Organizing my Recipes

I used to have PILES of cookbooks! And since I have discovered the internet - I honestly didn't use my cookbooks like I used to! Each one had a FEW recipes in it that I used and that was it! So I decided it was time for a change! 

A long time ago my sister had collected the recipes that my mom had used over and over and made copies and put them in 3-ring binders for us. It was awesome! But then I got married, and there were some recipes that I no longer used or my hubbie did not like. So I needed to adapt the book my sister gave me. 

I cut recipes, reprinted recipes, scanned recipes and even found new recipes! Then I sorted recipes into the following sections: 

Main Dishes


As you can see the first section was alphabetical and then in the back I put the last four sections because I rarely use them. The "Other" section I used to put my pamphlets from things like my ice cream maker and my food dehydrator. I also put a food substitution chart in that category. 

I put my recipes on blank paper and slid them in plastic sleeves to protect them from the soils of cooking. The new recipes that I get and want to try I put in the pocket in the front so I can try them and THEN add them to the book - that way if its in the book - I've tried it and I KNOW its a good recipe!

One thing that has helped me stay on top of putting recipes in the book was putting blank paper in extra sleeves in the back so I could just stick them into the appropriate section RIGHT AWAY! Works great! Someday I will recreate my book for my kids when they graduate from high school so wherever life takes them they can always recreate a little of moms cooking! 

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  1. I'm a big big fan of binders. I have a homemaking one and a prayer/Bible one. I don't have a recipe one... bc... well.. I'm not that good of a cook lol. I love this idea though.

  2. Ann,
    Your book is lovely! I have done something very similar, and besides my own, I've also used the idea for Bridal Shower Gifts. I have purchased inexpensive 3-ring binders, made a cover page using stickers to say, "Ann's Recipes" and decorate some of the recipe pages. I keep copies of recipes on hand, and all the supplies ready.

    These have been very popular gifts. I do have "Now You're Cooking" software, so that all I have to do is copy the recipes full page, and slip them into plastic sheet protectors, but you could also use Word and print them out. I like to have these copied ahead of time, ready to personalize.

    Also, I include my own personalized Master Grocery List, map of my grocery store, and Menu Planning forms. I have a Meal Planning tab where these all go.

    I love your idea and your book is so pretty:)
    Thanks for sharing--Hope you'll come over and visit me!

  3. I have a cookbook addiction! I realized it when I began packing them. I found them in the logical place: the kitchen. Then, the not-so-logical places: the school room, the bedroom closet, the laundry room, the storage shed... I do believe I had well over 200! So, I picked out the ones that I use and donated the rest to my Mom's yard sale. I love my Taste of Home cookbooks. They are great! I have a smaller binder, too, of my personal recipes. You've got a great idea here! :)

  4. When we leave the house my mom gave us her cookbook on 3x5 cards with a ring in the corner so you could flip the pages. Last year I sat and retyped all of her recipes and all 5 of my mother-in-laws recipes and did the exact same thing you did!! I also put all of it on a cd so I could go to it on my computer and type in an item that I might have like "chicken" or a recipe and it would pop up with any recpie that had the word chicken in it or if I typed in the name of that recipe it would bring up that specific recipe. I now have both Mom's recipes in my cookbook in alpahbetical order by category- this way if Adam says he wantes something his mom use to make I can go find it! I also put an * by each of the recipes that were his mom's so I knew which ones were mine and which ones where his. Then I gave each of my sister-in-laws a copy of the cd for Christmas! I love it this way!!

  5. I did something similar recently and LOVE it! Like you, I put the "tried and true" recipes in the page protectors and keep the new ones I want to try in the front.

    This morning I tried a baked oatmeal recipe from Money Saving Mom and it earned a place in a page protector!

    Have a great day!

  6. Wow!Such a great idea! I am always looking for some recipe on a slip of paper or a card somewhere! I should really sit down and do this project. Thanks for the great idea! I am also your new follower!



  7. I love the notebook! I have been meaning to do this for a while. My recipes seem to be all over the place.

  8. Great idea! I started to do something similar many years ago, and I just stopped keeping up with it. But it's gotten so bad that I really need to do something soon! Recipes are everywhere!

  9. Thanks ladies! You are all so nice! I'm glad you like my recipe binder! Wendy I love the idea of putting your menu planning forms in the recipe binder - I might have to do that too! Sarah - typing up all of your recipes must have taken some time - but well worth it - I may have to do that someday too! Kari - welcome! I'm so glad you joined me! :0)


Your comments are such a blessing and encouragement to me! If you have a question or comment that you would like to ask, feel free to comment below or email me at! I look forward to hearing from you!