Over the years I've used several different means to organize my recipes. For a while I was using a half sized (5 1/2" x 8 1/2") binder and I would type out all of my recipes in very specific categories. I know. It got too anal, even for me. So I pulled out my favorite regular recipes and started over. This time with a regular old 1" binder and lots of page protectors.
Instead of categories for veggies, poultry, cookies, etc., I consolidated them by meal and made a tab for each:
This size was way easier for me to manage all of the internet printouts and magazine pages I've ripped out. Now I just slip them into a page protector. Easy. Except it was getting too full and I was using the front pocket to stuff way too many random papers.
So, last week I pulled everything out of the binder. I went through every recipe, kept the favorites and tossed the ones I've been meaning to try (seriously, if I printed it in 2008 and we still haven't tried it - too bad, so sad) and made room for new recipes.
I also typed a list for each tab to include every meal idea I could think of - recipe or not. This list kind of works hand in hand when making my monthly dinner plan and helps me avoid having chicken or pasta too often.
While this project wasn't terribly time intensive, it was a long time coming and it's going to make my monthly dinner planning that much easier. I've accepted the fact that when baby2 arrives, my dinner planning is going to go right out the window for several months. But, when it comes time to stock up the fridge and pantry with quick and easy meals, I'll have to use a little less of my mommy brain to plan and shop with.