Thursday, February 26, 2009

How I Organize My Recipes

I used to organize my recipes with the binder system, but I changed my system for two reasons. The first reason being that I wanted something that would be pretty and fun to maintain. Secondly, I found full-sheet recipes cumbersome to deal with in the binder, and when I took out a single recipe page to use instead, I got reeeeel lazy about filing them back in the binder.

Here's my solution:

This is my recipe file box. It's somewhat large (11" wide x 7" deep x 5-1/2" high), and I found it at Michael's. Michael's usually has lots of different sized boxes in their Home Decor section, so I recommend looking there first. You'll want to take one of your recipe cards with you to make sure that it's a good fit, especially if you're planning to keep the lid on. Baskets also work nicely. I recovered my box with scrapbook paper and a little Modge Podge, and I also removed its lid (because of the laziness filing factor--I don't want to have to lift and close the lid, you know). My recipe cards are approximately 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" and they are stored inside these sheet protectors. I made the dividers out of chipboard and just covered them with scrapbook paper and a digitally scrapbooked title for each section. It was all adhered and covered with Modge Podge. I'm not wild about the labels, they're too industrial looking for this pretty box, but I haven't come up with a better solution yet. I'm open to suggestions.

This is what my recipes look like inside their sheet protectors. I digitally scrapbook recipes that are tried and true keepers, and then they end up in this box. I have lots of my digitally scrapbooked recipes on my blog, so be sure to check them out on my right side bar under the Recipes heading. If you want to know how to print and use my digitally scrapbooked recipes, go here.

I always have lots of recipes that I want to try out, and I don't want to keep them with the tried and true recipes because my recipe box would be cumbersome to deal with. When I'm in a hurry, I want to grab something I know is a hit, and I don't want to have to sift through question marks.

This mostly happens when I'm doing my menu planning and making my grocery list. If I have a super busy week, I stick with the tried and trues. If I have a lighter schedule, I'll try a few new recipes and then make recipe cards out of them if I decide they're worth it to me. If not, I just throw them away. Er, recycle them. I have tremendous environmental guilt.

This is an example of my Grocery List, which is double-sided. Peanut Head and I have been using this since we got married nearly 18 years ago, and it's a system that I swear by. Especially since he is in charge of the maintaining of the list. I have a tendency to screw up the columns when I'm trying to be too anal about hyper organizing everything. If you want to give it a go, leave a comment with your e-mail address and I'll send my list to you to customize for yourself.

The list has been updated many times, as we have it organized by the grocery store we do our shopping at. When our grocery store moves things around, we do a bit of grumbling because it means we have to change our list to accommodate it. Grrrr.

However, this list saves loads of time and virtually eliminates the problem of running out of things because we can check items on the list immediately, or simply jog our memories by reading down the list and checking things off.

Once I've planned my menu for the week and made my grocery list, I store the recipes I plan to make that week in a little magnetic pocket on the side of my refrigerator.

I'm also a bit of a messy cook, and can easily lose my recipe, so I keep it on this little magnetic stand while I'm cooking. It's simply a piece of sheet metal, covered in pretty scrapbook paper, and then that metal piece is resting in a wood block with a groove cut down the center at an angle. I love this thing, I can't even tell you how much.

Here it is doing it's job. I just digitally scrapbooked this recipe, so if you want it, and it's to die for by the way, go here. You won't be sorry.

That's it. That's how I organize my recipes. It's an ongoing work in progress for me, and I will probably never be finished. That's okay though, because I love trying new recipes. Thanks for stopping by.

UPDATE: I now laminate my recipe cards instead of using the page protectors. I also made some recipe card dividers to share. Go here to read about that.

81 comments:

  1. Girl, I am impressed. You can come organize me anytime you want to come to TEXAS!!!

    Suzanne

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  2. Wow! You continually impress me!

    BTW, I use my little magnetic pocket for the same thing!

    Are you sure we aren't twins?

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  3. I LOVE your organizing tips. I'm happy to be a follower of your blog 8-) Keep up the great work!

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  4. I need your organization skills. Would you be kind enough to email me a copy of your list. I would so appreciate it.

    elisam@gableseng.com

    Thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  5. Awesome system. I love that magnetic recipe holder. I may just have to rig up something of my own like that!

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  6. Oh my you are VERY organized. Thanks for the tips!

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  7. I love your system! I've started the binder system but I'm finding the binder is too bulky to have out while I cook....probably because my kitchen is so small. I've had a 4 x 6 recipe box for 20 years but it's overflowing! I might give your system a try!

    I'll be very thankful for a copy of the shopping list too! I've often thought of doing it but never found the time!

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  8. We are so similar its scary! I do a lot of the same things you do...although I learned a few new tricks from you today! Also, we have a lot of the same products and systems. It must be the anal thing we have going on that makes us this way. LOVE the grocerie shopping list thing. I have a similar method but like yours better. If you are willing to share them I would be SOOO excited! Last of all, I was wondering if you can email me the names of all your family members so I can get crackin' on your little give-away thing. My email is
    jarednjaniel@yahoo.com
    THANKS!

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  9. Very awesome recipe card holder - and your cards are simply gorgeous! I have to admit, I am too lazy. I still have them on my computer and tend to print them out as I need them. Yes, each time - but I do front and back, and then Little Bit colors all over them, but I do need to change that, I know. I used to have a computer in my kitchen that I could just pull up the recipe (24 pt!). It rocked but our current house has a smaller kitchen and there just isn't room. Ah well. Next house.

    We too have a grocery list similar to that and it hangs on the fridge. If an item gets used up (or even close to it), check it off. If not, fear my wrath. :)

    Cheers, thanks for the idea on the recipe box. If I ever have the time ... !

    Kiy

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  10. Hey- Why don't you make your grocery list into a PDF file and I can print it off and try it my self!!

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  11. I love your stuff. This is just brilliant!!

    Thanks for your support of my blog. I have been getting a lot of bloggy love today but the best are the ones from my long time readers! I love you guys:-)

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  12. I'll say it again...amazing. Thanks for the chocolate chip cookie recipe. They are so yummy (speaking from experience) and look so tempting and delicious. I promise to get you the french bread recipe....soon!

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  13. wow, I love it!

    I've been doing the binder storage for a few years now too but sometimes I get lazy too and forget to put them back, or I have so many that I haven't even typed up nicely to put in the binder in the first place.

    I like your system, I may have to consider "stealing" the idea!!

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  14. I love you, I mean, I adore you...and all that you do.

    I am not even going to tell you how badly my recipes needed this blog, it is sickening! You rock my world, and surprise me with each and every post.

    My hubby thinks I am OCD with how I arrange things constantly, wait till he sees the new recipe box I am going to make! EEEKK!!

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  16. Love your ideas... I may have to revamp my own system to include some of your tips. Thanks!!!

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  17. Came here from Org Junkie's site
    I am super impressed on your recipe system and how pretty they look!!!

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  18. OMG... I can't believe I finally found my soul mate! ;) You have accomplished exactly the idea (plan, hope, dream, goal...) I have had stuck in my head for years! Thanks for pulling it out and showing it to me! I would love to use your grocery list, we have a Winco opening up soon nearby so it could be perfect for me! (limajomo@hotmail) Thank you for such great info!

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  19. Impressive - it looks absolutely fabulous! Excellent job & thanks for sharing all the great pictures :)

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  20. Pls email me your shopping list! I loved this post! Thanks for the ideas!

    pameladana at gmail dot com

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  21. You are amazing:) Would love a copy of your grocery list:

    saaplanalp@comcast.com

    thanks for the ideas 8-)

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  22. Sorry but I was having a brain fart-here's my correct email address:

    saaplanalp@comcast.net

    thanks!

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  23. I love your scrapped recipes! If I could actually get my pictures scrapped, then my recipes would be first in line :0 Excellent organization!

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  24. When I grow up I wanna be as organized as you!!! Thanks for the great ideas! Could you please send me the grocery list?? Thanks :)

    sixpetersons@sbcglobal.net

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  25. You have already gotten me addicted to scrapping recipes and your whole system. (which is working beautifully)now I just need the shopping list. Thanks so much for your wealth of information. My email is scrapandgo@yahoo.com
    GaeLyn

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  26. Such a beautiful system!! I bookmarked that cookie recipe as well. I promise to follow it exactly =)

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  27. Your recipes are beautiful!

    Can you print the label right on the scrapbook paper before you cut it out? Maybe make a template in Word or something?

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  28. This is so inspiring! I love how you took the time and care to make your recipes look fun and beautiful. Your complete system is great from your grocery list to your weekly menu recipes to your "we'll give it a try" recipes and your "tried and true" recipes. This has inspired me to put a lot more thought into these kinds of things. Menu planning hasn't been a priority to me, but if I had a system I loved and could follow and keep up with, then maybe it would become a priority! Thanks for sharing and I really appreciate your willingness to share your grocery list. I would love a copy! ;)

    heidilynneboos@hotmail.com

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  29. I love how cute you've made your recipe organizer and holder. I love the way you've got your 'system' customized to you. Great job with this months challenge!

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  30. I love your recipe cards. So cute! I wish I had the patience to do that with mine.

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  31. Thanks for sharing all your fun ideas! I would love to have a copy of your grocery list. My email is beckybbbb@gmail.com.

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  32. you are so organized. i can't even stand it b/c I am a hot mess. I am the girl zooming around the grocery with a cart full of impulse buys b/c I don't take the time to organize or make a list.

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  33. I LOVE IT!!!! Your whole recipe system from start to finish is such a thing of beauty. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

    Libby

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  34. Super inspiring post. Love the scrapbook look. I Tweeted this post.

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  35. You are my HERO!! Thanks so much for sharing.

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  36. Your work is beautiful! I would love to have a copy of your grocery list! prachars6@yahoo.com
    Travis@Created for His Glory
    www.pracharfamily.blogspot.com

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  37. Your organization is amazing! I love the idea of the file holder on the fridge for th week's recipes. Very smart!

    What digital scrapbooking program do you use?

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  38. You know I. NEED. this. list! Please email to k8pulliam at gmail dot com. Thanks girlfriend!!

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  39. I'd love the shopping list for Winco! Thanks in advance.

    Karen Lynne Knaup
    30104 2nd Pl SW
    Federal Way WA 98023

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  40. Duh. New to the blogosphere! I am not normally such a dunce... Here's MY EMAIL: CropwithKL@comcast.net

    (Although, you can feel free to send snail mail if you'd like! Ha Ha!)

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  41. I so love the way you organized your recipes with style that I simply had to leave a comment! I hope I can do the same thing :)

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  42. Working on my own master grocery list. Would like a copy of yours for pointers. Great website! Great tips! Thanks.....
    normnjan@hotmail.com

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  43. I would love a copy of your grocery list. I found your blog via nannygoat's & I'm enjoying browsing through. Thanks so much!

    meglovell@hotmail.com

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  44. please email me a copy of your list you ultra organized woman putting the rest of us "mildly organized" people to SHAME!

    meag.vaughn@gmail.com thanks

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  45. this is great! could i get a copy of your grocery list? it would be so helpful! thank you so much!

    rickandbrandi[at]gmail.com

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  46. Looks gorgeous! Love the recipe box on the fridge idea (where'd you get it?), and the magnetic recipe holder (where'd you get it?)

    Would love a copy of your shopping list....don't ya love Winco?

    jen.gillespie@gmail.com

    Thanks a ton!

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  47. I can only aspire to be this organized. I always cut things out that I want to try, shove them in my few cookbooks and they never see the light of day again.

    I need to get better at this...

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  48. please send me your grocery list!!! fun tool...love to see if i can make it work!
    julieg@lensc.org
    i'm interested in finding an online system of organizing my recipes...still looking!

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  49. You are my hero! I have a detailed grocery list as well...but yours looks less cluttered..please send me a copy of yours! I'm on my way to sort recipe cards!! Yay!mkalanj@hotmail.com

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  50. This all sounds fab! I love organization. A household should run like a well-oiled-machine. Please send me a copy of your
    "grocery list". joanwader@hotmail.com

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  51. Hi!
    I just came across your blog and loved this post!
    I would love a copy of your grocery list. Thanks for the inspiration!
    ~Ellen

    ehpayne@gmail.com

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  52. Is it too late to get a copy of your grocery list???
    keriann01@yahoo.com

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  53. hi there, i think your blog is fantastic. You organising skills are so inspirational, i keep coming back and back. I would love to get a copy of your grocery list if its still available. Many thanks keep up the GREAT work.
    suebea@bigpond.net.au

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  54. I love your blog. I have used all your recipe dividers and many of your recipe cards. I am in the process of creating many more of my own. I just love going to that box to pick out recipes for the week. I was wondering if you could send me a copy of your grocery list? Also, what digital scrapbooking program do you use?
    Thanks, robynawatts@yahoo.com

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  55. Wow! This sounds like the answer! Could you please email me your grocery list! Thanks a bunch

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  56. Just came across your blog a few days ago, and can't pull myself away. My head is spinning with organizing ideas. Any chance you could post your grocery list on your blog? I shop at Winco too, and would LOVE to get my hands on your list!

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  57. Anonymous, Give me your e-mail address and I'll e-mail it to you. I can't post it on my blog because it's a Word document.

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  58. Hey, thanks for doing all the hard work for me! ;) I'd also like a copy of the master list...thanks!

    ajclarkx5@yahoo.com

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  59. I was wondering where you found the magnetic basket you used for your recipes...

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  60. Hi! I know this comment is WAY later than all of the rest, but I was wondering if it is too late to get a copy of the grocery list? My e-mail is JennaLC1985@hotmail.com.
    Thank you! You are so organized! I am very impressed! I wish I had the time to do all that you do - my life is crazy! But you have definitely given me inspiration! :)

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  61. I would also love a copy. Thanks!

    cbroyce@msn.com

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  62. Would love to have the grocery list. Thanks!

    econnors72@gmail.com

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  63. I've started using this system and love it. I found my box at Target in the gift wrap aisle. I struggled to find a magnetic box but ended up getting a bamboo one at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014REJDM/ref=oss_product). I got 1/2 page sheet protectors from Joanns.com. I also made a half page shopping list and keep it on a 1/2 size clipboard in the bamboo organizer. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

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  64. I would love to have a copy of your Grocery List. Thanks! Tonya

    jordanlanecondo@yahoo.com

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  65. I would love to have the grocery list. Thanks!

    scri200@gmail.com

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  66. I would love a copy of the grocery list too!

    info@natashatessier.com

    www.natashatessier.com

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  67. i'm hearing rumors that we'll be getting a Winco here in AZ so I would love the grocery list as well! Thanks, you're amazing!

    dean_jd@msn.com

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  68. great organizing! I'm a mess. I will surely spend a day in your blog and learn something new. I love your scrapbooking but everytime I start my own the moment I add something on the paper I find it ugly already..ohh so help me.

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  69. I would love your grocery shopping list as well.... e-mail ksshaffer@yahoo.com

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  70. Hi Jill! I recently found your blog & love it! You're so hilarious. Anyway, if you're still willing to share your grocery shopping list please email me at cropwithmichelle@gmail.com

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  71. Please can I have a copy of your grocery list. Love your blog but going between inspired and overwhelmed!!
    maree@squire.co.nz

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  72. If you're looking for an easy way to organize recipes and take them wherever you go, you could try BigOven.com's brand new recipe digitizer called RecipeScan. It lets you submit photos of hand-written or typed paper recipes using a camera, scanner, iPhone, iPad or Windows Phone cameras. BigOven does all the work to convert each recipe photo to digital text so you don't have to type. You can view and search your recipes anywhere with BigOven's website and free mobile recipe apps, plus you can add recipes to a grocery list and view recipe nutrition info. (Disclosure: I work for BigOven, but also love using it myself as it saves me time!) You can check it out at www.bigoven.com.

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  73. Hi! I just found your site. As a 8th grade middle school teacher and slightyly OCD person myself i can only say....'WILL YOU PLEASE ADOPT ME'??????? I would appreciate it if you could send me any and all templates you might have. I have adored all of your items i have seen and would love love love to have a copy of them for myself. BTW i think i might have classroom envy!! Thank you for your thoughts, ideas and solutions to the on going struggle of the teacher! We do live in our classrooms and it is really easy to become clutter fatigued without a good system! Thank you!!
    Jamie
    juphold@gmail.com

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  74. Wow! That's all I can say. I just found your blog, today, and I am in love! I would greatly appreciate if you would please email me your grocery list. Thank you so much! 87.live.your.life.87@live.com

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  75. I found you today while googling for a way to organize my recipes. This has been an ongoing problem for me! I also tried the binder..I never put the recipe back and don't like handling the big bulky binder while cooking..I needed something that would work for me. I am going to try this because I like the idea of the easy filing system..and the larger box! those little ones don't work for me either! I sound difficult don't I? lol. I am an organizing freak so I don't know why this is so difficult for me to figure out LOL. Thanks for the ideas and the recipe cards too!

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  76. I have a recipes folder I keep on a USB drive that’s always with me. It has several subfolders of different categories. I have them all saved either as pictures where I’ve scanned ones I clipped or as plain old notepad documents that I have copied and pasted online recipes in. When I want to make one I print it and scotch tape it to an upper cabinet door to use temporarily so it stays where I can see it, if we like it I have a spiral bound cookbook that was bought for me to record favorite recipes in and I write it in it. This way if a friend or someone wants a recipe I’ve made I can just copy and paste it in an email to them or print it off for them from pretty much any computer because I always have my flash drive. I can also use windows search feature to find the one I want. I have a folder exclusively for “Tried & True” recipes. If I try one and we don’t like it, it gets deleted from the computer.

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  77. allisoncooper938@gmail.com
    I like your style. I think I'll start taking notes. Let's start with that grocery list ;)

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  78. Love your website and content!
    I thought I was organized but when I saw your Grocery List, whoa!
    Now there's a girl after my own heart!
    Would very much appreciate receiving a copy of the list, please and thank you in advance.
    Have a wonderful day!
    jorich@eastlink.ca
    Jo-An

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  79. Re: LABELS: I'm making dividers and finally decided to make each card in whatever font I thought would go with each category! Mine are all digital, done in layers in Paint Shop Pro, so I have a label style that can be changed to different colors, also, then I use free clipart, backgrounds etc for each card. I've only finished my "Asian" one, used "John Handy LET" font. I started by taking the word "Breakfast" in Word and pasting it and changing it to about 20 different fonts that I thought would work for the tabs. Now, I'll go back for each category and pick whichever one I like best! I didn't read all the comments, so don't know what anyone else might have suggested.. Hope this is helpful to someone :-) ~Sher~

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  80. can you please email me your grocery list?! and what program do you use for your dividers and recipe cards? They are beautiful. emilywall@me.com

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