Here's the binder itself, not the prettiest thing ever but I purchased it when back-to-school items were on clearance for $1. My choices were blue, hot pink, or a strange shade of green.
I like to keep store policies tucked in the front flap so they're easy to access if I need them. I also keep stamps handy (for coupon trades) and miscellaneous items (like my VS rewards cards) in the small pocket on the left. Sometimes I put store ads right here (in front of the coupon pages) so I can stay organized, especially on super busy weeks.
To the right, I have a baseball card protector sheet that I use for Register Rewards/Catalinas- that way I'm sure to use them before they expire. I sometimes tuck other things into this page as well (like a spare QFC loyalty card belonging to my mom, a FREE undie q from VS, or soon to expire coupons I want to use).
Page 2 of the binder is also super important. This is where I store my FREE item coupons. I'd hate to see any of these expire so they stay up front. Behind the FREE coupons I sometimes tuck in coupons that I can't pin down a category for (like $1 off any Campbell's/V8/Pepperidge Farm product).
- Produce: For produce coupons. Also includes deli items (from the deli section- like fancy cheeses, dips, and whatnot) and bread coupons
- Pantry: This is a big category. If it's a baking item, dried or canned goods, breakfast food, tuna, sauces, or spices- you'll find it in here.
- Snack- salty: Chips, nuts, popcorn, etc.
- Snack- sweet: Candy, cookies, etc.
- Beverages: Juice, coffee (in any form), water, etc. The only thing not included in this section is milk.
- Frozen- anything you'd find in the freezer section of the store is here.
- Cold- Meat, cheese, yogurt, eggs, etc. If it's kept in a refrigerated section, I put the coupon for it here.
- Baby- Diapers, toddler/infant friendly meds, bath products, etc.
- Misc- If it doesn't fit into another category and is a coupon I think I'll want to use, it goes in here. I used to have better organization- but did so many drugstore deals in the beginning that I'm pretty well stocked on these kinds of items.
Once you get into each category, I like to keep all like coupons on the same page. For example, here's my rice/pasta page:Pictured below is a page from my beverage section. It's supposed to be coffee, but I see some non-coffee items included (that'll teach me to take photos without double checking my pages!). Sometimes coupons are just too big for baseball card sheets, so I keep these photo sheets at the back of each section. I found mine at a thrift store for $0.25.Coupon confession time: I don't clip everything. I used to do this, but it can be hard to keep up with. Of course, if you're just starting out- I would recommend clipping or keeping everything. Now I use a simple "if this coupon made a product free, would I buy it?" test to decide. This helps keep me from getting overwhelmed both with finding time to clip my coupons and having more than I can keep track of.
Another thing I do to save my time (and sanity) is tuck whole P&G inserts into the back of my binder- I NEVER clip these right away. I sometimes make a list of what's included on a post-it and stick it to the front. Frequently, the majority of these coupons expire at the end of the month- so not clipping them saves me a lot of time, and if I need one- I know exactly where to find it. At the end of the month, I double check and clip anything with a longer expiration date for my misc. section before tossing whatever is left.