How to Put Together a Recipe Binder

Recipe Box for Recipe BinderSaving treasured recipes, passed from generation to generation is a wonderful tradition. As my parents and grandparents get older, I see the value of the recipes I have enjoyed for many years increasing more and more. Some of their recipes and tips are merely in their minds and need to be captured on paper so they are not lost forever.

A recipe binder is a perfect place to gather tried and true recipes in one place. This should be the most used “cookbook” on your bookshelf. Whether they are printed from your computer or hand-copied from grandma’s recipe box, a recipe binder is a handy way to collect your recipes and keep them in one place.

A recipe binder is another thing I want to pass down to each of my children. It is a perfect shower or wedding gift and becomes a treasure trove of cherished recipes from generations past.

This binder will be referenced a lot and needs to be organized well. How you organize your recipe binder is up to you. It’s your recipe binder, make it your own.

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Decide which format you would like to use for your recipe binder

You can make it as plain or as fancy as you like. Use notebook paper, make it a scrapbook, a journal, an art journal, or you can use recipe cards in a box. Include poems, drawings, stories about the person you received the recipe from, and secret tips for making each recipe perfect. 

Make a fun cover for your recipe binder

This can also be as plain or as fancy as you like. Be creative!

Start gathering recipes for your recipe binder

It’s never too soon to start gathering recipes. Ask parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends for their best recipes. If there is a recipe you have tried and loved, ask for it. Get all the details.

Choose categories and make tabs for your recipe binder

Organizing your recipes into categories is the best way to keep track of them and make them easy to find. Decide what categories are best for your recipes and the way you cook and entertain. Make a table of contents and use tabs with the category names on them to divide your recipes.

Here are some common cookbook categories:

Appetizers and Snacks

Soups and Stews


Main Dishes

Side Dishes



You can break these cookbook categories down even further by putting them in the order they will be eaten in the day. Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Holiday, etc.

Consider putting your recipes in alphabetical order within your categories.

Here are more categories you might consider using for your Recipe Binder:




Salads and Slaws

Salad Dressings and Vinaigrettes

Salsa and Pesto

Pickles, Relish, Chow Chow


Sauces and Gravies

Homemade Mixes

Food Preservation


Jams, Jellies, Preserves

Main Dishes: Beef

Main Dishes: Poultry

Main Dishes: Pork

Main Dishes: Seafood

Main Dishes: Vegetarian

Main Dishes: Other



Soups, Stews, Chili


Side Dishes: Vegetables

Side Dishes: Other

Yeast Breads

Quick Breads


Cakes and Frosting

Cobbler and Crisps

Cookies and Bars


Candy Making

Fun with Food

Holidays and Entertaining

About Nelle

I am Nelle. I grew up in rural, small town, Ohio. When I was young, I learned a lot about homesteading from my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, 4-H, FFA, and others around me.
Now, I’m all grown up, have 6 children of my own, and plan to teach them everything I know.

Here on Mama’s Homestead, we talk and write about homesteading, homeschooling, and kidsteading (homesteading with kids). We teach our kids about survival, self-sufficiency, gardening (vegetable, herb, flower), orchard, beekeeping, home keeping, soap making, harvesting, cooking, food preservation, livestock, nature, crafts, homesteading tools and wares, and more…

Welcome to my homestead…come and learn with us!


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