One method of organization doesn’t work for everyone. I am going to share mine but as you become more familiar with couponing, you may find a different method works for you.
Like I said in the Newspaper Coupon section, I clip every coupon from the Newspaper. Once this is done, I separate them into two piles. Pile 1 includes coupons for products that I regularly use. This includes toothpaste, makeup, cereal, etc. I also put high dollar coupons in this stack. These are coupons that combined with a sale will likely result in a free product. Like $1 off Gatorade. We don’t drink Gatorade in our house regularly but we would if it were free! Since Gatorade is usually about $1.29, when it goes on sale the $1 coupon would make it free. So I would put that coupon in Pile 1.
Then in Pile 2 I put the other coupons that are low dollar and for things that I really won’t use. Like $2 off Caltrate. That is usually pretty expensive and I while I would buy it if it were free, this coupon is unlikely to make it free.
Then I sort them again. I put Pile 1 into my accordion file that I got at Office Depot. It has several pockets and I have them labeled like this:
1. Cereal, Baking, Snacks
2. Deli, Dairy, Frozen
3. Other Foods
5. Laundry & Dish
7. Cleaning Supplies
8. Makeup, Lotion, Soap, Shampoo
9. Other Toiletries
13. Other Stores
The Misc section holds anything that doesn’t fit into another category, like batteries or glade. The Other Stores sections are the Bed Bath & Beyond coupons or Ulta or any other coupon I find that is for a retail store.
Then I sort Pile 2 into expiration date by month as well as Food & Nonfood. I’ll explain why I do this in the What to Do with Expired Coupons section. For example I have a pile of coupons that expire in December that are food and a pile that expire in December that are non food. I put each stack in a Ziploc bag. Then I put all the bags in a Gallon size Ziploc bag to keep them all together. I usually don’t have to look through these unless CVS or Walgreens has a free after Extra Bucks or Free after Rebate. Then using one of these coupons would make it an even better deal.
Then at the end of the month I go through my accordion file and pull out the expired coupons. Sort them Food & Non Food and stick them in the baggies. Then I send them off. Read more about this here.
By no means is this the best way. This is what works for me. But if you don’t have a good system you’ll get frustrated by the vast amount of coupons and then possible give up or miss out on deals. So if my way doesn’t work for you, ask around. Look on other blogs or Google. You can easily find other options that will work better for you.