In Menu Planning: Part 1, I shared some of my favorite cookbooks—and recipes within those books—to help you plan simple, healthy meals for the week. But it doesn’t end there! In today’s world, recipes are everywhere. You can find them on the Internet, at the grocery store, in magazines and on blogs.

The downside? It’s easy to forget where you first saw the recipe if you don’t have an organizational system in place. That’s why when I see recipes; I save them! This way, I’m not rifling through desk drawers and flipping through old magazines every Sunday.

Here’s how to do it:

How to save and organize recipes

Virtual Recipes: Any recipe imaginable can be found on the Internet. From gluten-free dinners and dairy-free desserts to one-pot meals and appetizer ideas, the food world is at your fingertips. Pinterest offers the best way to find and save these virtual assets. Start by creating boards for various categories, such as Energizing Breakfasts, 30-Minute Dinners, Crockpot Meals, Healthy Snacks and so on. Then pin away! Find dishes that excite you and save them to the corresponding boards. Check out my Pinterest page for inspiration.

You can also download a Pinterest “Pin It button so you can pin recipes and blogs whenever you find them on the web.

Physical Recipes: Clean Eating, Cooking Light, Vegetarian Times and Paleo Magazine are all brimming with simple, healthy recipes. You may have also inherited index cards from Grandma, saved clippings from the newspaper or acquired photocopies of recipes from friends. Take the time to keep them all in a 3-ring binder to create a personalized cookbook. Be sure to separate the binder into categories using tabs, just like you did in high school! Believe me, this will be so valuable to you when you are ready to get cooking.

Next time you create a weekly menu, call upon your collection of recipes and plug them into the days you plan to cook. This makes the process fast, easy and innovative. And then save those menus. When you get stuck for ideas, you can then go back and see what you have made in the past, and remember all those meals you really enjoyed.

Menu Planning Dinner Plate on Table

Have a question or your own menu planning tip? Email Chef Andrea or leave a comment below.