Oh recipes! Some people have hundreds, even thousands, of recipes they’ve collected over the years, but when they go to look for the recipe they’ve been telling you about, it can take some time to dig through everything before they finally find it. With the tips outlined below, you can eliminate the searching once and for all!
Of course, I love having an electronic record of everything! If you have the time and energy to convert all of your handwritten notes, magazine clippings, etc. into electronic files, by all means, please do so! This allows for easy sorting, easy lookup and easy recipe alterations!
However, even if you want to keep all of your recipes in the handwritten style, organization is still essential. It’s time to sort! You need the basic categories: breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. You can also include snacks, sides and drinks. If you have a ton of recipes for one category, sub-divide even further. Dinner can be divided into type: chicken, beef, fish, vegetarian, etc. as can dessert: chocolate, fruit, pastries, etc.
Once everything is sorted, determine the binder categories you’d like. I have one large binder that holds all of my recipes with labeled dividers to separate the sections because all of my recipes still fit into my Menu. However, when you have too many recipes for this, or recipes that you don’t want to use all of the time, but still want to have access to, other binders become necessary.
Divide the recipes into various binders in a way that makes sense to you. Maybe lunch and dinner share a binder while desserts get their own, or you want to have separate drink and dinner menus, but everything else gets lumped together. Estimate how many binders (and what size) you will need by estimating the number of recipes you have allotted for each binder (the capacity of each binder is usually listed on the outside of the binder). You’ll need page protectors for a little over half of the recipes you have (you’ll place two recipes front to back in each page protector).
When you’re ready to place the recipes in, it’s time to alphabetize! The time it takes to do so is far outweighed by the fact that you can instantly find every recipe you’re looking for in the future. At this point, if I were you, I would ask, what happens when I add a new recipe? If all recipes are in a page protector front to back, where can a new recipe slide in?
The answer is that a new recipe gets its own page protector and that protector can be slid into the correct spot in the binder. The back of the page protector can be left blank and as you continue to add more recipes, it will surely be filled in!