9.30.2008

Works For Me Wednesday: Organizing Recipes

Today's "Works For Me Wednesday" post is something that has really changed the way that I cook.  For a few years, I have been a monthly subscriber to Cooking Light magazine.  I would faithfully read each issue and dog-ear the pages for things that sounded good.  However, pretty soon, I started a nice little collection of magazines like this:

The clutter was bad enough, but the most annoying part is that I never even used any of the recipes that sounded so good.  It was daunting when I was looking for a new recipe to try that night to even glance at that huge stack of magazines!  Then one day I got all fancy-schmancy and decided to get organized:

I tore out the recipes I had been tagging for years, found a notebook and some plastic sleeves, and arranged the pages according to appetizers, main dishes, vegetables, desserts, etc.

I know it seems like a very basic idea.  (Hey!  Look at me!  I put recipes in a binder!)  But it has made a huge difference in our family's cooking.  I actually use the recipes in the book now and it takes me just a few minutes to glance through and find something I want.  In the old days, I may have spent 20 minutes paging through magazine after magazine (if I even cracked them open), with my toddler pulling on my leg the whole time.  And you all know how much fun that can be!

This works so well for me that I am planning to put together a similar book for all my decorating ideas, torn out of various magazines and catalogs.  Can you imagine having a huge binder with ideas for every room in your house, seasons, holidays, and craft projects, to pull out whenever you are looking for something new?  I am such a design geek that that I am really whooped up by this!  

This definitely works for me!


42 comments:

Kris said...

That is a great idea! I am doing something similar with all the recipes I find myself printing out from online these days. Running to the computer to look up a recipes "I think I saw on this blog somewhere" is not good to do when kids are hungry NOW! It's a work in progress.

AngiDe- Nana's Box said...

That's such a fabulous idea!! I'm gonna have to try that, I have so many magazines piling up and so many unused yummy recipes!

Angie
www.nanasboxnonprofit.blogspot.com

Rebecca said...

I have the same problem with the same magazine! I really have to get a binder, spend some time with all my back issues, and get organized. Thanks for the inspiration!

You may be interested in joining our Thrifty Green Thursday blog carnival over at the Green Baby Guide. It's kind of like WFMW, but a bit more specific!

Heidi Boos said...

Love it! I have a stack of sheet protectors that would be perfect for a project like this, and I love doing this for craft ideas, too. All in one place sounds good for me!!

Cherry's Jubilee said...

Cool idea. I need to organize mine. Hey let me know if you want to learn how to enlarge your pics. Would love to see bigger pics of your gorgeous home. cherry

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

You don't know how much I needed this post. If you could only see my collection of torn out recipes...on the other hand...let's not go there! Thank you so much for the inspiration and motivation--Really!!!
M.L.

Lisa & Gerald said...

You are the greatest! You always have great idea's girl!

Tausha said...

I love this idea. I have a tendency to rip out magazine recipes-then lose them. So-prtty sure that this would solve the problem! I too, would love to make a decor one. Imagine a season one for you to call upon everytime that one is coming around. Sometimes, one new idea is all I need to get me thinking! Thanks for the inspirtation! Sometimes the most simple ideas give the largest punch!

Sandy Toes said...

Great idea! Binders are great and I have a lot of them but not like this. Great idea...it may Work For Me!

Have a great day!
-Sandy toes

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

The binder is a great idea!

I have a stack of R@chel R@y's magazines and they are taking up so much space...and like you said, when you think you want to use one of the recipes....you have to go flipping through multiple magazines to find that one recipe!

I will definitely steel your idea!

As always, thanks for the tip!

Lisa

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

I did the same thing a few years back. I love it!!

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

That is a great organizing idea! I currently use cute file folders for my decorating ideas. I have a folder for each room of the house , plus ones for gift ideas, entertaining, gardening, and ones broken down for specific times of year decorating and parties(Christmas, Spring, Autumn, Summer). I can just pull the folder I want to check out, and not have to keep millions of magazines--those I recycle!

I like the idea of the binder, that is a great way to keep everything together! I'll have to try that for my recipes!! :)

Jodee Leader said...

I did the same thing and it works well! Enjoy your organized recipes!

Christy said...

This is such a great idea. You are fancy-schmancy!!!

I usually do pull out the page with the recipe and put into a folder. I love this idea because I can keep all the recipes from that one magazine together. For me, it would be Southern Living:)

I have a binder with decorating ideas, craft ideas, etc. What a great way to keep all those clever and inspiring ideas together in one place.

Jboo said...

Great idea!! I have a stack of magazines I'm saving for some reason or another, but I doubt that I will get back into them again. I do have a little habit of tearing recipes out of magazines at the doc's office, the Y, the office, wherever. Now I know what to do with them instead of shoving them into a drawer.

Janet

Marie said...

Great idea! Sure beats what I do- ripping out the recipe and stuffing it in a drawer. Where they NEVER see the light of day again. :o)

Sweet Simplicity said...

I NEED to do this! I waste so much time flipping through all of my magazines trying to find a certain recipe. It always ends up being in the 1st or 2nd mag that I look through, but I end up skipping over it in my haste to find it! Silly!

Laurel MacD said...

I have the same thing and it works well. I haven't used a traditional recipe box in years.

Darlene said...

Great idea as I tend to rip out recipes and then just stick them in the cabinet, then same thing searching forever for that recipe. I have been better at: when I make something if we LOVE it the recipe stays if not - trash! I think I will get a binder and do this...Such a simple idea that makes a huge difference! LOVE it!

Inspired Kara said...

This extreme organization just makes my heart jump. I love it!

Wendy said...

Great idea! I do that with the design inspiration I get from magazines, catalogs, whatever...it is like having your own personalized design magazine with page after page of your favorite stuff! Yet, somehow, I still have a stack of magazines waiting for me to go through ;-)

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Great job! You might consider one for each holiday too. In additon to decorating ideas, and recipes I have a binder for each major holiday and season. I can't tell you how excited I was to pull out my "Halloween Bible" this week!

The Garcias said...

I have done the very same thing and love the finished product! I've been meaning to post about this, thanks for the reminder. :) The thing I love about mag. recipes is the lovely pictures! And I've started tagging the pages with little post-it notes of reminders of what I substituted, what I'd do differently next time, and if my husband liked it or not (I'm a new wifey aiming to please). Fun!
jessica

the undomesticated wife said...

You so good!

Rebeckah said...

This is a great idea : ). Simple but fabulous! I have to do something like this too! I do the same thing and I have high hopes of coming back to those magazines and making those delectable meals, but I never do...

Lisa said...

What a great idea! I need to do this. I have a ton of recipes torn out of magazines in a pile in my pantry...thanks for the great idea! Sometimes the most simple idea's are the best ones.

Susan said...

LOVE, LOVE this!!! I can't wait to go purchase a binder and pages to organize!!

Naturally Caffeinated Family said...

Great idea! Love it, love binders, love plastic sleeves, it's very exciting, I'm a dork!

Weeksie50 said...

This is a great idea. I am not much of a cook so I don't have all that many recipes.. the kitchen is my least favorite place to be.. isn't it funny how we all ejoy different things..

Annikke said...

I have something similar because I was the same way, I had tons of recipes I thought sounded good, but then never tried any of them because it was too much work to flip back through all the magazines (call me lazy!!)

My home - My life said...

What a good idea! I am definitely doing this! I never thought of putting them in a binder like that. I always knew there was no way I was sitting down and typing them all out like some people do.

This is so simple yet I never thought of it - thanks!

edie+steve said...

Carrie,
I do this with my decorating ideas but never thought to do it with recipes. You blog ladies are the best!

Sherry said...

That is an awesome idea!I have a PLETHORA of recipes from magazines and cookbooks. Thanks for sharing!

Aubrey said...

See! That is why I keep coming back to your place. You always have some great ideas. I have a stack of magazines right now that look like your before picture. I'm totally going to get motivated...someday! LOL

Ms. Tee said...

This is a great idea. I have pages I've torn out that I need to stick in a binder - what a great way to simplify! :)

Denise C said...

OH what a great idea!!! I have a really bad habit of cutting out ideas, quotes..etc...and taping them on the inside of frequently used cabinets! So on the outside everything is nice and tidy....but on the inside...OH MY what a mess!
Thanks for the inspiration!!!
Blessings!
Denise

Marie said...

I've been meaning to do that forever. Reading your post has motivated me to just do it. Thanks!

Amanda said...

I do this too...I loved the idea so much I now have my "life" in binders - a binder for church, school(tabs for ea. child), volunteer work, household w/ tabs for bills, reciepts, grocery lists, coupons, contacts, etc...it is so great and easy, I just grab a binder and sit doen and all my "stuff" is right there.

Lulu said...

I'm just beginning the very same project! It's wonderful to see your finished product, gives me a better idea of how I'd like mine to look. Silly question for you- what did you do if you liked the look of the recipes on BOTH sides of the page? That's a conundrum I'm having right now... Just stumbled across your blog, really enjoy it! I'm adding you to my Following list ;)

Take care,
Lulu

sandwiched said...

I did this a bunch of years ago. So long ago, in fact, that I need to RE-do it again. There are a lot of recipes in there that don't get used....

Thanks for the reminder!

Jen said...

Aren't page protectors the best invention? How did we ever get by without them. YOu and I are a lot alike. ♥Jen

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