There are several different methods to organize your coupons. I originally started out with one of those small accordion folders, but now that I have so many coupons I’ve graduated to the ‘Coupon Binder’ like those you see on TLC’s Extreme Couponing. It fits in my diaper bag and it just works easier for me. At first I’ll admit I was a little embarrassed about lugging around a binder, but I’m over that now.
I like to organize my inserts from the newspaper in a small storage bin that I keep next to my computer. I can quickly get to a certain week’s worth of coupons since I have them organized by the weekly newspaper dates. I don’t usually cut them right away, I cut what I am going to use in the next week and I keep the rest of the inserts whole and just stick them back in the bin. I also like this method because I only ever spend a few minutes at one time clipping coupons, I’m not slaving away over a big pile. Then, when I see a deal online and the week the coupon came from, I can quickly go through my bin and get the coupon I need. This works for me, but please use the method that works for you!
As far as my binder goes, I have it organized by category. Actually, my ‘binder’ is actually a CD holder, so I put the coupons in the little pockets. Some people like to use baseball card inserts to hold the coupons, others like to use envelopes. Because I don’t keep that many coupons on hand, I don’t have that many categories.
Fruits/Veggies (including canned and frozen)
Household items (such as cleaners, paper towels)
When I go to the store (with a list, always take a list! And watch those impulse buys, they really ad up!), as I pick up an item, I get the coupon out of the binder and make a little coupon pile in the corner of the basket. This way I don’t forget any coupons and I’m not scrambling around trying to organize them at checkout. Again, this is what works for me, so feel free to come up with your own method.
Lastly, do not throw away any of your coupons! Even if you think you will never use the product they are for. You never know when a deal is going to come around making it free or even a profit (and you can donate what you don’t need or give to a friend), so just hang onto them (until they expire, of course). If the coupons expire and you didn’t use them, no big deal…you didn’t waste time clipping the coupons, you can just get rid of them.