When grocery shopping these days, it is fairly easy to spot a true couponer. Couponing in the past used to mean a simple white envelope with a few coupons to pick from. With shorter expiration dates, more products, and varied store policies couponing in the 21st century looks very different. I have a multitude of friends who are couponers and we all use our own version of organization. The way I organize my coupons has been the same for about three years. My husband got me a new flashier coupon box for Christmas. My last one literally fell apart after two years.
I like filing my coupons and organize them in a way that works best with the way I think. I keep my first pocket open for coupons I will use for that shopping trip, the rest of the file pockets are sorted by order of grocery store aisle. I find that Health and Beauty gets loaded with coupons, so I have this now in two categories with make up and medicines sorted out. It can be embarrassing fumbling through a pile of coupons in an aisle so try not to have a huge stack to sort through. I also have added a file pocket just for my CVS stuff, which includes ECB and also any coupons that magic coupon machine prints out for me.
One more change I have made in the past year is to include a file pocket just for my Proctor and Gamble inserts. I tired of cutting the same coupons from them each month and so now I keep those inserts whole and use my scissors in the store when I need to clip something from them.
If I have additional inserts from a family member, I usually sort through them and clip the coupons I know that I will absolutely use. I then keep the rest of the inserts whole with dates so I can pull from that stack before a big shopping trip. Sounds like too much work, once it is set up then your maintenance is between 10-30 minutes a week. If I am doing a big shopping trip with coupons for groceries then that takes me an additional half an hour a week to get my list and coupons organized. The savings are worth the time. If you are new to couponing or want to learn more, please ask!