Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Recipe Binder

My first tip is to not heat up your house and cause your a/c to run over-time by using your oven during the summer! I use only stove-top and crockpot recipes during the summer. That plays a large part in how I organize my binder.

I hate meal-planning. I think it comes a close second to ironing in my dislike of household chores. Laziness is the mother of invention (I know that's not how it goes, but that's how it works in my life!), so I have created a recipe file system that makes the meal -planning job a bit easier.

I have used several different recipe file systems, but this is one that is working best for me right now. I use a three-ring binder with top-loading sheet protectors. This works well because the page protectors keep the recipes from getting soiled, it's easy to add a recipe in the right category, and my recipes do not have to be cut into any particular shape or format--I can clip them from a magazine, newspaper, or print a recipe and just slip it into a page protector.

I have my binder divided as follows: Cooked Chicken, Raw Boneless/Skinless Chicken breasts, Raw Chicken with bone-in, Vegetarian (subdivided into categories pasta, rice, beans, etc.), Ground Beef, Roasts, Round Steak, Steak, Turkey, Misc. In most of the above categories I have subdivided the recipes into baked, stove-top, and crock pot meals.

For example, when boneless/skinless chicken breasts are on sale, I go to the "Boneless/Skinless" tab, and if it is summer I look further to the "stove-top" or "crock pot" sub-category.

I used to keep a five-week menu plan all typed up complete with ingredients list and color-coded system to find each recipe, but I found that my life just didn't flow that way--we'd have leftovers to eat up, a special occasion would come up, we'd not finish the previous week's meal plan, those particular items weren't on sale that week, etc. It's a good idea if you do keep a stockpile of groceries and if your life is fairly predictable.

It works for me!


Vicky said...

Thanks for the idea! :) Saw your link off of TammysRecipes. I, too, dislike heating up the house in the summer. I am even considering plugging our breadmaker in out in the garage this summer - ha! :) Now I just need to find some good stove top/crock pot recipes to keep handy and we'll be set!

Any chance you'll share some good recipes with us? :)

Kim said...

What a great idea about putting the breadmaker in the garage--could be done with the crockpot as well!! I will definitely work on sharing some stove-top recipes.