take a trip to the office supply store to purchase a few things in order to organize and update my recipe binder.
Before Pinterest, I had a binder for just about anything you could imagine! Now that we have Pinterest (thank you Ben Silbermann) I don’t have to spend hours tearing my favorite ideas out of magazines and inserting them in laminated pouches so they are forever protected. I can just “pin” them to the boards!
If you are like me, you pin more than you should. I have a couple recipe boards and sometimes still find it hard to get to my favorite recipes when I need them. Therefore, I still feel it is necessary in today’s modern high-tech world to have a recipe binder 🙂 For instance, what if Pinterest one day disappeared and you lost everything? Years of great ideas would forever perish!
Pick a binder that can grow: Every once in a while, I have to go through my binders and clear some space in order to add new things. In order to prevent this, make sure to choose a binder that is large enough and provides room for growth. I also prefer the D ring binders with a clear front cover.
Choose Tab Categories: The hardest part of organizing binders, at least for me, was deciding categories to label my tabs. You might have divergent categories, but these sum up just about everything I wanted to organize in my recipe binder.
- Dressings & Sauces (sub-categories)
- Beverages (sub-categories: non-alcoholic / libations)
- Juice & Smoothies (sub-categories)
- Breakfast (sub categories: main / oatmeal / muffins / pancakes)
- Casseroles & Main Dishes
- Vegetarian / Vegan
- Meat / Seafood / Poultry (sub-categories)
- Breads & Rolls
- Cakes & Cookies (sub-categories)
- Pies & Pastries (sub-categories)
- This & That
- Nutritional Information
Tabs and More Tabs: Not only will you need to decide the category for each individual tab, you will need to pick out the correct number of tabs necessary. They are regularly sold in sets of 5 or 8. I bought 2 sets of 8 and used small stick on tabs to create my sub-categories within each tab.
- Use 2 sets of 8 tabs
- Plastic tabs are more durable and last longer
- Chose tabs with pockets, that way you can stick new recipes in when you don’t have time to file them right away.
- Print on tab inserts and align the text to the top right hand side of the tab. Since my set of 8 tabs overlapped, it made more sense to have it printed as close to the edge and right hand side of the tab (so it was more visible).
- Sub-categories within each tab were created using small stick on tabs. These were inserted on the first page of the associated laminated page for that category. I aligned them directly behind the main tab so everything would line up accordingly. See picture.
Protect the Binder: Be sure to put your recipes in page protectors. You can get a box of 200 for under $15 at most office supply stores.
- Recipes stay protected, especially if you decide to take them out and cook
- You don’t have to worry about pages falling out, as magazine pages can be flimsy
- All pages are the same size. Small recipe cards, half sheets, and magazine pages torn out all end up being uniform.
- It allows you to put recipes on both sides. You end up covering the undesired backside of magazine pages used.
Make it Your Own: I like to mark “recipe edits” and “notes” on my pages so I don’t forget. If I absolutely love something, I will put a few gold stars next to it.
- Smaller tabs with in tabs
- Pencil pouch
- Sticker favorite recipes
- Cute Binder Cover
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