A New Beginning – Organizing Recipes

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photo source: GoodLifeEats

One of the beauties of the new year is that you get the illusion of a fresh start. True, nothing is truly different between December 31 and January 1, but it’s a wonderful encouragement to do new things, try new recipes, get good habits going.

In an effort to put a little more order in my home and in my kitchen, this month I’ve started organizing my recipes. I have a long way to go as I have books and books and posts and posts full of recipes. And rarely do I have the one I want right at my fingertips.

As a way to begin the recipe organization process, I’ve started a spreadsheet with the recipe name and post link to all my recipes that are hosted online. Eventually, I’m going to print out each one and get them in a binder. But, baby steps, baby steps. I’m not going to worry about doing it all in one day, but I’m starting the process, so that they will be in order by the end of the year.

I have to figure out what I have and what to do with them first!

Methods of Recipe Organization

I asked a few foodie friends how they keep track of their recipes, and here are some of their great ideas.

Katie has put together a recipe binder so that she has all her physical recipes right at her fingertips. She also keeps her laptop handy so she can access her online favorites quickly and easily.

Aimee uses several means for organizing her recipes, including Delicious and Gmail. Check out how she makes them work for her.

Lynn gets bold in writing notes into her cookbooks and even Xing out those that were dogs. Go, girl! Watch her vlog to see her methods for organizing cookbooks and recipes.

Put Your House in Order

I’m participating in a series, called “Put Your House in Order,” with a bunch of great bloggers. Each of us is tackling a different area of home management and sharing suggestions for organizing in the new year.

Check out how the others are tackling their New Beginnings:

  • Children: Connie from Smockity Frocks
  • Decorating: Myra from The Casabella Project and My Blessedย Life
  • Faith: Courtney from Women Living Well
  • Finances:ย Alyssa from Kingdom First Mom
  • Food: Jessica from Good Cheap Eats and Life as Mom

How do YOU organize your recipes?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. jdp says


    I can scan or take a pic of my favorite mom’s recipes and save them in there to be organized right along with the rest for sorting, tagging, printing.

    I can have the actual text of online recipes so no fear their author/poster/blogger ever goes away, gets hacked, etc. so I can have the recipe always.

    I thought I was in the “build it” stage, but I have 900+ recipes and I haven’t even found the need to begin tagging yet. I just search for what I want.

    What I really love is that if I find a recipe that was a real hit, I can then go back and search by “Melicious” or something that made the poster unique and see how many other recipes I have from that person and try and move them to the top of the “try” pile.

    If only I could figure out how to “share” my notebook I’d just give you the link and you could see.

  2. I have a recipe box that contains every recipe I make for my family (it helps me with my meal planning/grocery shopping, too). Then I have a ‘to be tried’ binder, like this one, where I keep it organized by the same categories I use in my recipe box. I don’t bother with the protectors, but just 3 hole punch and insert it. Once I try it, if we like it, it gets put on a recipe card for permanent storage.

  3. I love the spreadsheet idea! I have a recipe binder, but it is in desperate need of an overhaul!

  4. Stacy says

    I have spent the last year moving AWAY from a binder. Binders are good if you’re at home and if you want to print everything out, but I love my digital life and recipes are no exception. I put all of my recipes in Evernote. My mom and brother also have recipes in Evernote and we can share our notebooks with each other.

    Two years ago I asked for a very basic netbook for Christmas. It cost $100 and came from Toys R Us. It is the kitchen computer and I use it to get to the recipes in Evernote and on various blogs. All it needs is internet connectivity, which requires only basic hardware and software, nothing fancy. AND, if something gets spilled on it and it dies, it is not a big loss.

  5. Amy says

    I use Evernote for my online recipes and a binder for ones I’ve torn out of a magazine. If we love the recipe, I keep it. If it was just okay, it goes in the trash. Once I’ve made it a few times, I copy it onto an index card and put it into my recipe box.

    I use allrecipes.com a lot to find new recipes for things I want to try, but one week when I was trying to stay away from the computer, I thumbed through my red plaid cookbook to look for ideas instead, and I was amazed at the number of great ideas I came up with. So I’ve been trying to make a concerted effort not to go out of my way to find a whole lot of new recipes when I already have so many good ones at my fingertips.

  6. Sherry says

    I have a binder with the clear page protectors. If it is a new recipe I will use my netbook, and if we enjoy the recipe I will print it out. If I find a recipe I like in a book, I print a copy off and put it in the binder. It helps me to have them at hand, and I keep them clean because they are in plastic, so they wipe clean when I have little hands helping.

  7. Hi…I’m visiting over from the blog “Women Living Well”…so I’m really interested in this new series…especially food and finances ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚ I like cheap eats, especially since I have expensive tasts but living on a soda pop can budget ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great week. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I just recently found the website plan to eat. It is great! It helps me organize all of my recipes in one place and I can plan my menus and shopping lists right on there too! I can access it on my phone from the grocery store too so I can just grab what I need while I am there if I forget my list or something. Works great! Check it out here: http://www.plantoeat.com/esz8ajbvaq ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I used to have a binder for them but then I just got too many. Then I started printing them and organizing them in folders but now I just have online folders to keep them in. I have different lables, chicken, beef, sides, desserts, breakfast, whatever. Then it’s slightly easier to look through them by title. I am getting a LOT of those too now! there are always things I want to try!

  10. Rachel Wallace says

    I have a what I call my “When I Die” recipe book. This has all the recipes in it that my family LOVES. My husband always said that if anything happens to me he wouldn’t know how to make the family’s favorite meals so I placed them in this 3 ring binder and named it appropriately!

  11. I don’t particularly organize my recipes, but I keep my detailed menu plans on my blog. I have all the ingredients and portions needed for each dish, although sometimes I just lump seasonings into one line item. When I’m planning for the next week, I’ll browse through the entries for ideas or I can search for a particular dish. Eventually I will take each of my favorite recipes and put them into one of the recipe books with removable pages.

  12. Melissa says

    I like to print off recipes and tear recipes from magazines (so I don’t keep the whole magazine), and have a file I toss them into. Once every couple months, I put the filed pages into page protectors and into notebooks. I bought some cheap notebooks at the office store and have one for beef, one for chicken, one for veggies, etc. I even have one for party and craft ideas. I am now going through cookbooks I rarely use and copying off the few recipes I want to try to add to my binders. I can then purge those cookbooks and free up some space! If I try a recipe in the notebooks and don’t care for it, I just pitch that page. I like digital, but the paper pages are easier to have with me as I’m cooking and I can just wipe off the page protector if it gets dirty. It’s also easy to make changes and add notes.

  13. “great minds think alike”! I just wrote about my recipe organizing technique (http://sas-does.blogspot.com/2005/01/recipe-organizing.html).

    I’ve been using binders for longer than I can remember but I’ve been noticing that I do not refer to them as often as I used to. So now I make a monthly recipe list with all the yummy gooddness I found either online or in my new magazines/cookbooks. I note the name of the dish and it’s source. Every week (or sometimes more often) I go through the list to plan my menues and grocery lists.
    If the recipe is exceptionally good I either keep it in a binder or pin it to one of my Pinterest board.

    And I like the idea of scanning favorite recipes from the cookbooks. I should definitely do it to free up some space on my shelves!

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