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How do you organize your recipes?

charmar's picture

I was thinking of making a scrapbook of recipes but I was wondering how everyone else organized their recipes. Good old recipe cards or rifling through your library of books? I have a mixture of homemade (invented on my own), online (taken from various websites) and magazine/book recipes that I want to compile into a handy place. I'm not sure how I would categorize everything main ingredient and then alphabetical order? Or is there an online program I can use?

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Joshtylor's picture

Hope you would share some more recipies in here so that we can get a chance to try that on and taste some delicious cusines.

Harshada's picture

I have many recipes: from books, magazines, friends and of my own creation.Some are handwritten, some printed on computers, some photocopied, some are still in books or magazines. It's becoming a bit of a problem as the years move on as to where I found a recipe or where it is now kept. I have many years of cooking magazines and hundreds of cookbooks. I waste a lot of time trying to find something I've liked in a magazine, or book etc.

joeanna anthony's picture
joeanna anthony

I have scanned my recipe books , some of which are 20 yrs old and almost torn. I have oragnized these now pretty well. Since my recipes were in no particular order,  after making them digital I managed to organize them.

dytecture's picture

I organize with courses ie: appetizer, soup, main-chicken, main-beef, main-pork, dessert, drinks, then they are just in alphabetically order.

Lennie's picture

I have really been into organizing food as I am gluten and lactose intolerant. Sometimes I don't feel well at all, so it's easier to plan my meals ahead( I try a week at a time) when the food is all organized. Most of my recipes have been changed to be g and l - free. I use almond milk for all of my recipes, g-f rice and all-purpose flour as well. If my husband or someone else is making meals when I'm sick, this way is much easier for them. I have 2 recipe boxes. I have organized them , first of all under separate headings alphabetically:
The first box is a small one - B(Bread) D(Drinks) E(Eggs) P(Pasta) R(Rice) S(Soup)
The second box is a big one - B(Beef) C(Chicken) D(Desserts) F(Fish) P(Pork) S(Salads)V(Vegetables) - Then behind each card, I've divided either the diff. ways to cook or the types of meat,veg. or desserts.
Some examples are: Under Beef I have numbered a card right after the B - 1) Liver2)Steak & Marinades3)Stew4)Roasts5)Hamburg - a:meatballs b:tacos, tortillas, burritos c:meatloaf d:casseroles & Shepherd's pie e:chili 
Under Desserts I have numbered a card right after the D - 1)Cakes - a)carrot, b:chocolate c)strawberry d:cheesecake e:angel food cake, etc. 2)Cookies - a:pt. btr. b:choc. chip c:shortbread, etc. 3)Pies - a:pecan b:apple c:cream pies d:blueberry, etc. 4)Fruit Cobblers, Sauces - a)cobbler crusts b)fondue c)cherry marshmallow dessert d)apple, pineapple, cherry cobblers 5)Parfaits, Puddings, Pavlova - a:trifle b:jello c:choc. pudding & parfait 6)Tarts, buns & Cupcakes - a:butter tarts b:fruit tarts c:cupcakes d: cinnamon buns, etc.7)Squares/Bars/layered Dessert - a:choc. clusters b:fudge c:eclair dessert d:caramel corn/pt. brittle, etc.8)Miscellaneous - Sherbet/Sorbet, banana splits, snack bars, etc. Hope this helps someone.

Jenie0109's picture

I just simply bookmarked all my favorite recipes because i usually find a certain recipe on the net. Less effort... :p

charmar's picture

Dor1949 that's a great idea, the photo album/recipe book. I wouldn't necessarily get rid of your recipe books though, they're great for rifling through when you're stuck on food ideas. Sometimes you stumble upon a gem you never noticed before but suits the occasion perfectly.

charmar's picture

Great ideas all-round everyone! I think I will at first organize everything in a binder and then when I have the time and money I may start a scrapbook of recipes complete with perhaps pictures of the finish product.

I have actually found that if I cut out a recipe to try, I tend to forget about it later on. I think I'll start cutting them out and sticking them to the fridge with a magnet beside the food shopping list so I won't forget.

SamKing's picture

I started with the small index card box.

I now graduated to the file folders. When I tore out a recipe - a page from a magazine I then had to fold it to fit in the box. No sooner, did my little recipe card box = jammed.

Was easier not to fold the pages and just place in a folder.

charmar's picture

Zella.Jenkins;222332 wrote:
I have a file box that fits a 4 by 6 card. that has a raised spot on the top to write on. For example I write the word meat on it and then break the meats down to each type such as beef, pork etc. I find this works well for me as i have a general index and then the breakdown to the special sections.
Hope this makes sence to you. Zella

Ah, so you've organized them like cue cards then? Sounds you laminate them as well?

SamKing's picture


WoW !! ED !!
Your artistry is fab !
I think you could set up a little craft business there. Very fine work.

Thanks for sharing your ideas:)

charmar's picture

Eliza Doolittle;222301 wrote:
I do mine the same as you. Years ago I took a decorative painting course and made a box. I put hanging folder files in it, put tabs on them as above and works beautifully ... plus (IMHO) it looks beautiful! :laugh: Every time I take out a recipe I am reminded of how much I enjoyed painting.

Wow that looks absolutely wonderful. I was thinking of going for the simple binder and plastic sleeve method that Hali55 mentioned but your box looks amazing.

SamKing's picture

I have simple file folders. Each one is labeled.

-chicken and or turkey
-brunch ideas
-veggie and sides


Everytime I cut out a recipe or print - I store it in that folder. Not in any alpha order.
So I just find the folder & then quickly glance through for the recipe.

When I am finished it goes back into the folder.

I used to have just one big folder. That was horrible as it was not organized and had to sift and search through a lot of paper to find what I was looking for.

One day, I just sat down and classified them. So when I want to make something or get ideas - it is rather quick.

curtdave's picture


Three simple ways to organize recipes

1) Bookmarks: tempting recipes I come across online are tagged using recipe specific tags

2) "To-try" recipes are sorted in an ordinary, multi-fragmented folder

3) Successful, "to-keep" recipes are written down in a special notebook


charmar's picture

PearlG;222198 wrote:
My fave recipes that are used most often are written/printed off on paper or a card in a large brown envelope in the drawer.I prefer to deal with a piece of paper or card when cooking then the whole cook book out on the counter.:) This works for me.

I would prefer something that was laminated so when I get a drop or a splash of batter or something similar on a recipe card I can wipe them down and put them away without another thought.

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