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Recipe Binders: A Lovely Way to Store Recipes

By Melissa Summers

A few months ago someone emailed me asking for recipe storage suggestions. I hope my dear reader didn’t lose all her recipes in the time it’s taken me to get to this topic.

I have started organizing recipes I want to try on my computer in a bookmark folder, I try to keep them set up by type and remove the ones we’ve tried and did not enjoy. Since I’m not much of a cook I have a lot of recipes in this folder mainly because I am on an unending search for a core set of recipes I can make from memory. This isn’t working well but I remain optimistic.

This method works fine, especially if you like cooking with your laptop on the counter but I am a messy cook and don’t like to have my computer around my workspace just in case. I also like sitting at my kitchen counter reading over my recipes while I eat a peanut butter sandwich thinking wistfully about what else I could be eating. So something involving actual paper is my preference. I’m currently using a photo album with 4×6 picture sleeves. I don’t generally take the time to put my recipes on cards, I just tear out or print the recipes I love and put them into the binder in the appropriate category. This works but I’d like something a little more attractive, sturdy and better organized.

Russel + Hazel seems to have a corner on this market, they’ll even walk you through the process, and this recipe binder set is their best option. It comes in a set of two lovely binders with everything you need like recipe cards, dividers and even menu planning sheets.
Admittedly the price tag is a little steep, so if you’d like to take the time to put together your own binder with dividers and recipe cards, this binder at See Jane Work may be your answer (no longer available). At just $15 you could easily add new binders to your collection and organize them by food type, labeling them with this clip on label. A trip to the office supply store will get you any folders or dividers you need for under $10.

Russel + Hazel also offers these brightly colored binders you could customize for recipe storage as well.


I would love to see some of these recipe binders come in a break back easel form. Your recipe binder will then stand up on it’s own all without yet another item to clutter up your kitchen, the book stand. [As suggested at Serious Eats.]

It still feels a little funny to write about recipe binders on this day, but as I’ve sat here writing I’ve reminded myself at least 14 times how incredibly fortunate I am to be able to fill my mind with something so trivial.

I hope you are all blessed with the trivial, and if you are not, my heart goes out to you.

Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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  • Laura

    September 12, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    the binders are beautiful, but for absolutely the easisest system in my opinion, we use a rolodex. recipes are filed alphabetically by how I think of them, and favorites from cookbooks are noted with a reference to the book and page number. not pretty to look at, but it always stays in order, takes up little space and is easy to update.

  • Shannon

    September 13, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    Ooh, I’ve been working on this one myself. I finally got frustrated with the bookmarks/various files on my computer/ripped out pages from magazine etc. I just bought some recipe software called MacGourmet (they have a free trial available on their site if you google it) and it’s been AWESOME.
    It took me an afternoon to input my regular go-to recipes (boo data entry), but it’s really easy to input them from online recipes (especially, which I use often). And it can organize by course, ingredients, keyword, etc., make albums (which I’ve been using to make weekly meal plans), has a slot for a picture of the recipe, and has a few templates for printing if you like a visual binder to flip through.
    Yeesh, I totally sound like I’m schilling for this company, but really, it’s made my life so much easier lately, and I’m a bit of a nerd for organization, so the tidy little system really appeals to me.

  • Erica

    September 14, 2007 at 9:03 am

    Thanks for getting to the recipe organization suggestions! Presently, I have been using a binder with magnetic photo pages to hold the recipe in place. I love the binders from inkylivie, I think I may have to invest in one of those as well.
    I am curious about the software Shanon suggests – although I am quite positive all I would do is enter data in, just to print it out again.
    Thanks for the post!