Make a Recipe Binder For Easier Meal Times

Imagine it’s dinner time. The witching hour in many households if you have children. There’s the hustle and bustle of kids running around, asking when dinner will be ready, needing help with homework. Meanwhile you are opening cabinets and the fridge, trying to assess what you have that can possibly be turned into dinner. Maybe you’re flipping through a manila file folder trying to find that recipe for grandma’s chicken and rice casserole but now the dog is barking to go out. It’s stressful just reading about it, isn’t it?

Now picture that you are the calm in the storm. You know exactly what you will be making for dinner. You’ve got all the ingredients. You open your recipe binder and easily find the recipe for the meal you have planned. Now calmly tell your kids dinner will be ready in a half an hour. Perhaps you ask them politely to sit at the kitchen table and do their homework.  And you begin making dinner.

Doesn’t that sound so much better?

How to Make a Recipe Binder

A big part of the dinner time battle is having your recipes organized.  Perhaps, like me, you have recipes saved on Pinterest. But what do you do about those recipes you pulled from magazines? Or the lovingly written recipe from your mom that you’ve had for twenty years?  The solution?  A recipe binder.


Make a Recipe Binder for Easier Meal Times



5 Easy Steps for Making a Recipe Binder


Sort through all your recipes.  Put them into piles. This is the perfect time to declutter and throw away any recipes you are no longer interested in making or didn’t turn out so great. Each person’s categories are going to be different, according to what you are passionate about cooking.  Mine are:

  • Beverages
  • Appetizers
  • Breads
  • Breakfast
  • Desserts
  • Side Dishes
  • Main Dishes
    • – Beef
    • – Chicken
    • – Pork
    • – Seafood
    • -Pasta
    • – Crock Pot

Gather Your Supplies

  • A binder-or maybe two.
    • I have one just for main dishes. I recently created one binder for a client just for her many dessert recipes! There are so many beautiful binders out there now. Have fun with it! Pick something that will make you smile every time you see it.
  • Page protectors.
    •  For recipes from magazines or that have been printed off and are on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper (or close to it) I like Avery page protectors.  They are 3 hole punched and have a little flap at the top so your pages won’t slip out in case you drop the binder.
    • In addition, for recipes from magazines that are small, I tape several onto a piece of copy paper and insert that into the page protector.
    • For recipes on cards, I found these AMAZING page protectors:  Meadowsweet Kitchens Plastic Recipe Card Protectors.  Also 3 hole punched and sized perfectly.
  • Divider pages
  • Index tabs
  • Fun additions like this kitchen conversion chart from More Like Home.

Insert Recipes

  • I always put recipes in alphabetical order.  It makes finding them that much faster.
  • If a recipe is written on both the front and back of a card, I do not place another recipe in the page protector.  I like to be able to just turn the page so I can see the rest of the recipe. This holds true for recipes on 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper as well. This way you can take the page protector out of the binder if you wish.  Any splatters won’t harm the recipe.

Create Divider Pages

  • There are so many adorable free printable divider pages out there for recipe binders.  I recently found this set from Fab N Free: modern, beautiful, and comes in three colors.

Create Index Tabs

  • 3M Post It Notes makes write on tabs and they can be found almost anywhere (even my local Rite Aid) or Walmart
  • If you are crafty, you can make your own tabs using this tutorial from iHannah’s blog

Then-start cooking (easily)!

For an afternoon’s worth of time, you can greatly reduce the stress of meal time.  Isn’t that worth it?

For an afternoon's worth of time, you can greatly reduce the stress of meal time. Click To Tweet


Making dinner is something we have to do most nights.  I’ve talked to countless women who find this frustrating and stressful.  Don’t let yourself be one of them!’

Other Stress Free Meal Time Posts

Another way I reduce the stress of meal times is to plan out my weekly meals.  My “Productive Yet Calm Week” post describes how I do this each Sunday (plus a lot of other things I plan out).

I also have planned out 8 weeks worth of recipes for you.  My latest is “Meal Plan Monday 8: Very Veggie

Happy (easy) cooking!


Follow Daria Harvey:

Professional Home Organizer

I'm so excited you stopped by my blog! I'm passionate about helping others achieve peaceful lives through organization. I want to help you have less stress and more time for the things you love! Let's get started!

12 Responses

  1. Jennifer Ouellette

    I love this idea! When I cook, I’m always trying to keep the pages of a very fat book open and wind up getting spills on the pages so I really like the idea of page protectors that I can take out of a binder. I have recipes scattered all over the place so keeping them in one place is good.

    • Daria Harvey

      Glad this idea appeals to you Jennifer! It does make life easier. And that’s what I’m all about!

  2. Jennifer Ouellette

    I love the idea ad a binder with page protectors. My recipes are everywhere so getting them in place would be great. I usually try to keep a fat book propped open and then wind up getting food splashed on the pages, so a page protected sheet that I can take out of the binder would be great!

  3. Janet Barclay

    I had to give up on recipe binders because I had just too many to manage, but this is a great tutorial. I especially like the idea of using plastic sheet protectors!

    • Daria Harvey

      Thank you very much Janet. I must admit I am very selective about what recipes make the cut for my binder. I only place my family’s favorite recipes in there. I don’t want recipe clutter! Thanks for reading!

  4. Emily

    What a great idea, love this! Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

    • Daria Harvey

      Thank you! I’m so glad I found your #BinkyLinky. Adorable name!

  5. Mrs Tubbs

    Gosh, that is super organised! Great way of gathering all these useful recipes together so they get used 🙂

    • Daria Harvey

      Thank you! My binders contain my family’s very favorite recipes. I use that binder frequently.

Comments are closed.