Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer Organizing Challenge #1

Family Recipe Binder

Alright so week #1 is stretched out quite a bit...I took a little mini-vaca to Boston.  But, I'm back and ready to get into it again.

The binder is for recipes that I find on-line or in magazines. Occasionally, someone hands me a recipe and that is included in the binder as well. I got into a little rut at the end of the school year with all of the craziness and we ended up eating a great deal of take-out (there is a take-out binder in the office too...preview coming soon!).  

Most of the supplies I use come from Staples (just an easy, nearby stop) because I love the binders and EVERYTHING from the Martha Stewart Collection.  

The supplies shown are most of what is needed: binder, stickers, tape, and a 3-hole punch.
The first thing to do is gather some recipes that you would like to save.  Some of the recipes in my binder I know how to make without looking at the directions, but I keep them because I forget about them...out of sight out of mind.  I often just flip through the binder for ideas, not so much recipe directions.

The tab system is from Staples.  It was only about $3 and I just ran it through the printer...
really easy directions!

There are many other systems you could use to sort the categories such as clear page protectors, pocket folders, or just sheets of paper.  I reviewed a month's worth of dinners, etc. in my mind and decided that these categories work best for my family.  If you are vegetarian or just eat different foods, then your tab labels would look different of course.

The stickers are from Martha Stewart.  I came up with a labeling system that would help me as I flip through the binder.  I want to see quickly if it's a meal the kids really like (maybe mom and dad are going out to dinner...woo-hoo!) or if it's a favorite for the whole family.  Also, I try to incorporate mostly healthy meals into the school week.  You'd be surprised how much fat and calories are in some of the recipes!

I love these recipes from allrecipes.com...they have nutrition information right at the bottom.
If there are recipes from a magazine, I just use the good ole' 3-hole punch, click open the rings, and file accordingly.  I use a photo-cutter from my scrapbook supplies that helps slice the page out of the magazine with ease.  

Food Network Magazine is fabulous...and the on-line version is great too with MANY recipes to choose from.
If the recipe is small and the 3-hole punch just won't do, I tape the recipe to a piece of blank paper that has been pre-punched!  I keep the white paper just behind the category page so I can grab it quickly.

This soup is amazing...but I remove the leeks because my daughter is one of those picky-eaters!

This system was time consuming at first.  It took me 2 trips to Staples and about 2 hours to design the binder and sort through my old recipes.  But, the payoff is huge!  It only takes minutes now when I see a recipe that looks like a keeper.  

Too bad I don't carry that scrapbook cutter to the doctor's office with me...maybe I should start!

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