Recipe Hoarding and What to Do About It


If you love to cook like I do, you may find yourself inundated with recipes. This overload of recipes can leave one unorganized and therefore, unproductive. Do not despair, there is hope.

I used to subscribe to a number of magazines which were loaded with recipes of delicious looking meals, tasty looking snacks, and tempting, mouth watering desserts. Of course, I had to cut out all the recipes that I was sure to make some day in the near future. These recipes were then placed in a nice, neat stack on the cookbook shelf.

Unfortunately, most of the time, these recipes never got made. My recipe stack accumulated into a pile and then an overflowing mound. The recipes I had actually made were put into a file folder that became so full I could not find the recipe I wanted without going through the whole folder several times. Same thing with my recipe card box. I knew the recipe was in there somewhere. At times, I even had my children help in the search for a beloved recipe. I did have some of my recipes organized in binders with clear sleeves. However, they too were not in a particularly great order. It was time to face the fact, I had become a recipe hoarder!

What I have learned from my recipe hoarding days is… You do not need fifty recipes for cheesecake. Some recipes do not look as appealing over time, aka..why did I save this recipe? While some recipes look good, I will probably never make them anyway…they take too long…the ingredients are crazy…no one else in the family would eat it, and so on. My family really only wants the “go to” recipe for their favorite dish anyway. Family favorites can never be replaced.

I write notes on my recipes after making them. So I might write “the best”, “yum”, “so and so likes”, “ok- but needs more seasoning”, “fast and easy”, “good but takes time”, and so on. If the recipe did not get a good review, it went into the recycle bin. No need to file that one away. Some of the recipes I hoarded were honestly never going to get made anyway so into the recycle bin they went. My pile was slowly getting smaller.

binder using divider pages to separate categories

I decided to keep my binder method for storing recipes. This time, however, I made separate binders for different categories so finding a recipe would be easier. So, a binder for desserts, breads, sides and appetizers, cookies, entrees, etc… Then each recipe was put into a clear sleeve and put inside the binder in more specific sections divided by page dividers. For example, the entrees binder was divided into chicken, beef, pork/ham, turkey, and seafood. Then, using the computer, I made an index for each binder. In this way I know what is in each binder and in which section the recipe can be found.

I also did away with my recipe card box. Some of the cards were written on both sides. I took these and copied them onto one sheet of paper using my printer. They were now easy to slide into a sleeve and put into the proper binder.

I have decided I will never again need a magazine subscription for recipes. My cookbook shelves are now organized and I am no longer stressed out because I cannot locate a desired recipe. After all the work I did to get my recipes super organized, I can honestly say my hoarding days are over. Lesson learned.


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