How I Use my Recipe Binder for Meal Planning

One of my favorite things about blogging is exploring other blogs and finding new ways to do things! When I stumbled upon an amazing recipe binder printable on Thirty Handmade Days, I got really excited! I headed to Amazon and ordered up some materials and printed out the guts of the binder and got to work!

I have been keeping an informal recipe binder for over 5 years. It was funny sorting through all of the recipes from 2008 and 2009. Some of the them sounded delicious and were pretty classic, while others I would never make now!

While I rely heavily on Pinterest for cataloging my recipes (Main Dish, Apps & Sides, Soups, Desserts, Smoothies and Brunch), I love printing out recipes and tearing pages from magazines. This is where the binder comes in! Collect your recipes, sort them by type, and store them in protective sheets. They’re easy to wipe down if you spill while cooking, and protect your beloved recipes for years to come. Write out your own family recipes and experiments and store them in the binder too!

To make the binder, you need a few items, all linked up below, and access to a printer. That’s it! There are some nice-to-have items you can add in to the mix to jazz it up. Click below to shop my affiliate links.

Binder Must-Haves

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Binder Nice-to-Haves

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Use a Recipe Binder for Meal Planning

– Check out what you have on hand in the fridge, freezer, pantry and spice rack. Here’s my list of Pantry Staples that I always try to keep on hand!

– Check out the recipes you can make using your on hand ingredients, with as few additions as possible. 

– Can you make any new recipes with the additional ingredients that you need? Picking up some kale for a side dish? Grab some extra, freeze it and add it to frozen fruit for smoothies for breakfast!

– What can you make for lunches? Can you turn chicken leftovers into new meals like sammies?

– Are there any dishes you’re craving or that you just have to try this week? Read Half Baked Harvest if you need inspiration!

– Create a shopping list. I like to use Out of Milk. You can add items to the app manually and check them off once they’re in your cart. You can also add ingredients right from digital recipes- this app is seriously the coolest!

– Update the weekly meal plan chart in your binder with the recipes you’re going to make. I like to use different color post-its for each day of the week, to keep it festive!

– Once you’re home from the store, figure out which items you can cook once for multiple meals. Need chicken for dinner tonight, but also for chicken salad sammies and chicken tacos on Thursday? Prep it all at once and cook as much of it as possible to give yourself a head start.

Need more tips? Check out my guest post on eSmoothieRecipes for more Meal Planning for Two tips!

Love this binder? Mique has a ton of amazing binder printables on her blog, make sure you check them out and get binding!

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