Get Organized and Stay on Budget With Printable Recipe Cards

Ditch Stray Scraps of Paper and Build a System For Your Favorite Recipes

Cooking at home, from scratch, is a lot more cost-effective and budget-friendly than eating out. It's also a lot more healthy that frozen foods you reheat too. However, if you're new to cooking, you likely do not feel comfortable just throwing a meal together yourself. You probably rely on recipes, whether they are from a cookbook, something you pulled from a magazine or scribbled notes from a friend. 

Having all of those scraps of paper, in different sizes and shapes, can be overwhelming and messy. When you need to find that recipe for your grandmother's classic chocolate cake or that amazing pasta sauce your friend made, it can take forever to sift through the piles until you find. It is just too easy for one of them to go missing unless you have an organized system. Recipe cards and proper storage are essential to a well-ordered kitchen and can make meal preparation much simpler. 

It may seem impractical to have handwritten recipe cards when so much is digital today, but recipe cards in a neat bit are easy tools you can reference quickly, without having to set up your computer or go through files. Organizing recipes by meal, meat course or time commitment can help streamline your meal planning. 

Building Your Own Recipe Card Collection

Building your own recipe card collection is very simple and cheap. You can find recipe card storage cases at the dollar store or local convenience stores; they are usually plastic and water-resistant to protect the contents. Keeping your case on the counter can help you find a quick dinner solution for when you are pressed for time and short on ingredients. Here are some tips for building your own collection:

  • Write down only your favorite recipes: Make sure your collection is filled with tried and tested recipes that you and your family love. That way, you don't have to worry about creating a dud when everyone is hungry. Use a recipe card to record the classic recipes you turn to again and again, as well as those special desserts you save for birthdays and celebrations. 
  • Keep them safe: Besides keeping them safe in a case, you may want to laminate each card or, for a cost-effective measure, wrap each one in packaging tape. It will keep them from getting damaged by liquid splatters or getting crumpled. 
  • Put extras in the back: Print off blank extras and put them in the back. If a dinner guest loves your pot roast, you can write out the recipe and share it with her. 
  • Don't be afraid to update: Tastes change over the years. If your classic apple pie seems like it suddenly needs more cinnamon, replace the old card with a new one with an updated ingredient list. 
  • Use free printables: While you can use plain index cards, pretty recipe cards created just for this purpose look nicer and just feel more domestic. Best of all, there are free printable recipe cards online. Below are just a few samples you can use to build your collection. 

By transferring your favorite recipes to written cards, you can make planning meals simpler and help family members cook as well. It can be a healthy and frugal way to create delicious dinners for the whole family. 

Bright Recipe Cards

Recipe Card - Brights
Recipe Card - Brights. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

This set includes four different mix-and-match cards, all in bright, fun colors.

Card Size: 3x5 or 4x6

Floral Recipe Cards

Recipe Card - Brown Floral
Recipe Card - Brown Floral. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

This set plays off of a brown and blue color scheme. There are three designs, including the brown floral featured at left.

Card Size: 3x5 or 4x6

Retro Recipe Cards

Recipe Card - Retro
Recipe Card - Retro. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

This set features six different card designs, each with its own mod personality.

Card Size: 3x5 or 4x6

Simple Scallop Recipe Cards

Recipe Card - Simple Scallop
Recipe Card - Simple Scallop. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

This set includes the same simple scallop design in four different colors: blue, red, brown and lime green. Use them all, or choose your favorite color.

Card Size: 3x5 or 4x6

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