Now that you've collected your coupons, you need to organize them. I'm going to share how I keep my coupons organized, but if you're a beginner, this may seem a little overwhelming to you. I suggest that you start out with something smaller like an expandable coupon file, and upgrade when you feel you're starting to outgrow it. Whatever system you decide on, you need to do what makes the most the most sense to you. I could not find any ideas that I liked, so I finally ended up using a whole bunch of different ideas and mixing and matching them until I figured out what worked best for me.
My objective was to have a system that required as little time as possible to maintain, yet still enable me to know exactly where to find any coupon at any given time. Here's what I finally came up with:
I use a 3 inch zippered binder to hold all my coupons. The only brand I could find that makes these is Case it, which I finally found at OfficeMax.
Trading card holders
I bought mine at Wal-Mart, but you can also find these at office stores.
Every week when I get my coupons, I write the date on each insert. I then go through and cut out any coupons that I am sure I want to use before they expire. These are coupons that even if they never match up with a sale, I would want to use them because they are for things I normally buy and I might as well save a few cents on them. I file those coupons alphabetically in baseball trading card holders.
I then go to http://www.taylortownpreview.com/ and print out the list of coupons that are in each insert. I place the list and the inserts into a sheet protector and place them in my binder. If I find something on clearance I can look at each week's list to see if there is a coupon for that item. This actually doesn't take very long since the lists are alphabetical. If the item on clearance starts with a B, all I have to do is look at the B's on each week's list. I keep between 10 - 12 inserts in my binder at a time. Any more than that will not fit. Whenever I add a new insert, I take out the oldest insert and cut out all the coupons that are not expired. Usually by that time there are only a few that are not expired. I then file those coupons.
Every week before I do my shopping, I scan through and check to see if there are any coupons that I might want to use that will expire before the next time I go shopping. I place those into a section of my binder labeled "expiring soon". Then I can easily see the coupons if I want to check prices on those items.
When I make up my shopping list, I look at the deals on my blog, cut out the coupons I need, and place them in envelopes, one for each store.
I keep all my CVS stuff in a separate folder. I need to be able to see all my Extrabucks and coupons easily, so I keep them in the trading card holders. I carry them inside a velcro folder when I go to the store so that nothing falls out and gets lost.
Any miscellaneous coupons go in the expandable file inside my binder. I also keep the store ads in there in case I need to refer to them.
So each week I spend between 30 minutes keeping my coupons organized. That is a small amount of time to spend to be able to save hundreds of dollars each year!