Finding the perfect recipe shouldn’t feel like you’re going on a hunt. Create your own organizational system with these five simple ideas for keeping your culinary inspirations in order.
1. DIY Recipe Binder
Use a three-ring binder system with separators to keep track of different types of recipes. The great part about using a simple binder is that they come in multiple thicknesses.
For quick reference, a 1-inch binder can hold about 175 pages.
Tip: Store loose printouts, magazine articles and recipe cards you want to try in plastic page protectors. Once you’ve tried a recipe, place it on a separate page to make notes and include pictures of the dish.
2. Recipe Folder
It’s important to choose an organizer big enough to hold more recipes than you have, so you can add more as you get them. Create your own box with a medium-sized accordion folder. This handy expandable folder can accommodate items of different sizes and uses built-in tabs to separate its contents. Try organizing recipes by type, course or occasion.
Enhance Your Existing System
If you already have a system that works for you, maximize the culinary possibilities with these organizing tips.
3. Recipe Index Cards
Make referencing recipes from cookbooks and magazines easier by creating a simple index system. Set up a basic four-step system like this:
- If you have a recipe that’s a family favorite or come across a recipe you would love to keep, create a recipe index card so you can find it easily in the future.
- On your card, record the recipe name, book or magazine name it came from, and the page number.
- You can also add any other details you want to remember — like occasions the recipe would be good for — on the index card.
- Use cards that will fit in your existing recipe box and keep the box easily accessible in the kitchen.
4. Add a Rating System
Keep track of tasty favorites with a simple rating system — such as a scale of 1 to 5 — to help you decide for future dining. When you try a recipe, make personal notes about changes you made, cost, time or good occasions to use it. Simply add these notes to your recipe index cards.
5. Try Color-coding
Never lose track of a recipe again by using a color code that works for you. Choose different colors for recipe types like main courses , side dishes and desserts .
- Use clips or book tabs that match your color code to the pages in cookbooks or magazines.
- Take an extra step and create recipe index cards for each of the dishes to make it even easier to find recipes in the future.
Tip: Add shelving over the most-used counters or add bookends on top of your refrigerator for a close-at-hand storage solution. Pass along any unused cookbooks to a new cook, or donate them to your local library or charity.
Not sure what to put in your recipe folder? Try some of our favorites!