Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cookbook Organization

I have a lot of cookbooks and magazines that I use as a resource for recipes. Frankly, they're probably the most organized thing in my house! Organization is not something that gives me thrills, but there is something satisfying about needing a recipe and having it right at my fingertips. 

I've been a subscriber to Taste of Home, Simple & Delicious, Healthy Cooking, and Southern Living off and on for pretty much my whole married life so I have a few magazines lying around. I've organized them by magazine type and date of issue on a shelf in my kitchen.

The good part about that is that I have a notebook that lists everything on the shelf. Under each publication's heading is a list of recipes I want to try that can be found within the pages, including which page number they are on.

When I make out my grocery list for the week, I use an index card. On the side with the lines, I list the recipes I want to make that week and the shorthand of where I can find them: Seasoned Potato Wedges TH03-55

The magazines are a little more complicated since there are so many. An example here would be: Saucy Italian Orzo SDJ/F10-12. I know I can find that recipe in Simple & Delicious magazine issue January/February of 2010 on page 12.

On the unlined side of the card, I list out all the ingredients I need to purchase for the recipes I'm going to make that week. I don't bother writing things like milk and eggs down on my list because I buy them every week anyway. I double-check ingredients to make certain I have enough of everything, too. Something like vanilla extract is easy to run out of because I don't use it as often and I'm forgetful! The index card works well because I have the list of recipes on one side, too. If I can't find an item on my list, or it's more expensive than I expected,  I can see at a glance what I needed the item for and whether a substitute will work just as well.

That's basically the process I go through each week to make out my list. I ask everyone in the family what they'd like to eat that week, though if I took their suggestions every time, we'd have spaghetti, hamburgers, fondue, sloppy joes and turkey sandwiches every single week. Nice.


  1. I like this you are a wonderful.. I will have to do this where did you get the box things? thanks Anne

  2. Anne, I found them at Office Depot, but I think they have them at Wal-Mart. It's called a Bankers Box.

  3. Thank you for this post. You have some great ideas and I just linked back to it in my post on Cookbook Organizing. Thanks so much!
    Neaten Your Nest