Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How to Make a Freezer File Master Recipe Book

I've had a lot of requests to see the actual freezer file recipe book that I've made for my family. It's full of well over 400 recipes that we rotate through and it's taken me about five years to finally filter through a ton of recipes and find ones that are not only freezer friendly, but also, ones my family will eat. It only takes trying a new recipe once a week for a few years on end, and you'll get to this point. I'm almost embarrassed to show how really practical it is. It's not all type written and several recipes have an inordinate number of notes under the original recipe. Even in their practical state, I have managed to keep them in page protectors. I keep track of the actual amount of money I spent on the recipe, as well as any tips for myself in the future. There is a number of divided sections. There are Pork, Chicken, Beef, Casseroles, Pasta Toppers, Rice Toppers, Pizza, Hot Pockets, Vegetarian, and breakfast sections.
I'm not a scrap book queen either. I imagine later in life when the children are grown, I will have scads of time to just sit and gingerly flip through my book and add embellishments. In the meantime...the stickers that almost look like fancy frills, will have to do.

I keep all my original paperwork from the first freezer meal class I took in my folder. I keep all my personal handouts in my folder.
When I write down a full menu, I will take the individual page out from the note book and put all the menu recipes in the front of my notebook. In this way, I keep track of the recipes I used the month before, and avoid repeating meals too often. I write down a menu list, I will put the menu on one side column of a piece of card stock(again, not always typed out...)

For that list of recipes, I will make a note of all the seasonings I need to have on hand.
I will then go through each recipe and add all the ingredients to the shopping list.

Another thing I have started keeping track of, is how much it cost to make a particular menu, how many meals it made, and if they all fit in my freezer or if I needed to use a supplemental freezer.
Each gets a three hole punch on the side of the page and put in the notebook for future reference, if I don't want to go through the trouble again of figuring out a shopping list. Pick a menu. It's done. I also have a section for menus I have used for friends. This helps me know, if they call with questions, what exactly they ordered.
Again, it's not a fancy system, but it works for me. Hopefully this helps you in your efforts to cook meals for your family and save money.
There you go.


aswesow said...

We have a whole shelf dedicated to our efforts to organize ect, our tried and true recipes. Heirloom?? Don't think so...my kids, and more and more myself too...when we want that particular recipe we google it! When I grew up, I followed recipes in Mom's file. For my kids it is just simpler to go online...there are a few things to look for in a recipe...I like your blog because you clue us in on those things. You are keeping that book so that we don't have to! God bless you!

Chef Tess said...

So sweet, so true. I have two large bookshelves full of recipe books. It just came down to the fact that if I wanted the recipes I'd made for my family that they liked, I had to put it all in one place...starting with my freezer file I've worked on for several years. I know we like them...but every family is different. Thanks for your sweet comments...always.