How to Make a Recipe Binder

It's Possible This Project Won't Cost a Dime!

Recipe Binder/Notebook
••• Ruth Hornby Photography/Moment/Getty Images

Tired of having to sift through a big pile of loose recipes to find the one that you're looking for? Create a recipe binder and sift no more!

This is a fun and simple project that doesn't have to cost a lot of money. You will need a few simple items to get started and it can grow as you collect new recipes.

The Recipe Binder

The easiest way to organize your recipe collection is to create a binder that holds recipe cards. A standard three-ring binder works perfectly!

  • Look around the house for a binder that is no longer needed or pick up an inexpensive binder at the store. It doesn't have to be fancy because it may get messy in the kitchen.
  • Create a custom cover and slip it into the front, side and back pockets. Design one on the computer or have the kids help you decorate it with crayons, markers and construction paper.
  • No need to buy dividers! Simply cut up manila folders or envelopes that are no longer used. Construction paper works, too. The idea is to get a stiffer paper that can separate recipe categories. Use a paper punch to get the dividers on the binder rings.
  • Find a place in your cupboards where you can easily stash your binder without disturbing other things. Make it easy to find and put back in place.

The Recipe Pages

Again, there's no need to get really fancy or make a long, drawn-out project out of creating a recipe binder. It is, after all, going to be in your kitchen and will probably have flour, chocolate and other foods splashed and spilled on it over time.

The key is to create an easy to use and well-organized collection of your recipes. Something you will actually use and do all of this for little or no money!

  • Index cards make a perfect recipe card and create a neat appearance in the binder. They're also easy to remove or reorganize as needed. A large stack of index cards is inexpensive and will last a long time.
  • If you want to recycle paper, cut sheets from your scrap paper pile into four equal sections.
  • Stick your recipes inside page protectors to protect them from spills. Pages that have pockets for 4x6 or 3x5 photos will fit four recipe index cards on each side. You can often find a stack at thrift stores or yard sales if you don't have any to spare.
  • Arrange your recipes by category – main courses, sides, desserts, etc. Use a divider to separate and label each one. Organize it so it makes sense to you and don't worry about standard recipe organization!
  • Include a section for recipes that you haven't tried yet. If they prove to be keepers, move them to the appropriate category.

Frugal Recipes to Add to Your Binder

Main Courses
From simple soups and salads to homemade pizzas and casseroles, find new recipes that are easy and cheap. Many even use leftovers!

Side Dishes
Homegrown vegetables can be used to create some amazing side dishes without spending a lot of money.

Snacks and Desserts
Chocolate syrup, popsicles, ice cream and other goodies, your family will love these yummy recipes.

Make Your Own Ingredients
If you find yourself running out of common ingredients, be sure to add some of these substitutes to your recipe collection for the next emergency.