There have been a few times that I've mentioned I'm working on organizng my recipes. It's a large project because I have a TON of recipes clipped. (And more waiting to be clipped, since a while back I found a large stack of my favorite recipe magazines at a thrift store.) I used to subscribe to the Reiman family of recipe magazines, including Taste of Home, Simple & Delicious, Healthy Cooking (formerly Light & Tasty, I think), and Cooking For 2.
After Goose was born, I gave them up. Not only did I not really have the time to read them, I already had *so many* recipes to try that I'll probably never get to them. In addition, I seem to find a ton of recipes just stumbling around online. I really like Amy's suggestion of just putting them right into your next meal plan, but I don't do a lot of meal planning yet. Hubs's schedule is pretty random, and since our family is so small, we end up with a lot of leftovers, which sometimes last longer than I think they will.
My initial method of sorting recipes was to use index card boxes. I just made dividers for the various categories, and ended up with subcategories within them. I liked that idea well enough, but before Goose was born, I decided I needed to utilize my technology and try to organize them in a searchable fashion on the computer. I used a spreadsheet and then categorized them in alphabetical order in the boxes. I didn't get far before I realized that wasn't going to work very well. What I liked about it was that I could enter more than one category for something - soup, and ham main dish, for example.
And now? I'm going back to my simpler method of dividing by category. I'm toying with the idea of using zip top bags to store them in, but for now I'm using them to sort. (I'm also thinking about clipping together similar recipes within the bag.) Thankfully we have a table in the kitchen where we eat so I can use the bigger dining room table for sorting recipes. I'm taking "one bite of the elephant at a time" - that is, I sort a bit each day. If I need to pick everything up, I just tuck the newly sorted recipes in the bags and pile them in the basin. It's also quite easy to pull them back out when I'm ready to sort again - there isn't a lot of setup time needed.
Most importantly, I am culling recipes that I really don't think we'll like. Over 5+ years of marriage, I've figured out a few more things on what Hubs likes and doesn't like (and what I like and don't like). Since we're trying to eat healthier, I also pull out ones that call for a lot of expensive convenience foods that we don't eat anymore. On the flip side, I'm pulling out ones that sound supper yummy that I would like to try right away. Regardless, I'm getting a better handle on what I have, and thinning out the ones I don't use so I can find things more easily.
Anybody have any tips for me? How do you sort your recipes?