Create Your Own Menu (Part 4): Find Specific Recipes

On January 20, 2010 by Robin Z

Having assessed our needs, researched sale items and planned the types of recipes that we are going to prepare on our freezer cooking day; we are FINALLY ready to start choosing recipes!

Finding Recipes

1. Where to Look

Family Favorites

Simply get out the old recipe cards, consult the cookbooks, call mom or consult the filing cabinet in your head. But get out all of the family favorites and take a look at what you might want to utilize. At this point, don’t critique whether they will work for this menu or not. Chances are you might do another in the future and you want to make sure that you remember your interest in these recipes.


Another great place to look is in your favorite cookbooks around the house. Since we are trying to find some baking items and some slow cooker items, cookbooks whose focus are on these items are especially helpful to look through.

Here are a few of my personal favorites when planning a menu:

Recipe Forums

Recipe sites like All Recipes and Recipezaar are great places to start, continue or end your search. They have features that let you bookmark recipes in a recipe box or folder. They also let you search by ingredient as well.

Here are a few of my personal favorites when planning a menu:


My personal favorite place to find recipes is other people’s blogs. There are ssssoooooo many food blogs out there with great stuff on them. There are freezer cooking sites, oamc sites, gourmet sites, budget sites, baking sites, vegetarian sites, gluten free sites. The list is endless. Simply do a Swagbucks search (and earn rewards as you search) for whatever type of recipe that you are looking for. If my search turns up a lot of big named sponsor sites and I really want to get a personal blog recipe, I add “blog” to the end of my search terms which usually helps.

Here are a few of my personal favorites when planning a menu:

Starting Point:

  • I’m an Organizing Junkie – Menu Plan Monday is a GREAT place to start your search for ideas. I typically go through other people’s menus and click through to their links for recipe ideas. I figure that if they are on others menus then they must be recipes that families will eat.

Once A Month/Freezer/Bulk Cooking Blogs

General Cooking Blogs (Some are blogs that occasionally do recipes. All are good resources for finding recipes for your monthly menu):

Product Websites

Many of the products that we utilize each and every day have websites of their own. They have great recipes using many of their products. They are usually simple and easy. This is another great resource when you are looking for recipes.

Here are a few of my personal favorites when planning a menu:

2. Save, Save, Save

Make sure that you are either bookmarking a recipe, saving it in a recipe box, or saving it in a folder. There is nothing worse than finding a perfect recipe only to forget where you saw it. Whether it is a paper recipe or a virtual recipe, saving the recipes and storing them in the right categories is important in your search.

For my family recipes, I have a family recipe binder that I utilize. There are many options out there for saving and organizing recipes, here are a few options to consider.

On the computer I set up a folder in my browsers toolbar titled “Recipes”. In that folder I have created sub-folders for the following: breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, desserts, appetizers, side dishes, soups, sandwiches, slow cooker, dump and baby food. I know, some of these categories may be overlapping, but I bookmark a recipe in multiple folders if I need to. My reasoning? When I am creating a menu there are times when I am looking for a general “lunch” recipe. There are other times when I want a “slow cooker” recipe. I may consult both folders or one specifically. Just my system. Do whatever would work best for you.

Also, last year Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie had a Round-Up for people to list their systems for organizing recipes. And a challenge to actually get them organized. You can find those links HERE if you are looking for some inspiration for organizing your recipes.

Overview Questions – Finding Recipes

1. Have I looked through all of my resources?

__ Family Favorite Recipes

__ Cookbooks

__ Recipe Forums

__ Blogs

__ Product Websites

2. Did I save all of my recipes?

Please feel free to direct questions in the comment section below. However, keep in mind that this is a multi-part series. Please review previous posts for answers before submitting questions and review upcoming topics to see if your question will be answered shortly. Thank you.

Previous “Create Your Own Menu” Posts:

Future “Create Your Own Menu” Posts:

  • Part 5 – Selecting Recipes
  • Part 6 – Evaluating Quantity
  • Part 7 – Creating a Grocery List
  • Part 8 – Creating Instructions
  • Part 9 – Substitutions & Equivalents
  • Part 10 – Creating Labels
  • Part 11 – Bringing It All Together


Join the discussion
  1. I love that you started this! I just found this yesterday and I posted earlier that I needed to search the website and I found it this afternoon. I’m hopefully going to try to see if I can do it. We have a few meals that we love (meatloaf, chicken enchiladas and baked chicken). I will try to use those and hopefully be able to make dinner time easier through the week. This is a wonderful tool that you are giving to families. One question though, on the casseroles, could you put foil in the pans then fill them, freeze then take the meal out and still have the pan?? Just wondering not sure if it would be easier especially if you have a refrigerator freezer?? Thank you again for this. I can’t wait to see the rest of the lessons coming.

  2. First of all, I’m hopelessly in love with your site and the resources you provide. LOVE IT.I just wanted to add a book or two to your list. Fix, Freeze, Feast is not only a fabulous freezer meal book, but it also talks about how to shop at warehouse stores and use what you buy for a variety of meals. Also, Better Homes & Gardens’ Budget Meals is a great one. In many of the recipes in there, they talk about how to make more and freeze the rest for meals later in the month.Keep up the good work! Everyday when checking my feeds, yours is the first one I check!

  3. Hey Tricia!! Question – Is any recipe capable of being a freezer recipe?? Honestly before doing #oamc I was scared to death of freezer cooking b/c I thought I would poison my family by freezing something that shouldn’t be!

  4. Tricia-I am honored to be included in your post and look forward to seeing you again…soon, I hope. Also, your tips are amazing!!!

  5. Thank you for listing Freezer Supper Swapper! Love your sight and it has come in handy over the years. Keep up the lovely job you done in the field of cooking.

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