Organizing Recipes

April 12, 2011

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After doing the second Project Simplify project, which was: Tackle Paper Clutter, I realized something.

While I’m pretty good at keeping on top of most paper clutter, I am weak in one important area: Organizing Recipes.

How do YOU organize recipes?

Of course, many of my recipes are neatly located in cookbooks, and I only have a few. They’re all well loved and well used, so I don’t consider them clutter.


I have an entire drawer in my kitchen that’s full of recipes I’ve cut out of magazines, the newspaper, printed out from websites, etc.

While most of them are neatly glued into a 3 ring binder – and even organized according to category – many of them are floating around the drawer.

It seems it’s just not a priority to actually put them IN the binder.

As a result, I rarely USE my recipes, even though they all look interesting and delicious to me.

In fact, when I was pregnant, I culled the entire binder and threw out any I knew I would honestly never get around to making (too complicated, too fussy for kids, too expensive, etc.) I’m pretty proud that I finished up that project before Ruby’s birth. But it does me little good to have a pretty binder when I never crack it open. :-(

I use E-Mealz for my weekly menu planning. I love it. Every week I print out the menu (complete with recipes) E-Mealz makes up for me, along with the shopping list. It’s super easy and fast. It creates the meals based on what’s on sale at my favorite grocery store. I love it, and I doubt I’ll ever unsubscribe from the service. I LOVE always knowing what’s for dinner, for $5 a month.

But I still want to use some of my own recipes. E-Mealz only plans dinner. Breakfast and lunch and snacks and such are up to me. Also, occasionally there are meals in the E-Mealz plan that I know the family won’t like. So I still need the flexibility of being able to make something else for dinner every once in awhile.

I want to:

  1. Be able to create a few snacks and meals based on what I have on hand
  2. Easily find a recipe I want
  3. Try new things to add more variety to my weekly menus

I’ve thought of typing up all of my recipes into Google documents so that I could search them, which would make items #1 and #2 possible, but that sounds like SO MUCH WORK.

Do you have any suggestions?

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5 Responses to “Organizing Recipes”

  1. Elizabeth a on April 12th, 2011 8:58 pm

    Carrie, that’s so funny you made this post because I have been dealing with the same issue also. I recently stared using to keep them, type in my favorite ones, and even pull in the ones I want to keep from the Internet.

    Your even able to print your grocery list from there!

    Still new to me, but at the moment I’m loving it. I have not tried pulling in recipes yet from my whole foods database but it’s on my to do things list, for sure.

    I have one question with ez meals do they allow you to print your shopping list, with whole foods in mind?

    I have been trying to save money when it comes to, grocery shopping
    With sacrificing how I like to eat, when it comes to food I can pretty neurotic……lol

    Everyone thinks I should be a nutritionist, any how would love to know your thoughts on that.

  2. carrie on April 13th, 2011 2:04 pm

    Hey Elizabeth,

    I emailed you and am pasting here:

    The e-mealz recipes occasionally call for processed foods – like canned soups, and sometimes the side dishes are something like potato chips. But I can easily substitute for those, I have to anyway since two of the family have wheat sensitivity. I think it’s very friendly for a whole foods diet.


  3. carrie on April 13th, 2011 2:06 pm

    They have a sample menu you can download from the site too.

  4. Elizabeth A on April 13th, 2011 9:38 pm

    Thanks Carrie, I will for sure take a look into it.

    Never got the email, can you copy and paste the email that you sent and send it to me through face-book.

    This particular email, sometimes things never come through or get lost in the crowd.

  5. curie on April 14th, 2011 12:23 am

    I organized my paper recipes into a 26-slot document wallet. I named each slot with a cateogory, such as pulse-based recipes (we are veggie), curries, pasta-based recipes, side dishes, desserts, cakes, cookies, etc In each slot is a plastic wallet which I just pull out & browse through when I need to find something.

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