How To Declutter Your Food Ideas & Save Your Money
Many moms are always looking for new ideas for what to make for dinner – and lunch, and breakfast, and snacks, and party foods, ect. It is nice that there are so many resources where moms can draw on new ideas but for most moms the amount of information out there can be overwhelming. We have magazines, websites, cooking shows, and even the local newspaper offering us recipe ideas. Then there are Grandma’s passed down recipe books we’ve barely blown the dust off over the years. But we have delusions of grandeur as we clip out these new ideas imagining a new meal to set before the family.
But what do we really do with all those great ideas? The clippings and the printouts likely end up in a one big huge pile of disaster that Mom just doesn’t have the time to deal with. The intentions are good but what moms really need is systematic way of dealing with recipe ideas as soon as they come to pass.
Here are tips for developing a quick, easy, and best of all – free system of combating recipe overload:
Take One Evening
Dedicate a few hours, perhaps during the school day or after the kids go to bed, to sit in peace and quiet. Go through your heaping stacks of recipe cutouts and only hang on to the ones that still interest you. You may not get through every recipe you have in the house but you can plan for regular night of catching up. Don’t rush through the process but don’t pour over every single idea you once thought was great.
Crafting Your Organizer
For supplies, all you need is some sturdy, colorful card stock, a thin-point Sharpie marker, a paper slicer, and an empty photo album with the kind of plastic photo holders where you can slide photos in and out. Create some recipe cards that match the size of the photo album slots. Even if you don’t have time to be particularly crafty, you can still get recipe card templates for free online. Print out a good quantity in different colors.
Creating Your Cards
Using the paper slicer, cut the card designs you made or the templates you used to a size that will fit the album slots. Select specific card stock colors for different categories of food (pink=baked goods, blue=dinner). As you select a recipe from the ‘keep’ pile, write out the instructions on the new card. Continue doing this until your keep pile is gone or at least until you get writer’s cramp. As an alternative, you can also type and print the recipes than cut and glue to the card templates but it is a personal choice.
Organizing Your Album
Depending on how you like to organize, you can separate your photo albums by categories the way cookbooks often do. You can also put all your favorite recipes in the front and everything else in an order of your choice.
Increase Kitchen Space
If you have multiple recipe books that you do use from time to time, browse for your favorite recipes to be included in the more accessible album and slide those heavy, space-robbing books into a cabinet out of the way.
Make Memorable Gifts
After you have made some progress on your own, keep your momentum going and create a blank album complete with the blank recipe cards for friends and family. They make great gift ideas and cost you nothing more than time and a few supplies. Plus, when you add in a few select favorite recipes of your own, it makes your gift that much more special.
Make Memorable Nights
Many moms have little time to socialize on their own adult level but you can start a wonderful new tradition with your mommy friends and host the first Recipe Night at your home to get everyone started. Stick to a monthly get-together so everyone can keep up with clutter and find new food ideas all at the same time and cherish the low-cost socializing event.
You can learn to utilize the recipe book your created to help you save money on groceries since it is easier to prepare your grocery list when the recipes are accessible. If your album is particularly portable, you can take the whole thing with you when you aren’t sure what you need. In fact, use extra slots in the back of the book to store your coupons so you’ll never forget them on the counter again.
photos by Lizbeth