How not to be a food magazine pack rat

A small stack of magazines looks cool and casual, like, “Hey, I’m just sittin’ here, flipping through a glossy magazine.” More than three or four and you look like a sloppy pack rat with no friends.

My food magazine collection started to look sloppy pack rat, so I took out my scissors and decided to make a fun day of cutting out all my favorite recipes.

I was having so much fun. “This is going to be great!” I thought.

After an hour of furiously cutting away my fingers started hurting so I stopped to check out my progress.

Sh*t. What am I going to do with all these? Now I have a pile of misshapen, torn clippings with no home.

The clippings and extra magazines have been hidden behind books on my bookshelf, with the scissors on top, for more than three months now. I mostly read food blogs and keep my recipes online, but a lot of times I just can’t say no to a good looking food magazine so I end up accumulating.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have titled this post “How not to be a food magazine pack rat.” I’m the one who needs advice!

Do you have a fun/cool/stylish way to store recipes from magazines? Or am I the only granny around here who still has clippings? 🙂


31 thoughts on “How not to be a food magazine pack rat

  1. I have the same issue. I accumulate and accumulate accumulate and… you get the idea. So every year or so I dedicate a few hours to copying good recipes I saved from magazines into my hand-written recipe book. A lot of effort, of course, but it looks so much better than just clippings stuck into it and the book can be given to my great-grandaughter as a family heirloom, one day, in about 70 years or so. Looks like you’re not the only granny around here!

  2. I face the same problem, though I have dealt with it by letting go of mow the recipes. I have grand ideas of organizing recipes by categories in a 3-ring binder, with chapter tabs and simply sliding the magazine page into a plastic sheet protector and then adding hand written post-it notes about how I modify the recipe. I just never bought the supplies

  3. I do this all the time, and I’ve got a couple of ideas for ya. 😉

    1. Buy a thick poster board, and do a collage w/ the recipes and pictures. Hang it in your kitchen. Serves both as fun artwork AND a handy reference. You’ve got the recipes right there on your wall!

    2. Scrapbook/recipe book. The benefit to this is it can be passed down to the generations … except all I have to pass down to is a schnauzer. He’ll cherish it, I’m sure.

    3. Recipe box. This is what I’ve been doing lately … I organize by appetizers, salads, soups, entrees, sides and desserts. It’s easy because I just clip it and drop it into the designated place.

  4. I have a recipe box! I have a temporary one right now – i just got an index card box and wrote down all the recipes (or you can just put the magazine clippings right in it)! Then you can alphabetize them or sort them by appetizer/breakfast/etc.

    • Yeah, I think I’m just going to have to accept that if I want to keep my recipes I’m going to have to take the time to actually write them all out on cards or something because all those ripped out pages are a big ol’ mess! 😦

  5. I have tried clipping and putting into plastic sleeves. I then sort and put by categories into different binders. I have also just torn out and thrown away all the pages of advertisements. This leaves a very thin magazine which are then arranged by seasons on a book shelf.

    • Ahh yes, I didn’t think about that! Most of the magazines are ads anyway so it would leave just a thin bit! The only thing I don’t like about the recipe box idea is losing all the beautiful pictures that go with the recipes, but I guess I’ll just have to get used to that!

  6. I have a binder, organized by categories, and use the plastic sheets too. It’s a great way to keep the recipe clean. Also, I also prune the clippings every 6 months or so and if I’ve never made the recipe I toss it. I figure if I decide down the road to finally make it, I can always find it on the internet.

  7. Haha! Clipping recipes is definitely a good start. Do you have a “Container Store” over there? They have the best organizational boxes, folders, filing systems, etc. Lately I’ve been trying to stop myself from buying food magazines for this exact reason! It’s so easy to get out of hand 🙂

  8. I wish I had a good solution, but I just keep a folder of recipes. I have a binder of workouts and fitness tips though from when I used to hoard health magazines. It was getting full, so I guess it’s a good thing I fell out of the habit!

  9. Haha, you’re definitely not the only one. I don’t dare open up one of my cookbooks, because I have the covers stuffed with clippings, printed recipes, recipe cut-outs from product packages, etc. I have to be really careful if I try to move it anywhere. There’s gotta be a better way..although the overwhelming mess is kinda fun 😀

  10. Yep, I’m another hand-written recipe book girl – but I always keep the clippings for at least a few months before committing them to the tome, just to make sure I’ve tried them and like them enough to be bothered writing them down!

    • I’m thinking hand written is going to be the way to go. It’s the only way that looks truly nice and neat. I’ll have to sacrifice pictures … but I’ll have sanity at least 🙂

  11. I’m a magazine pack rat too. I can remember vividly a fight my husband and I had shortly after getting married and moving in together that started after a stack of my magazines ended up in the trash. Needless to say, I think he has learned his lesson and hasn’t thrown away one of my magazines since 🙂 I know this probably makes me a food weirdo, but looking at my collection of magazines makes me feel good. Hoarding doesn’t always have to be a bad thing 🙂

    • That same exact thing happened to me when we first got together!! I went back to the US for a vacation, and when I came back my entire stack of travel magazines and clippings were gone. I was like … where did those go? And my husband said he thought they were trash and threw them all away! Big fight lol 🙂

  12. I collect magazines too…you should ask my husband about the pile I have lol
    I book mark the recipes in the magazine with little colorful stickers …doesn’t help much but works for me

  13. what do you do with all of those little extra booklets that they put in the magazine (like 50 panini recipes, or 50 ways to use hummus)… i love these little idea books and I want to keep them nice instead of getting food all over them when i’m cooking! ideas, please! 🙂

    • Well … I keep the little booklets and I end up putting them on my bookshelf with my cookbooks. Obviously they are so tiny you can’t see them between the huge books so when I pull out a big cookbook one will fall to the floor and I’ll think, “Oh yeah! I forgot I had that!” I do love those little books, but don’t have any ideas as to how to keep them clean 😦

  14. btw, i actually scan my favorite recipes and i print them off my computer and put them in a little plastic slip (can buy these at any paper supply store) and i keep them in a 3 ring binder! that’s the best way because then they are stored safely AND they are saved on your computer!

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