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Creating a seasonal recipe binder is a project that’s on my own personal to-do list right now. My main recipe binder is a life-saver, but when the seasons change, so do my eating habits. For me, the summer months mean more grilling, more main dish salads, and the desire to experiment with new recipes and farm-fresh ingredients.

Here’s my plan to simplify my summer meal prep (and yours, I hope!) by creating a seasonal recipe binder.

Recipe binder Collect necessary supplies

A three-ring binder, some empty sheet protectors, a binder pocket folder, and some post-it notes are all you need to get started.

Collect new recipes

Use your binder pocket folder for recipes you want to try. When you get new magazines tear out the recipes that sound yummy. If you find an interesting recipe on a website, print it out and place it in your recipe binder pocket.

Make a list of tried-and-true seasonal favorites

Include ideas for simple dinners, lunches, snacks and potluck dishes you enjoy serving this time of year. Add to your list throughout the season as you recall and make your seasonal favorites.

Plan weekly meals

Once a week, pull out your seasonal recipe binder and pick a few recipes to try. Mix in a few tried-and-true favorites, and add the ingredients to your shopping list.

Transfer “keepers” to sheet protectors

As you try new recipes throughout the season, transfer the keepers—those recipes you and your family enjoyed and want to have again—to the sheet protectors in your binder. When the season is over, remove any “to-try” recipe from your pocket pages so you can start fresh again next year.

Do you change your menu seasonally, too? If so, what are your favorite things to cook this time of year?

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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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