As we head back to school, it’s time for us to get back into our routine. In my family our school routine means it’s back to our busy schedule of juggling homework, karate, piano, soccer, Cub Scouts and more… which to me, as the primary family chef and chauffeur, translates into limited time to prepare meals. And since I insist on preparing my family home cooked, whole food meals, organizing recipes and planning meals is essential. I mean, figuring out what’s for dinner is half the battle, right?!?
Enter my new favorite recipe system: our Recipe Binder Kit. We’ve teamed up with Avery to create a go-to system for you to organize and customize your meal planning. Our free printables paired with Avery Durable View Binders and Write-on Plastic Dividers with Pockets make for a quick method that enables you to plan and prepare meals with ease.
I had an old binder I started when I was a newlywed in which I never bothered to use tabs or page protectors. You can see that my recipes were out. of. control.
I invested a couple hours into sorting and filing the recipes we frequently use, and what a difference! Not only are my recipes organized now, but I can easily flip through my binder for menu ideas — it’s my personal cookbook where literally every single recipe is a good one (to my family anyway)! Can I get a Supermom Moment fist bump here?
A huge time saver for me was to copy recipes from some of my favorite cookbooks and file it in my binder. Now, when I sit to make my grocery list I don’t have to pull out all my cookbooks — my Recipe Binder is my go-to source for all things cooking. Plus, writing the recipes down provides space to write notes (such as how long something really takes “to brown” or to tweak measurements/ingredients to your tastes).
Once I write a recipe down (or print it from online), I slide the paper into my favorite Avery Heavyweight Sheet Protectors. Of course, you can just as easily hole punch your paper and file it directly into the 3-ring binder, but I love how the protectors keep my recipes clean.
Also, don’t be afraid to print a recipe a few times to file in multiple sections. For example, my family loves White Bean Chicken Chili. I have it filed in two tabs: Chicken and Crock Pot. Now when I know I have chicken I need to use up, I’ll find the recipe when I reference the Chicken tab, but I’ll also find it when I’m deciding which crock pot meal to prepare on Tuesday. (Every Tuesday is a crock pot meal over here — it’s our CRAZY day — anyone else have those?)
Avery offers many types of dividers. I recommend the dividers you can write on. It was so simple to organize, and it gives me the flexibility to quickly add another tab when I feel the need. I especially like the Write-on Tabs with Pockets. With these you can use our fun free printable divider pages AND have a pocket to put small recipes. I use the smaller pocket on my divider tabs as a place to store recipes until I try them. Once i try the recipe and I know I’d like to make it again I can transfer it to its own page protector.
A quick side note: Another bonus to Avery products is the Box Tops! We don’t consume many packaged foods in our home, so it’s nearly impossible for us to participate in the Box Tops contests at my boys’ school — but when we get new Avery binders, we get Box Tops!
Our free printable recipe kit includes a cover, back and spine designs. We bundled over 25 various divider pages — simply select and print the pages you need. Also there is a menu page that you can slip into a page protector and use over and over again with a dry erase marker. Or if you like to create week menus to rotate through, you could just print this page four times and write directly on them.
Thank you to Avery for sponsoring today’s post.1