Recipe Organization: My Method

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I subscribe to way too many food magazines. I kept receiving free or heavily discounted offers, so I just continued to sign up for one after the other. I read all of them, but in the last year my stockpile became a bit ridiculous.

Recipe Organization

I began hoarding magazines on the bookshelf in our living room because I couldn’t part with them. As I read these magazines, I dog-ear pages that I intend to look back on: recipes, restaurant reviews, wines to try, cleaning methods, grilling techniques, etc.

Travis, on the other hand, prefers to tear out pages he wants to save as he reads each magazine. This always used to make me cringe. You see, I am somewhat of an organization maniac (you never would have guessed that based on all of the magazines I’ve hoarded), so when Travis pulled out pages I used to think, “No! Now the pages aren’t in order. What if I want to reference something on the other side of the page!?” It was a bit silly of me because in reality, over the past year I’ve rarely gone back and looked at any of the pages I dog-eared. If I remembered a recipe I saw in one of my Cooking Light issues, I’d have to sift through at least four of them until I found what I was looking for. It was a big waste of time.

Recipe Organization

So I finally succumbed to Travis’ way of doing things. The past few weeks I have started to sift through these magazines again, tearing out pages I want to save. I do this just a few magazines at a time, usually on the coffee table in our living room in front of some mindless reality TV show. At the beginning, I looked at the massive pile of magazines I had to go through and dreaded this process, but it has actually been very enjoyable! I’ve loved looking back at recipes I meant to make, but never did. I’ve been kicking myself for not doing this sooner because there are so many delicious things I could have been cooking all this time!

So I finally succumbed to Travis' way of doing things. The past few weeks I've taken a big batch of magazines at a time and starting cutting out any page I wanted to save.

I bought one of my favorite multi-section file folders to organize the cut-out pages into different sections.

So I finally succumbed to Travis' way of doing things. The past few weeks I've taken a big batch of magazines at a time and starting cutting out any page I wanted to save.

I used these expanding folders all the time in college to organize important papers and class work and it works just as perfectly for this purpose.

Recipe Organization

I’ve organized all my recipes into the categories you see above as well as “wines and cocktails,” “grilling and kitchen tips and tricks,” and “travel and restaurants.” Every week before I go to the grocery store I pull out a few recipes from each section that I want to try that upcoming week.  This makes our dinners so much more exciting because we are constantly trying new things. The recipes that turn out well I put right back into the file folder, but the ones that we don’t like, I just throw away (and make room for new recipes!).

So far this process is working great for me! My pile of magazines is gone and I feel much more organized now.

How do you organize your recipes? Do you put them in a folder like me? Or do you prefer digital versions such as bookmarks and/or Pinterest?

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