Do you have a ton of recipes that you have collected that are not organized in one spot? Do you struggle to decide what is for dinner? Would you like to have one place to organize all of your family’s favorite recipes?  I’ve got an easy solution for you! Learn how to make a Family Recipe Binder that will allow you to have all of your go-to recipes at the tip of your fingers! 

How to make a recipe binder #printables #familymeals #mealplanning #recipeorganization

Why should I make a Master Recipe Binder for my family?

I have been a dedicated weekly meal planner for years! If I do not have a dinner plan for most days of the week, our meals really seem to fall out of place. I end up running to the store more frequently and we have very thrown together meals.



Now, that I have been meal planning for so long, it takes me less than 30 minutes every week to plan out our meals.

One aspect of the meal planning process that has not been a perfect system for us is actually picking out the recipes to make each week. I was finding that I was looking through different resources including multiple cookbooks and Pinterest to find new meals and remember old favorites. 

Sometimes, I make a new recipe and we love it but then I never go back to making it again. Why? Because I forget about the recipe and I do not remember where to find it.

Recently, I decided to corral all of our family’s favorite recipes into one spot! I made a Family Favorites Recipe Binder for a one-stop shop meal planning resource. Now, I still like to scour Pinterest and my cookbooks for new recipes. But, I am now better at rotating through our family’s favorite recipes.

It is nice to not “recreate the wheel” each week when I am coming up with our weekly meal plan.

The benefits of a family recipe binder:

  • Save money on groceries because you buy what you need.
  • Spend less time meal planning.
  • Make recipes that your family loves (no complaining at the dinner table).
  • Provide a variety of recipes to your family.
  • Have a recipe resource that your entire family can access to help with meal planning AND meal prepping!

A great benefit of a master recipe binder is that your entire family can participate in the meal planning process! I’d encourage you to let your family flip through the binder each week and help come up with your meal plan!

You can read more about our weekly meal planning and dinner themes in this post!

How to Create a Family Recipe Binder

So, how do you create a family recipe binder?

There are a few steps and I will go into each one in a minute. I will say that there is a little bit of time and effort in create a family recipe binder, but you will save SO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY in the long run! It is worth putting in the effort now to have a seamless meal planning process.

  1. Make a list of all of your family’s favorite recipes.
  2. Gather up all of the recipes.
  3. Organize your recipes into categories.
  4. Complete the Recipe Binder Pages for each category.
  5. Organize Your Family Recipe Binder.

1. Make a Master List of Your Family’s Favorite Recipes

The first step to creating a family recipe binder is to make a big list of all of your family’s favorite recipes. You will want to include several different categories including: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert, Salads, Soups, Snacks and Sides. Do not worry if you do not have very many favorites in a certain category. This process is ongoing so over time, you will add more favorites to each category.

Ask your family for their favorite recipes!  If you use Pinterest to store recipes, be sure to write down all of the ones you have made and loved. Look through your favorite cookbooks so that you do not leave out any of your favorites.

Keep in mind though, that this Binder is for your family’s absolute favorite recipes. You do not want to overflow your binder with every single recipe you like or it no longer is an organized, useful, system.

I jotted down all of our family’s favorites and where to find the recipe and then I transferred the list to the master recipe lists.

DIY Family Recipe Binder Tutorial

2. Gather All of Your Favorite Recipes

This step will take you the longest, most likely, but I promise it is worth it! You need to find the actual recipes to all of your favorites. You might have to dig into multiple places including your cookbooks, on your phone and on Pinterest. I have been very guilty of having to go back on Pinterest and find the original recipe instead of just printing out the recipe the first time!

You can decide how fancy you want to get with this step. Do you want your recipe binder to look completely uniform? Then, you would type up all of the recipes and then print them out. I was not worried about my binder looking perfect. I just wanted it functional.

So, I made copies of recipes that were from magazine clippings. I photocopied recipes from cookbooks and I printed out the recipes from Pinterest. Even though this step might seem redundant or labor intensive, think about how easy it will be to have your favorite recipes in ONE SPOT! How many times are you looking for a recipe that you have made before and you can’t remember where you got it??

3. Organize Your Favorite Recipe into Categories

Now, you could get really specific on this part of the project. I found that higher level categories work best as most recipes fall into a general category. The more specific you get, you might find that recipes fall into multiple categories and then you struggle where to put the recipe! KEEP IT SIMPLE!

Decide of these categories your recipes fall into:








Sides * This category is optional but I find that I struggle with coming up with side dishes the most when it comes to meal planning!

4. Fill Your Binder with Your Family Favorite Recipes

Now, for the fun part, you get to organize your family recipe binder! All of your hard work is paying off and this part of the project shouldn’t take you too long. Do not worry if your binder is not that full. You will add recipes as you go along.

So, the next time you find a new family favorite, you can skip right to step 2. Just print it out, decide on a category and add the new recipe right to your family recipe binder!

You might also decide a recipe is no longer a favorite! Keep in mind you want the book to contain your absolute favorites! Those tried and true recipes that everyone loves and that you will be making for years to come. Do not overflow it with every recipe you have tried and liked.

I did include a page for “Recipes to Try”. That way you can store all those recipes you have been meaning to try in one spot. When you are doing your weekly meal plan, you can consider some of those new recipes in the rotation!

This Family Recipe Binder is your go to resource for meals you know your family LOVES!

how to make a recipe binder #tutorial #printable #template #recipe organization

Imagine what a nice gift this family recipe binder would be for your kids when they move out of the house!

Are you ready to get started on making a family favorite recipe binder?

Supplies Needed for a Recipe Binder:

Binder (2 inch binder or bigger suggested)

3 Hole Page Protectors (Preferred so you can keep your recipes clean from food spills)  or 3 Ring Hole Puncher (You will need to punch holes in your pages if you do not get page protectors)

Binder Divider Tabs with Pockets (to store each master list)

Binder Templates

Now, you have all the information you need to create your own family recipe binder!

Do not forget to download the Recipe Template Pages so you can get started!


DIY Recipe Binder Printables #kitchenorganization #familymealplanning #mealplanning #mealprep #dinnerideas

You might also like these other Meal Planning posts:

Weekly Dinner Themes

Best Meal Planning Tips for Busy Families


Looking to add some new family recipe favorites to your rotation? Check out these ideas:


Jaclyn from Coffee, Pancakes, and Dreams
Brittany from Dreams and Coffee
Mary Leigh from Live Well Play Together
Tiffany from Lake Life State of Mind
Lindsay from Lindsay’s Sweet World
Keri from Cultivate an Intentional Life
Holley from Bee Simply Organized

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  1. Holly Breton @ Pink Lady on May 6, 2020 at 7:04 am

    This is such a great and modern idea- love it!

  2. Tiffany on May 6, 2020 at 8:21 am

    Such a great organization for all your recipes. Love the vibrant colors of your printables too. Such a helpful post, Jaclyn. Thank you!

  3. Dara on May 6, 2020 at 8:35 am

    I have a recipe binder! Every once in awhile I have to go through and take all the random ones I’ve printed or written down and put them into the binder. I like your nice bright master list printables!

  4. Brittany Boyce on May 6, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    Love this idea! I️ did something similar at the end of 2018 after a full year of weekly meal planning, but I️ need to transfer my list to a more organized system like this!

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