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It was time for a little Recipe Binder re-do and I thought you might like to see how I put it together. I have been using recipe binders to organize recipes for years and years and I am convinced that it’s the reason meal planning works in our house.
Do I have every week’s meals planned out perfectly? No. Do I still use cookbooks – absolutely! Do we ever order out unexpectedly because I couldn’t get my act together? Of course. But when it comes down to it, having favorite recipes in one place, printed out and ready to reference is just so great. The last time I overhauled our recipe binders was in 2015 and we’ve changed our eating habits quite a bit so going through them and weeding out recipes I won’t make any longer was freeing.
If you are reading this and thinking or saying, I have all my recipes saved on the computer or on Pinterest, or an online recipe account, and I don’t need that hassle or mess or clutter, keep reading because I am here to tell you that keeping your recipes sorted and organized in a binder is actually more of a time saver than hopping online. Why? Cue the distraction of the Internet – hopping online to grab that recipe will probably lead you to Facebook or Instagram which will lead you down a rabbit hole and you’ll forget what you were looking for anyway. Or maybe that’s just me? In this online centered world, I crave moments without that constant connectivity and love thumbing through cookbooks and recipe binders. Can you relate?
Curious enough to keep reading? Here’s what you’ll need:
- Clean Mama’s Recipe Binder Kit (recently updated and added to the Dinner Rotation Kit with a different look but the same features) – this is what I used but you could create your own dividers and pages and everything else, but it’s much easier to grab the kit 😉
- a little time – I completely re-did my recipe binders to launch this new product and it took me a couple hours. My daughter helped me with the sorting and transferring – it was fun! So it will take you a little time, but I know it will pay off in meals on the table.
- a binder (or 2 or 3) – (I used these binders from Martha Stewart in blue and gray ) I have recipes split into 3 binders (every day recipes, desserts, and holidays)
- bookplates – not necessary but cute
- plastic sleeves to put the recipes in – this protects them, but you could omit them and three-hole punch the recipes if you’d prefer
- that stack of recipes that you have in your kitchen cupboard or drawer – put them to use!
- divider pages – I used these tabbed divider pages (the labels are included in the Recipe Binder Kit)
I linked all of these items up at the bottom of the post through Amazon plus some of my favorite cookbooks too!
Once you have your supplies, it’s time to get started – here’s what you need to do:
- gather your supplies
- print out dividers/categories
- gather your recipes
- put your recipes in plastic sleeves and sort them according to your categories
Making a Recipe Binder might seem like a daunting task, but with a little time and organization, you can make a recipe binder that will become your family cookbook and ultimately save you time and money. Clean Mama’s Recipe Binder Kit is simple and straightforward and done with beautiful images that you’ll be excited to display and use to make meal planning a little easier.
The Clean Mama Recipe Binder Kit includes (77 printable + fillable pages)
Meals Made Easy ✨
If menu planning sounds daunting or difficult, it’s because you haven’t been carving out the time and space to get started. This guide will help you figure out what to eat and when to eat it! You’ll love the simple, easy-to-use format. Simply print off the pages and get ready to tackle meal time with ease!
- Cover + Table of Contents
- Quick Start Guide
- Part 1: The Dinner Rotation
- Family Favorites
- Family Favorites for Each Season
- Easy Dinners + Weeknight Dinners
- Dinners without a Recipe
- Meals to Try
- Part 2: Menu Plans for All
- Menu Plan for the Week, Sunday + Monday Starts
- Two-Week Menu Plan, Sunday + Monday Starts
- Month at a Glance Menu Plan, Sunday + Monday Starts
- Menu Plan Brainstorming
- Part 3: Let’s Take Inventory
- Freezer, Meals in the Freezer, Pantry, Kitchen + Refrigerator Inventory Trackers
- Pre-Filled Grocery Shopping List, Category Shopping List, Blank Shopping List
- Part 4: The Recipe Binder
- How to Make a Recipe Binder
- Helpful Tips
- Substitutions + Measurement Equivalents
- Blank Recipe Cards
- Divider Labels for Your Binder – fits standard Avery tab dividers; print, trim, and use in dividers
- 3 Title Pages to Choose From – “Family Recipes”, “Dessert Recipes”, “The Recipe Binder”
- 32 Recipe Category Divider Sheets including: Recipes to Try, Family Favorites, Menu Rotation, Breakfast, Appetizers, Salads + Dressings, Sandwiches, Soups + Stews, Side Dishes, Rice + Grains, Beef, Pork, Poultry, Seafood, Weeknight Meals, Pasta + Sauces, Vegetables, Slow Cooker + Instant Pot, Pizza, On the Grill, Make Ahead, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Yeast Breads + Rolls, Canning, Holidays + Celebrations, Desserts, Quick Breads, Cakes + Frostings, Cookies + Candies, Pies + Tarts
- Blank Recipe Category Divider Sheet – make your own!
This guide DOES NOT include the binder, recipes, plastic sleeves, etc. as this is a digital product – you can print the pages as many times as you’d like for your personal use.
Once you’ve printed out the sections that you want to use and have begun setting up your binder, keep moving quickly and you’ll be surprised how quickly the binder comes together. As you’re getting your binder set up take the time to toss/recycle any recipes that you’ve been holding onto and haven’t made and probably won’t make, or any recipes that you made that aren’t super great or worth making again.
Included in Clean Mama’s Recipe Binder Kit are labels that you can use for dividers – you can print and trim and place in dividers or make your own by simply printing them out on card stock, trimming down to size, and use packing tape to adhere to the divider pages.
Now that you have your Recipe Binder all set up it’s time to put it to use! What’s the perfect way to put it to use? Make a menu plan and utilize the binder for success.
My top 3 categories/pages are:
- Recipes to Try
- Family Favorites
- Meals for this Month
I found a plastic folder sleeve to put recipes to try in – this is where I keep the recipes I want to make. If they make the cut they get put into the binder.
Use these categories and pages to organize and plan as you’re getting started. Keeping a quick reference guide to favorites and recipes to make keeps it simple and eliminates time wasted while you’re figuring out ‘what’s for dinner’.
Keep your recipe binder where you’ll use it – I keep my recipe binders with my most-used cookbooks on a small shelf in the side of out kitchen island. I love cookbooks and recipes and menu planning – if you can’t tell by my little cookbook collection.
Here’s a link to the Dinner Rotation + Menu Planning Guide in my shop if you’re interested.
Need a little inspiration? Here are some blog posts with my favorite recipes and menu planning tips.