Organizing Recipes

Recipes have a way of coming on any number of different media of various sizes and shapes. Keeping them organized and easy to find can be a chore. This is a guide about organizing recipes.

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Tip: Skirt Hanger For Reading Recipes

By Monique 108 177

Clip hanger used for holding recipe, from cupboard knob.Why on earth did I never think of this? Pop your recipe in a plastic sleeve to make it waterproof.

Source: A picture online.

By Monique from Somerset, UK., Weston-super-Mare

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Tip: Create a Computer Index for Your Recipes

By Litter Gitter 156 568

Over a period of 50 years or more, I have collected many good recipes. Some I have written down and stuffed in a zip lock bag and some I have on index cards in a small photo album. Plus, I have a large collection of recipe books and two recipe file boxes full. When I want a certain recipe, it can be a problem finding it.

Recently, I started a document listing my favorite recipes and where to find them. Not only has it helped me find a recipe, it has helped me figure out what to prepare when I need to make a dish for a covered dish meal at church or a family reunion.

I have a million other things I need to do so this is going to be a long process but well worth it when I'm done. Right now, when I pull out a recipe or come up with one of my own that I have written on an index card, I add where I keep it to this document.

With my recipe books, I have found it helpful to mark in the index, the recipes that I have tried and liked.

I need to weed out my recipes and give some of my recipe books to someone that needs them. Now that it's cold outside and no yard work or gardening to do, I'm working on decluttering. Sometimes, less is more.

photo of computer screen
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    Tip: Tape Recipes Inside Cabinet Doors

    By betty G 2 1

    For years, I have taped my favorite recipes inside my cupboard doors. I know exactly which door to open to make my zucchini soup or my favorite party punch. This is normally wasted space and the insides of the doors are covered!

    I also include handy tips, substitutions - almost anything I am bound to forget. I doubt myself too often not to have the recipe right in front of me. It's also handy for grocery shopping. If I want to make something special, I just glance at the recipe while making out my list so that I don't forget a needed ingredient. This saves time by not digging through my recipe boxes or any cookbooks.

    By omato3g1b from San Antonio, TX

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    Tip: Personalized Recipe/Tip Book

    By sooz 83 71

    Each time I try a recipe (I'm a recipeholic) and it works, I type it out adding my own personal thoughts or tips on the dish, including what goes well with it, whether it be a certain wine or side dish. Each recipe is in its own category: Beef, Fowl, Side, Beverage, etc. But, it doesn't stop there. I've also added sections of Food Tips and Tricks and Household Tips and Tricks (most coming from this site).

    When a community shower was being held for my niece I dressed up my book with how I came upon the recipe (many are from my mother, old family friends, and relatives) and family antidotes. I searched for appropriate pictures for the title pages of each section (I love word processing/desk top publishing and graphic arts too). Each section was separated by a clear plastic sheet with a sturdy stick on tab. I wrote a preface and then bound the whole thing with spiral binding. I'm very lucky to have the machine, but I don't think it is expensive to have done in places like Staples.

    I wasn't able to make it to the shower but word was, my cookbook was a huge hit with many of the ladies present wanting to hold on to it longer before passing it along. My niece commented on how nice it was to have some of her grandmother's recipes in the book since she was too young and my mother was too ill for the two of them to get together and cook.

    I have three more nieces and a nephew to do books for. One is already done and the second is almost half way finished. Yes, that is how much of a recipeholic I am.

    By sooz from Toronto, ON

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    Tip: Keep Recipes in a Three Ring Binder

    By vickie guy 42 101

    I have made a "recipe notebook" out of a 3-ring binder and clear insert pages to hold all my recipes that were loose in my kitchen drawer. I have also written down my recipes "from memory", that I know how to make, but never bothered to write down. This way my girls will have all of Mom's recipes when I'm gone.

    By vguy from Earle, AR

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    Tip: Keeping Recipes Organized

    By Robin 5,893 29

    If you are like me and have literally hundreds of recipes, I would suggest that you purchase several photo albums and place your loose recipes in there. That way they are organized and easy to find.

    By Robin from Washington, IA

    Editors Note: Robin is our #1 contributor of recipes for ThriftyFun. If you get our daily Recipe Newsletter, you have definitely seen some of her hundreds of recipes. Thanks, Robin!

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    Tip: Have Recipes Will Travel

    By Sharon Stone Gibson 10 31

    I live in a foreign country and also love to cook. So, when I visit my family in the states, I usually say from 2-4 weeks and because airline tickets are expensive, I try to stay a decent amount of time.

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    Tip: Plastic Binder For Holiday Recipes

    By CDC 67 39

    I start gathering all my favorite holiday recipes a month before Thanksgiving or Christmas. The recipes I plan to use are then placed into plastic page protectors, then those pages are placed into a plastic binder that can be wiped clean. This works very well to keep everything organized and protected and next year you will have a reminder of what you cooked the year before. :-)

    Binder with holiday recipes.
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      Tip: Have a Dedicated Recipe Computer

      By Bobbie 3 9

      I've been an avid cookbook collector for over 40 years with literally hundreds of cookbooks! Because there are special recipes that my family likes in each cookbook, I used to find myself on the floor with piles of cookbooks around me as I tried to find a specific recipe. My solution, which my family really appreciates, is I purchased a used laptop and put a recipe program on it. This laptop is dedicated to recipes and is used for nothing else. As time permitted, I would go through my cookbooks and type favorite recipes on my laptop.

      To make it really easy to find special recipes, I created separate cookbooks categories within the cookbook program for the recipes (like BREAD - BAGELS, BREAD - BRAIDS and WREATHS, BREAD - BREAD MACHINE, BREAD - BUNS, BREAD - COFFEE CAKES, BREAD - CORN BREAD, BREAD - CREPES & PANCAKES, BREAD - DINNER ROLLS, etc) Each category has it's own Table of Contents.

      It does take some time to type recipes into separate cookbook categories but, in the long run, the categories have saved me hundreds of hours from searching for a specific recipe. I have 383 different categories in my laptop computer book now because the search engine within the recipe program limits my categories to 100 recipes. By keeping my categories within the 100 recipe limit, I can use the search engine to find all recipes using a specific ingredient, like apples, pumpkins, etc. The search engine enables me to create different dishes with the same primary ingredient. That way I can take advantage of in season specials without feeding the same thing over and over to my family.

      There's plenty of room for all the recipes I'll ever want. I set the type size as large as possible to easily read the recipes without having to be right on top of the computer. Now I can have my laptop on the counter and get things from around the room as I need them without having to go back to the laptop to see what the next ingredient is. Of course, I input my ThriftyFun recipes and other recipes I may find that I like (say in magazines) in the laptop. I'm almost half way done with my cookbooks. It's nice to know that I have thousands of recipes already on the laptop.

      When I've finished going through all the cookbooks, I plan on getting a used laptop for each of my daughters and putting the recipes on each dedicated laptop. Then, long after I'm gone, they will still be able to have a part of me at their table. My girls are pleased that some day they will have all of these recipes without having to look thru all the cookbooks to find them. Some day I'm going to have to part with all the cookbooks. Some of them are very old. But I haven't figured out the best way to do that yet.

      I do hope you enjoy creating your own cookbook laptop like I have. The process has given me a LOT of fun going over the recipes. Since I'm typing the recipes instead of creating them, I've also saved myself a LOT of calories too! Make sure you back up your recipes as you go along. It would be horrible to have a computer failure and lose all that work.

      Source: original

      By Bobbie from Mesa, AZ

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      Tip: Remembering to Make Favorite Meals

      I am notorious around my house for forgetting to make certain meals after a while. Since I try so many recipes, sometimes I lose track of some winners that my family loves.

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      Question: What is the Best Way to Print and Organize Recipes?

      I need help with printing. I get a lot of recipes sent to my email box. Some of them I like and some I don't. But some have 6 or more on 1 sheet. How do I go about printing out only a certain recipe, rather than all of them? I'm wasting paper and a lot of ink (and paper). Any suggestions please?

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      Most Recent Answer

      By Maryeileen 76 1,143 Flag

      February 26, 2010

      I print mine and put them in 3-ring binders that have tabs with categories such as vegetables, rice and potatoes, breads and muffins, cakes and cookies, etc.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

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      Question: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      By Onesummer 219 17

      What is the best way to organize recipes? Do you think its easier to buy 4x6 index cards and write all the recipes on them or type them on a full size sheet of paper and cut them to fit or maybe they have some software. Please share your method.

      By Onesummer

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      Most Recent Answer

      By Kathryen 8 68 Flag

      December 27, 2009

      I collect recipes. After I have tried them, I place them in one of three piles. First Pile is our favorites that will be made again and will be udated to the computer and printed out for a small three ring binder that holds our favorites. Second Pile is for recipes we haven't made up our minds about and "might" want to try again. Third Pile is one that I will never use again but family and friends are free to go through them. I keep the 2nd and 3rd piles in folders in a basket on top of the refrigerator along with menus from carry out restaurants.

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      Tip: Dealing with Recipes on the Internet

      By Doggy 36 5

      When I find a internet recipe I'd like to try, I copy it to a blank email and print it. I then cut it to size and scotch tape it to the inside of my kitchen cabinet, where I'm not likely to forget that I was going to try something new.

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      Tip: Copy Recipes And Store In Protective Sheets

      By cj 15 39

      You can take all your recipes and copy them with a scanner to a computer, print, or use copy machine at library and they become the same size page. Some pages will have more than one recipe, so make sure they are in the same category.

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      Tip: Keep a Recipe Record Book

      By Free2B 217 350

      This is my idea for keeping track of good recipes; ones I find and modify, family recipes, and ones I make up myself. I buy those little hard-bound record books, Simplex Records, to write my recipes in.

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      Tip: Use Email As Your Online Cookbook

      By Karen 10 65

      I have one email address that I use as my online cook book or archives. I send all of my recipe newsletters to that address and have created folders that I store all my recipes in.

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      Tip: Organizing Recipes as Meals

      I've started to organize my recipes together as meals. I know that I always serve my Mexican rice recipe with my Black bean casserole so now I keep them printed out on one sheet and then stored in my 3 ring binder.

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      Tip: Binder of Favorite Recipes

      By Bettie 5 1

      I have a bookcase in my dining room filled with cookbooks that I have bought over the years. It is difficult, however, to remember which cookbook my favorite recipes are in. So I created my own cookbook with all my favorites.

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      Tip: Binder of Favorite Recipes for Children

      By Bettie 5 1

      My three daughters were always asking me to share some of my favorite recipes, so I surprised them one Christmas by printing some of my favorites on acid-free paper, and putting them in small 3-ring binders that contained plastic sheet protectors.

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      Keeping Recipes at Eye Level and Clean

      Here's a quick, simple way to read your recipe cards without getting them dirty. Tape them on a kitchen cabinet door at eye level with scotch tape, a sticker, or an old address label. They are easier to read, and you can take the tape off when you're done.

      By Laurie from Portland, OR

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      Tip: Use A Mini Binder For Organizing Recipes

      By Elena Faley 4 3

      I try to plan dinners in advance by choosing recipes and listing needed ingredients on a shopping list. The shopping list is always written on a sticky note and attached to the first insert (card stock) of my mini binder (7" x 4.5") which is always with me in my purse.

      Use A Mini Binder For Organizing Recipes

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      Question: Organizing Recipes in Your Purse

      By Onesummer 219 17

      When I am in the doctor's office or at the hair salon reading a magazine, I always seems to run across a recipe I like. However, when I write it down, I can never find it again. Any advice on how to keep recipes organized in your purse? I like to keep a few recipes in my purse just in case I decide to stop by the grocery store unexpectedly.

      By Onesummer

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      Most Recent Answer

      By Krista Shackleford 3 80 Flag

      August 7, 2011

      If you have a phone that has a camera feature, take a picture of the recipe. You can enlarge the photo if needed.

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      Tip: Use Those Recipes You Save

      By Ruth in Ohio 4

      I clip many recipes from magazines, newspapers, etc. The pile can get quite large, and I end up never even trying any of them. I've solved this and all it took was a clear 3 ring plastic page protector and a piece of colored paper.

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      Write Favorite Recipes in Cookbook

      By one.of.a.kind 57 70

      Take a favorite cook book of yours and write in your favorite family recipes on the flyleaf of the book, to avoid having to look them up each time that you use them. My personal favorite cook book is "The Joy Of Cooking". I think that every household should have a copy of this book, beginner and experienced cooks alike.

      By one.of.a.kind from AL

      Write Favorite Recipes in Flyleaf of Cookbook

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      Tip: Organizing Recipes In Cookbooks

      By it's.only.me 168 254

      I use many different recipe books. I don't always take the time to copy all the recipes onto recipe cards especially when it is something I make occasionally.

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      Question: Software for Organizing Recipes

      By Sherry 1 57

      I need to organize my recipes on my PC. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good TNT free cookbook or recipe software? I'd like to be able to import recipes from websites as well as email them and also be able to export to email and print. Is all that possible in any of the free or shareware programs? Thanks for any experiences you have to share.

      Sherry from Georgia

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      Most Recent Answer

      By guest (Guest Post) Flag

      January 4, 2008

      Try http://recipe.gauzza.com its free/easy to use and you can access all your recipes where ever there is an internet connection

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      Tip: Scrapbook Pockets for Filing Recipes

      By Jackie H. 137 13

      I have so many great recipes and have wanted to get them into some kind of fashionable order. I used scrapbooking paper to start my selected folders.

      Scrapbook Pockets for Filing Recipes

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      Tip: Finding and Organizing Recipes from Websites

      When I open your daily tips at the end of the week I simply print out what interests me. I put it into a folder and take it to my daughter's home the next week.

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      Tip: Recipe Organization Software

      By Meari 8 113

      I've managed to accumulate a lot of recipes! I'm looking for recommendations on inexpensive (possibly free?) computer software to organize and manage the recipes better. It'd be nice if I could print them out and make a shopping list, too.

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      Tip: Consolidating Recipes from Books

      In an effort to cut down the incredible number of cookbooks I had amassed, I purposely went through each cookbook and typed out the few recipes from each that we really used and liked. I then compiled them in a 3-ring notebook with dividers (soups, entrees, desserts, etc.) and sold off at garage sales the cookbooks.

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      Tip: Tape Recipes to Cupboard Door

      By Marty Dick 167 967

      I am not a person who does any sort of cooking which requires intricate recipes, no cakes or anything fancy. I have my basic southern corn bread and my very basic instruction on how to cook white rice taped to the back of a cupboard door where they are kept clean for the next use.

      recipes on door back

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      Tip: Saving Favorite Recipes

      By Janette 91 153

      I love and collect cookbooks. I go through the cookbooks and write down in pencil in each cookbook the page numbers of the recipes I want to make. This saves me so much time and I have the recipes right at hand.

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      Tip: Get Recipes Online Instead Of Cookbooks

      By Cricket 205 895

      I used to constantly buy cookbooks. Either the large cookbooks in the books section of the store, or the small ones near the registers. Then I discovered I could get the same recipes for free online!

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      Tip: Keep Recipes in a Three Ring Binder

      By grandmaearth 2 6

      To keep my recipes clean, I place them in a plastic sheet and organize them in a large three ring binder. When I use one, I take it out of the binder. When finished, I wipe up any spills then return it to its place in the binder.

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      Tip: Save Favorite Recipes Online

      By one.of.a.kind 57 70

      Enter your favorite family recipes onto the ThriftyFun website for preservation in case your house ever catches on fire. Spread the recipes around; give to family members, put in safe deposit box, make copies and bury in the backyard.

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      Tip: Make Your Own Recipe Box With Recycled Cardboard

      By kathleen williams 76 1,661

      My recipe file was too full! I like to collect good recipes. I could not find a larger recipe box so I made a larger box with a big popcorn box.

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      Tip: Copy and Paste Recipes Into Text Files

      By Barbara Snyder 13 98

      When going through the recipes and other stuff, instead of printing out the whole thing or writing it down, I copy it to a word processing program. First I open my office writer or Microsoft Word.

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      Tip: Organizing Recipes on Your Computer

      By Jayni 4 3

      Here is how I save all of my recipes. I have a folder on my hard drive called Recipes (very original, doncha think? LOL). Under it are sub-folders for categories, like soups, vegan, etc. All recipes are saved here, so if I can just remember that the recipe has tomato in the title,

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      Tip: Organize Recipes in 3-Ring Binders

      By Anne 2 14

      I like to print out recipes I find online and I figured out a good way to organize and store them. I print them out so they take up a full page and then three hole punch them. I have two thick 3-ring binders, divided with tabs to make sections.

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      Tip: Finding Favorite Recipes

      By Pam T 19 27

      To minimize hunting, I take a permanent marker and write on the back of the cookbook, or on the inside back cover, with the name of the recipe and what page it's on. It makes finding my favorites so much faster.

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      Tip: Use a Photo Album for Recipes

      By Lori 4 1

      Photo books work great for recipes! Put all of your 3x5 inch recipe cards in photo sleeves inside an album meant for photos. You can buy tabs for notebooks and label with cooking categories such as breakfast, side dishes, main dishes, salads, soups and desserts.

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      Tip: Spiral Notebooks for Recipes

      I keep cheap, bright and colorful spiral journals handy by my resting chair, to have close by when looking through magazines, in case I see a recipe I think I'd like to try.

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      Tip: Creating Your Own Index In Cookbooks

      I have a series of annually produced hardcover cookbooks (based upon a published periodical) but I was having difficulty in finding the recipes I wanted once I had more than 3 of the books.

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      Tip: Recipe Organization

      I used to be an avid collector of recipes and was introduced to the neatest little program called Treepad a long time ago. It's like a flowchart program but it's super user friendly.

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      Tip: Baseball Card Sheet Protectors for Recipes

      To organize recipes, buy baseball card sheet protectors, and retype shorter recipes to fit in slots. For larger recipes, put in regular full size sheet protectors.

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      Tip: Organizing Holiday Recipes

      By Ginny 27 52

      If you find that you are baking the same cookies, cakes, and other baked goods every holiday season, save them to a file on your computer by either typing them in or scanning them.

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      Tip: Recipe and Diet Organizer

      By Carolyn 21 3

      I have a hard time recalling the things for a diet and recipies I am to be working on. So one day, I collected all the recipe pages and diet sheets that I needed; some were on the computer so I printed out the important ones.

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      Tip: Organizing Untried Recipes

      By Pam Griffis 10 102

      When I collect a new untried recipe, I put it in a sheet cover in a thin notebook. If after trying it, I like it, I put it in a photo album that has the large peel back sheets. If I don't like it, then I just toss it.

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      Tip: 5 x 8 inch Index Cards For Recipes

      These are great for copying a recipe and printing it. If you don't like it pitch it out! If you have it in hand, you may be more likely to try it rather than save it to your computer, and forget about it. By Syd

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      Archive: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      Tips and advice for organizing recipes. Post your ideas!
      Answers:
      Scanning 05/03/2004
      I teach cooking for a living and collect good cookbooks and recipes as a hobby. I found that scanning my favorites and most used onto discs and then copying them on a new disk and having a computer handy when I am cooking keeps the mess organized and I don't have to mess up my good cookbooks to get recipes t cook with. Much easier to share with others.
      By JULIE (Guest Post)
      Use a Picture Album for Recipes 05/13/2004
      I buy small Picture Albums for 4X6 pictures and place my clipped recipes in there, that way they are protected and do not get soiled.
      By Esther
      Photo Album 05/13/2004
      I used the Recipe Photo Album idea as a gift to my sister when she got married. I made up pre-addressed, pre-stamped half-fold postcards with a little poem and mailed them to everyone in the family and then gave her the Recipe Album at her shower. All they had to do was write out their favorite family recipe and drop it in the mail. She received most of them back. Some didn't have names on them either so I wished I had return addressed them for the people so she would know who sent it.
      By Kayvee76 (Guest Post)
      RE: Recipe Organization 12/21/2004
      I am a recipe collector and I started having piles of recipes all over the place. I bought an accordion pocket file and labeled the pockets according to recipe types. It works as my "quick file" until I can sort and file them into my file cabinet (where I have file folders labeled down in my office).
      By Tawnda Thomas
      Favorite Recipes 12/21/2004
      Print out your favorite recipes on paper and then store in a binder. (You can find them much quicker this way than searching through several cook books.)
      By GrammySheila (Sheila Saey)
      Master Cook 12/21/2004
      I use a computer program called Master Cook to organize my recipes, it has a great search feature, a pantry list, and can give you nutritional information.
      By calnorth
      3 Hole Protectors 12/28/2004
      I also keep my recipes in a binder. But since I do print most of them from the internet, I went one step further, I purchased a box of the 3-holed plastic protector sheets at Staples & slide the recipes into them. It keeps them clean and prevents rips.
      By Marilyn E.
      Organizing Recipes On Your Computer 02/03/2005
      To organize recipes, I keep a folder marked recipes, which contains recipes that look interesting that I haven't tried. Once I try the recipe, I either delete it because it wasn't that good or save it to a folder marked Recipes Tried. I subdivide that folder into dressing and sauces, main dishes, vegetables, and so on.

      To find a recipe when I can't make up my mind what to fix, I do a find file with the word chicken, or cake, or the name of the vegetable, etc. I print the recipe on recycled paper each time I use it and don't have all the clutter of recipe cards.

      I use a magnet to hold the recipe on the kitchen vent and it is just the right height for me to read it as I go. Do not do this unless you are in the kitchen and use a very strong magnet or the recipe could fall onto the stove and cause a fire.

      By Lynn
      RE: Tips for Organizing Recipes 02/03/2005
      I bought a neat little gadget for holding recipes from Regal. My husband attached it to the inside of the cupboard door right above where I do the majority of my food prep. It works great
      By Faye (Guest Post)
      From Magazines 03/01/2005
      Clip recipes from magazines and tape them directly to recipe cards, kept in a recipe box. At the beginning of the week, take several out and keep them in your coupon holder. When you're running late, or already are grocery shopping, pull out a card, and you have your shopping list, how long it will take you to cook, etc. right there with you.
      By vickiandnoel
      Meal Planning 03/06/2005
      I just want to share my idea for menu planning: Instead of trying to think of creative recipes each night and browsing through numerous cookbooks, I finally decided to just use my plethora of "scratch" recipes I can make from memory.

      I started by writing down each entree category, beef, poultry, pasta, etc... then under each category I list all the dishes I know my guys will eat and that I can fix from scratch. Under beef is listed tacos, sloppy joes, hamburgers, meatloaf, etc... I do the same for each category, then I designate a day of the week for each category. For instance, Monday is beef, so I take my calendar and start listing each item on each Monday until I run out of Mondays. I repeat this for each item until I've got a calendar FILLED with entrees to fix.

      MO<This works for me for several reasons, I shop in bulk and shop the meat sales and stock up on ground beef, chicken breasts, etc... I always have staples on hand and I cook mostly from scratch. It keeps me from serving meatloaf every week without really realizing it... each person's lists/calendars will be different depending on what your recipe repertoire is, and you will have more entrees under some categories, but it works for me! I only plan the entrees and can just throw the sides together by visiting my well stocked pantry/freezer!

      By lilithjune
      Binder 04/14/2005
      I use a loose leaf binder. I copy and paste the recipe on computer paper, punch holes in the paper and add to binder. I buy dividers with name tabs on top to put each recipe in a category so its easy to find.
      By Doris
      Computer 04/14/2005
      After 40-some years of cooking and collecting recipes, I've decided that the computer is the best place to organize them. In the RECIPES FOLDER I made two main categories... "Old Favorites" and "New Adventures." Then within those two folders I made subfolders with standard names like breads, cookies, cakes, casseroles, salads, etc.

      All the old fashioned methods I had tried, like recipes boxes and 3-ring binders, always failed because I didn't get things put back into the proper place. With the computer, I just print out a copy on scratch paper and toss it after I'm through cooking. The original recipe is still in the computer, still alphabetized. If I can't remember which file to open, I can always us the FIND or SEARCH option to retrieve what I need by just one or two words.

      By porphuropolis
      Binder 04/15/2005
      Many years ago, BC -- "Before Computer", my Mom would clip out recipes and tape them to loose leaf paper and put them in a organized binder. She would also write recipes on the paper. When she needed a recipe, she would remove the recipe and hold it with a magnet on her refrigerator.

      By mkymlp
      Organizing Recipes 09/01/2005
      Keep your recipes organized in 99 cent photo brag books. Use one for every day recipes, including recipes you want to try, and handy cooking information like substitutions.

      Keep a separate brag book for special occasion recipes like the fabulous fruit salad you make for Christmas.

      Try to keep your other cookbooks in or near the kitchen so that you are more likely to use them. To prevent food stains on the pages, open the cookbook to the recipe you're using and slip the entire cookbook into a freezer bag. If you like the recipe you can copy it into one of your brag books.

      I take my brag book cookbook with me to the grocery to make sure I don't forget an ingredient. At times, I have also been relieved to have it in my purse when I get off work so that I can quickly decide on a dinner and pick up the ingredients on the way home.

      By SusannL

      By ThriftyFun
      Recipe Bin 10/03/2005
      I bought a Rubbermaid type bin that is about 6-8 inches long and is tall enough to hold the large recipe cards and wide enough too. Fits perfectly in my cabinet.

      I made two sets of dividers. One in front for new recipes that I have not tried and one in back for ones I tried and want to keep. If I don't' like a recipe, I pass it on or toss it.

      Another thing I started to do was to cut out and save recipes from magazines and collect them in a "to share" binder and save them for graduation gifts, wedding gifts, etc.

      By Tawnda

      Archive: Tips for Organizing Recipes


      I LOVE to cook and bake and I enjoy trying new recipes. Unfortunately this leads to a lot of pages from magazines and newspapers, recipes scribbled on napkins and post it notes as well as recipe cards. Has anyone found a good way to organize mass amounts of recipes? I've tried file folders and a notebook (and obviously the box system isn't working).

      I get inspired to try new things when I try to organize the bazillions of recipes I've accumulated - however, when I try a good one - and then want to cook it again - I can't find it. The piles of recipes are intimidating and overwhelming, but throwing them ALL out and starting over isn't an option! Any suggestions would be appreciated!

      Thanks.
      Lovinladyd from Prosperity, SC

      Answers:

      RE: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      The photo album thing works great! One of my granddaughters and I made her mom (my daughter) a recipe book for valentines day. She loves to cook and doing this with my grandchild gave her the interest in cooking too. At 10 she's going to be a natural in the kitchen. Some magazines come with recipes that are already on index cards with pictures and all. Those were the kinds that we used in "our recipe book". (06/13/2006)

      By PeggyLee

      RE: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      Why not buy a box of sheet protectors and a duo tang or binder at your local office supply store. Just pop the recipes in the sheet protectors and "file" in the binder. (06/13/2006)

      By Judy two dogs

      RE: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      I use egg-crate type file boxes (a true recipe-holic, I'm now up to three crates) with hanging folders for the major categories and regular manila folders for sub-categories. When I find a recipe that sounds good, I just toss it in the file--quick and easy. It eagerly accepts magazine clippings, restaurant napkins, backs of envelopes--whatever form or condition the recipe is in. When I actually make it, if I like it, that's when it goes into my computer recipe file, where I can adapt or comment to my heart's content. If I don't like it, of course, it goes into the "file" under my sink. Every once in awhile, I use a little TV time to go through the files to dispose of duplicates or things that no longer sound as good as they did at first. I'm also in the process of dumping any recipe that calls for ingredients that I don't ordinarily keep in my pantry. (06/13/2006)

      By czechens

      RE: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      Judy two dogs idea is a good one and I use that for the many recipes I print from the internet. I print on both sides of the paper and then slip ea into a clear sheet protector. I have quite a few of these binders and designated ea one with a different category. I have one for beef, chicken/poultry, sausage/pork, desserts, veggies/side dishes and salads. Basically I have made my own cookbooks with the recipes I really like or like the sounds of and want to try. After I try a recipe and decide we like it well enough to keep it, I write notations right on the sheet. I might write what our reaction was, how the kids ate it, if I made any changes, etc. It doesn't stay in the binder if it's only so-so;

      Also I have a recipe box with many cards written up with our favorites....some of the cards are from family and friends.

      I am going to weed out my large cookbook "collection" as I find I mostly made one or two recipes in ea book and no sense in storing so many. That is why I like the binders because then you can keep just the recipes that you yourself have chosen to be family favorites! (06/13/2006)

      By Debbie52

      RE: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      My way to be more organized with cooking is as follows. I write down all recipes I've used or want to try in numbered spiral index cards. Number is on the top right hand outside corner. Then I took the back page of a school spiral 8 1/2 x 11 paper and wrote down the favorites and ones I want to try with the number book they are in. This makes for a quick location. (06/13/2006)

      By Lori from Marion AR

      RE: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      I have

      - a folder of recipes to try

      and

      - a notebook of recipes to keep.

      The notebook is divided into "meat main dishes," "one dish meals with meat," "meatless main dishes," "sides," and "party food (desserts and dips and stuff)." When I try a recipe, I write down the date I tried it and leave it out on the counter until after dinner. If it turns out good, I move it to the "keep" notebook and put it in a page protector in the appropriate section. If the recipe needs something (more salt, less water, whatever), I write that on the recipe next to the date and put it back in the "try" folder. If it isn't any good, it goes in the "circular file."

      If I want to use a recipe out of a cookbook, I print it using our scanner so it can go into my "system."

      But the key to any system is to actually DO it. Your own systems might work fine, you just have to put the recipes where they belong when you're done. (06/14/2006)

      By Allison

      RE: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      When I find a recipe I like I will type it into my computer; I use the master cook program. I then put in the description part whether I like it or I haven't tried it. Once I find out that the recipe is a go; (the program will print out different sizes.) I print out the size to fit a rolodex card.

      My favorite way of organizing recipes and one of the easiest is to just roll your recipes. You can buy tabs to fit into your Rolodex and categorize anyway you want. I even have a favorite section. You can organize this system so easy just by pulling a card and putting it where you want in a snap. Just remember if you are using just your computer for recipes to always back up to a disk, it's never more frustrating to have to start all over again. It might sound silly but I back-up to a disk and put it in my safe place. We had a house fire a while back and we lost everything. Trying to remember all those recipes you loved to cook over the years is something you never get back. (06/14/2006)

      By biffy62

      RE: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      I saw a great idea for your recipes on a crafty channel. Put them on index cards, cover them with laminate on both sides, punch a hole thru the corner and put a key ring on it. You can easily hang it up in your kitchen and when you take it down to use it the laminate keeps your recipe from getting ruined. AS far as the ones on your computer, use this freeware. http://homeplansoftware.com/freeware.htm

      It has a recipe box on there for you, absolutely free. You can organize your recipes very easily and it it so easy to add recipes to it. One thing that I do on it though, I don't type each ingredient in like they do, I just copy and paste entire recipe and add it into the recipe slot. You can then look up your recipes by category or who gave you the recipe. I have had mine for about 5 months and have almost 900 recipes on it so far. Also when I want to share I can just copy and paste and email to whomever or even copy the disk and give someone a whole disk full of my recipes. Also easy to delete one that you try and dont like. It also has a print feature, in case you want them hard copy. Hope this helps. (06/14/2006)

      By micksgirl

      RE: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      I am a recipe-holic....I have thousands...and use the loose-leaf binder method. Several years ago I was fortunate enough to retrieve about about 30 loose-leaf binders that were going to be thrown away at my office....these have the clear plastic on the front & down the spine (good thing is I didn't have to pay for them). I labeled each one (Appetizers, Breads, Candy, Cakes & Frostings, etc.). I my home "office" I have floor-to-ceiling shelves along 1-1/2 walls & on another wall I have a six-for double-door bookcase (that my dad build when I was a little girl). All of these are full of cookbooks. I have also printed a couple of hundred from the internet & separated them into categories for the binders, My favorites I put in sheet protectors, the others just put in the binders. Doing this makes it fairly simple to find a recipe I'm looking for....I always make notes by any recipe I try. (06/14/2006)

      By Rubyred

      RE: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      I tried putting my favorite recipes on MasterCook, but this has not been a perfect answer. My daughter is almost always on the computer and is in the middle of a test when I need to peruse my recipes for inspiration.

      The other problem is that on the few occasions when the computer broke (one of which was when Microsoft kept telling me to load Works, but wouldn't accept my legit disc all of a sudden), so I couldn't access the information.

      I have a bookcase with labeled folders and these contain recipes that look interesting. If I have prepared a recipe, I put a star next to the title with comments (or throw it out).

      The best recipes are typed or scanned into the computer and next to the title I write, "PRINTED." They are printed out and placed in plastic cover sheets which I keep handy in the kitchen in binders, grouped according to categories. These are also where I get the ones from internet sources. For I while every recipe that looked interesting was printed out and discovered that we were going through paper and ink at a prodigious rate and had nowhere to put the papers except to stack them. This became annoying and truth be told, when I got around to searching the pile, many were discarded.

      I don't want to waste paper nor ink, so I decided not to keep on re-printing favorite recipes. And after having had my share of printer problems, don't trust them any more than I trust my computer.

      All of my favorite recipes are backed up on a flash drive, too. This is because I have lost my recipes twice over the years and do not want to take any chances. One was due to a virus and the other due to a malfunction in my recipe software (also many years ago).

      I also have hundreds of cookbooks and as soon as my allergenic fussy eater child goes off to college, I am going to start using them and getting rid of those that don't suit.

      (06/16/2006)

      By cookwie

      RE: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      I buy .99 cent photo albums and put my recipes in them. These albums are small enough that you can put one in your purse to take grocery shopping. One of my albums is just for special occasion recipes, another for favorite desserts, and another for every day meals. (07/23/2006)

      By SusannL

      RE: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      I just type mine into the computer. Unfortunately, for the longest I didn't back up my computer so I lost a lot of good ones. Learned my lesson on that one. When I save it I type in like APPT (appetizer), DESS (dessert), MAIN (main dish), SAL (salad), etc. and then put it into the appropriate file that I have created for that type of recipe.

      Tonya
      (09/03/2006)

      By TonyaG

      RE: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      I never had/have the time to transpose them from books, so I have a wonderful and neat book shelf/look of my favorite recipe books, best ones in front, back-ups in back. I have them right beside my kitchen table on a "buffet" I created from a double mahogany dresser, topped with glass which
      serves as a good resting place for things in/out of the microwave. I don't think I can improve upon the
      books I've chosen to keep. Good luck to all who have extra time/patience/faith in the computer to
      type/store them all in a memory bank/or on a disc. God bless you while choosing the healthiest ones, as well. : ) (10/07/2006)

      By lyndagayle62

      RE: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      I use the binder method, however, I like to keep things simple for myself so that binder is my only location for "loose" recipes. The binder has a pocket in the front where loose notes, packaging that had an interesting recipe on it, recipe cards that I get from our local produce stand (handwritten recipes using the produce that they sell! - so sweet and down home...), etc. For the recipes that I print from the internet, I use the protective plastic sleeves. This way, when it comes time to bake/cook, I just bring it with me to the counter top, and wipe clean before putting back in the binder (if needed..) For the recipe cards obtained from magazines (like MS Living), I use photo pages that go into a binder (obtained from staples). I get multiple sizes so that I have pockets for all types of cards. I put two in each (back to front). Then of course, there is a pocket in the back of the binder which is where I put recipes and ideas that I want to try this week (or for an upcoming occasion.

      I like everyone's ideas, perhaps I might try the ring type card system to bring to the store in my purse to pick up the ingredients (I often forget one or two key items....). This might make for less need of creative substitutions! (02/19/2007)

      By DL

      RE: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      I have a collection of "fundraiser" collaboration type cookbooks which started with a few that were my grandmother's. At one point I had thousands of recipes that I had printed off the computer "to try" and never did so I just got rid of the whole lot. Now I am a lot more selective about the ones that sound good that I keep.

      My system may sound complicated but it's really not. I have a word document named "recipes" and I also have one called "index". I copy and paste the ones that I want to keep from websites, email, etc into my recipe document. I have my index separated into typical cookbook categories and when I add a new recipe to the recipe file I then go to the index and put the title under the heading in alphabetical order, followed by the page number it is on in the recipe document.

      It only takes about a minute to do both and works out a lot better than the print it off and not use it strategy I was using. The "clipped" recipes and ones from my favorite cookbooks I type it into the recipe document directly and add to the index.

      I like simple easy recipes so it doesn't take long to type them in. I have printed my recipe file once and it's about 25 pages long, printed on back and front. After I add about that many more pages I will print it again and give the original to my mother. I own a binding machine so I have my own cookbook that only contains recipes that are tried and true for our family or ones that sound appetizing to us.

      At one point I did have an accordion file for the paper recipes with the categories of a cookbook as sections and that was the best system I had before I started my current one because I could just drop the recipes in their categories. (09/10/2007)

      By taginmom

      Archive: Tips for Organizing Recipes

      I am drowning in a sea of recipes and want to organize them. I have already thrown out a lot, but have so many left.

      Wooden Recipes Box
      Categories
      Organizing RecipesOctober 14, 2011
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