January 25, 2013

Recipe Cards for Meal Planning

A little while ago I shared my Dinner Meal Planning Printable.  You can see that post here and download the free printable.
To help plan my meals I use my recipe cards.  A while ago I went through all my recipe books and typed up my favorite ones.  On each card I included the recipe book and page number.  I also included recipes from my pinterest boards (I have board for various categories like main dish, side dish, snack, etc). 
Recipe Cards on a Ring {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}

When I first typed them up I used a certain color for all cards in a specific category.  For ex:  all chicken recipes were on green, all beef recipes were on blue, all pasta recipes were on orange, etc.  I also had them hanging from hooks on the wall above my desk.
Recipe Cards Before {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
When I built my ledge shelves for my printable menu planners I removed the hooks on the wall and used cup hooks screwed into the bottom of the shelf.
Recipe Cards After {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
Much cleaner look.  Then I painted my kitchen turquoise and I decided that all the colors were too busy.  I decided to reprint them (after typing up a ton of new recipes) on white cardstock.
Then I laminated them and separated them into categories.  I decided to laminate them because some of the old ones had gotten wet and smeared.  I also made a cover card for each one with that category so it’s easier to find the group I want.  They were all hole punched and hung them up on the cup hooks..  It’s so easy to grab a stack and sort through to find recipes for dinner. 
Recipe Cards Menu Planning System {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}     Recipe Cards {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
This isn’t to say I never use my recipe books anymore.  I occasionally pull them out and scan through them to see if there’s anything else that I haven’t made that catches my eye.  I’m also constantly adding to my pinterest board.  With my cards on rings it’s easy to print new recipes as I find them and add them to the appropriate category.  I also added cards for snacks and am planning to add a Crock Pot category, one for Freezer Meals, and one for things I want to make ahead for kids school lunches (my daughter refuses to buy and I’m thrilled about that since I don’t think they’re too healthy and I like to have more control over the ingredients we eat ~ organic as much as possible, no msg, limit high fructose, etc).
My menu planning system has gone through many changes (you can see other by searching on my blog) but I think this one is a keeper.  It seems to be working really well for us. 
What do you think?  Any suggestions on how I can add to it or improve it?  I’m always open to suggestions! 


  1. I love this idea!
    I was trying to come up with a way to keep the cards clean but with out going to a messy folder.

    1. Thanks. I have to say that this is actually a system I've stuck with. It really works for me. I've changed the cover card to match the new color in my kitchen and added a couple of new categories but otherwise I haven't changed it.