May 5, 2015

Recipe Binder Redo : How to Create a Recipe Organizational System that Works

How to Create a Recipe Binder System that Works via Clean Mama

I have been using a recipe binder for 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 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, so great.

Clean Mama's Recipe Binder Kit via Clean Mama

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?

Extra Pages - Clean Mama's Recipe Binder via Clean Mama

Curious enough to keep reading? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a binder (or 2 or 3) – (I used this binder to make my binders) I have recipes split into 3 binders (every day recipes, desserts, and holidays/celebrations)
  • 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!
  • Clean Mama’s Recipe Binder Kit – this is what I used (of course) 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 about an hour including taking pictures. So it will take you a little time, but I know it will pay off in meals on the table.

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

Set up supplies via Clean Mama


Assemble Binder via Clean Mama

Here’s what’s included in Clean Mama’s Recipe Binder Kit (42 documents – individually saved and EASY PRINT as one document):

Dividers for Clean Mama's Recipe Binder via Clean Mama

INSTRUCTIONS – ‘How to Make a Recipe Binder’
SUBSTITUTIONS – This for That page
3 TITLE PAGES to choose from : Family Recipes, Recipe Binder, Dessert Recipes
RECIPE PAGE – FILLABLE/EDITABLE – type in your favorite recipes, save, and print
LABELS – print, trim, and use in dividers or make your own by printing on cardstock
• Recipes to Try – keep track of recipes you want to try in your binder
• Family Favorites – keep track of winner dinners
• Meals for this Month
• Breakfast
• Appetizers
• Salads & Dressings
• Sandwiches
• Salads & Dressings
• Sandwiches
• Soups & Stews
• Side Dishes
• Rice & Grains
• Beef
• Pork
• Poultry
• Seafood
• Weeknight Meals
• Pasta & Sauces
• Vegetables
• Slow Cooker
• Pizza
• Grill
• Make Ahead
• Vegetarian
• Gluten-Free
• Paleo
• Yeast Breads & Rolls
• Canning
• Holidays & Celebrations
• Desserts
• Quick Breads
• Cakes & Frostings
• Cookies & Candies
• Pies & Tarts
• Blank
• Other
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.
Extra Pages - Clean Mama's Recipe Binder via Clean Mama
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.
Labels for Clean Mama's Recipe Binder via Clean Mama
I make my own by simply printing them out on cardstock, trimming down to size, and use packing tape to adhere to the divider pages.
DIY Labels via Clean Mama
Labels via Clean Mama
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
Menu Planning via Clean Mama
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’.
Binders Close-up via Clean Mama
Keep your recipe binder where you’ll use it – I keep my recipe binders with my cookbooks. I love cookbooks and recipes and menu planning – if you can’t tell by my little cookbook collection. I plan menus with both handy and accessible and find that this works really well in our house!
Recipe Binders and Cookbooks via Clean Mama
Go here to get  Clean Mama’s Recipe Binder Kit in my shop.
Clean Mama's Recipe Binder Kit via Clean Mama

I also have menu planning pages included in every month of HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY – getting food on the table shouldn’t be difficult! Need a little inspiration? Here are some blog posts with my favorite recipes and menu planning tips.

Posted Under:

homekeeping, Menu Planning