You sit down to plan the menu for the week and get ready for another trip to the grocery store. There was that recipe you made a couple weeks ago that everyone loved, where is it? You dig through handwritten papers, torn out magazine pages, and tattered index cards. Stop and read a card you’re you remember now you were dying to try 6 months back. Somehow when it came to your home filing system you just never got to the kitchen. Now is the time to take action and get all those recipes organized!
Paper Recipes: As I’m sure you have found printed recipes come in many shapes and sizes. In order to begin your recipe home filing system collect all your recipes together in one place. You will then begin by sorting them into categories. For example: vegetables, appetizers, main course, and desserts. You can either choose your categories before hand, perhaps with the help of a cookbook, or choose them as you begin to sort. It’s possible your categories will become obvious while you sort as everyone’s recipe collections are a little different. Some categories may become very large, if this happens consider breaking them into subcategories. Main courses could be broken into Hot and Cold, or Vegetarian and Meat.
Alphabetize your recipes within each category once you have them sorted.
While you’re sorting have you been coming across recipes that no one liked, you never made, or are something you’ve found a better recipe for? Now is the time to purge your collection. Don’t put back recipes you aren’t going to use again now that you have everything spread out. Recipes you didn’t like can just go into the recycling. If it is a recipe you still want to try I would suggest one of two options. You could admit you aren’t really going to try it and recycle it, or you can create a “recipes to try” category in your home filing system. This category is great when you are looking for something different or exciting! Then when you finally try them for the first time you can either file them into one of categories you created or recycle them!
Storing Paper Recipes: If you have varying size pages a standard recipe box probably isn’t your best choice for storage, and now that you have your recipes sorted and alphabetized you’ll want just the right container. The good news is there are several economic choices for new containers to start your home filing system.
A simple notebook can be used. Staple or tape your recipes to the pages and then use the space around them to make notes about them as you try them. Make sure to leave blank pages in each category so you can add additional recipes. Tuck any size recipe behind a tab in an accordion file. A three ring binder or photo album are both excellent options. They both allow flexibility for sizes of recipes, and give you the ability to add in pages where you need them as your collection grows and changes. They will easily stay open while you cook, and can be easily cleaned off if you spill food on your recipe.
Electronic Recipes: Keeping our recipes on computers as oppose to on paper is becoming more and more common. When starting a home filing system for your electronic recipes you have two choices. Are you going to store them on your computer or online?
You can follow a similar layout to your paper recipes by creating categories with folders on your computer.
Storing your recipes in this way on your computer you have the benefit of making your recipes entirely portable. If you have your computer with you, you can access all of your recipes, no internet connection needed. They also sell software that will help you organize on your computer, the benefit of many of these is they can produce grocery lists or help with meal planning. Keep in mind if you are in transition from paper to electronic scanning is a good option to move your paper recipes without having to retype everything.
There are a number of different formats that you can use to store your recipes online. The benefit is many of these programs also can help generate meal ideas and grocery lists. Also you don’t need your computer in order to access your recipes, all you need is an internet connection.
Regardless whether you choose to go with paper recipes or electronic recipes don’t underrate the effect of organizing the portion of your home filing system. Think of the daily frustration that could be eliminated by organizing getting your recipes. Take the time to organize today!