The key to couponing is organization. Organization begins from when you buy your papers until you consume the products. There are a variety of ways to organize your coupons. The most important thing is to find a method that works for you. You may start with one method and then change to another method over a period of time. Remember it simply needs to work for you and it does not need to be elaborate.
Coupon Sorting and Filing - It is important to cut, sort and file your coupons weekly. By doing this it allows you to prevent the coupons becoming stacked up, missing a sale, letting a good coupon expire, etc.
Organization Types - There are a variety of way to store and organize your coupons.
Coupon Box - The coupon box is a show box or storage box that you have dividers to separate your coupons according to categories that you prefer. This method requires you to clip your coupons and sort them accordingly.
Coupon Binder - The coupon binder is the most commonly used method among couponers. My recommendation is to utilize a binder that can be zipped closed. You will want to use durable dividers, baseball card sleeves, and at least a 2" or 3" binder. You will need to clip and sort your coupons accordingly. This method does require constant upkeep but it is well worth it.
Accordion File - This method allows you to sort your coupons into categories for those smaller trips. You can use this in addition to any of the other systems.
Inserts Only - This method is where you simply sort your inserts into a hanging file folder system in a box or filing cabinet by week. When you need a coupon you go to that week, pull the insert, and cut that coupon. It requires the least amount of clipping and sorting. This method does take more time to plan your trip. It will also reduce the availability of chances to pick up clearance items using coupons because your coupons will be at home in your filing system.
How to Organize Your Coupon System - You will want to sort your coupon system in a way that works with how you shop. I have my binder sorted with how the store is organized by category. The most common ways to categorize are as follows.
Alpha by Product
Alpha by Category
Store by Category
By Expiration Date