Sharing recipes is so easy now with the internet. If we need any kind of recipe at all, we just Google it. We also read magazines like Good Housekeeping and clip the ones that sound great to try. Unfortunately none of that fits into the little 3×5″ card files we might still be trying to manage.
Using a recipe binder is a strategy that is easy, sturdy and flexible for all sizes and types of recipes.
- Choose a binder that is very sturdy with reinforced edges and room to grow; at least 2″ width is best for most recipe collections. Buy one with pockets on the inside covers and ideally a clear sleeve on the spine and front to creatively label your collection.
- Use a combination of full-page sheet protectors and 3-ring photo sleeves (3×5″ or 4×6″ or a combination) to hold the recipes inside the binder. Using sleeves like these enables quick inserting of new recipes without needing to punch holes, and it also protects the pages from splatters while you are cooking.
- Purchase tabbed dividers that are extra wide, so that the tabs extend beyond the edges of the sheet protectors. (Avery #11222 is an example of these.) You may need to buy two packages of dividers depending upon the number of categories you have.
- Choose from these recommended headings, or create your own: Appetizers & Beverages, Breads & Breakfasts, Cakes/Pies/Desserts, Candy/Cookies, Main Dishes, Salads/Side Dishes, Sauces/Spices, Soups, Take Out Menus.
- When you clip or print a new recipe, tuck it into the front inside cover pocket and keep it there until you try the recipe with your own family. Once it is declared a keeper, file it away in your sheet protectors in the right category. If there are so many new ones that it’s overwhelming to have them in the pocket together, try an accordion folder with the same category slots as a temporary home for the “untried and untrue” clippings.
The back inside cover pocket can store small manuals and instructions that you reference often, such as the instructions for sharpening your knives or the timing chart for your steamer or rice cooker. Share your recipe collection thoughts in the comments!
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