I'm going to be doing some "How I coupon" posts over the next few weeks. They will all be tagged under the listing "couponing" so they are easy to find in the future. Hopefully you'll find it interesting or pick up some tips and tricks.
With couponing, there are four main sources.
1.) Newspaper. I get it only on Sunday to get the coupons I want.
2.) Online: There are a lot of printable coupons out there, like coupons.com and smartsource.com. Not to mention Target has store coupons on their website that you can often stack with manufacturer's coupons to get the items free or way cheaper.
3.) In freebies. A lot of time the freebie doesn't matter as much as the $1.00 coupon you might get! :D
4.) Online Coupon Clippers. This one actually might really benefit larger families. I know several folks that have large families and buy multiple papers. That works out great when there are a lot of coupons they need, but when it's a lean week, that's a lot of wasted money, in my opinion.
So first, call your newspaper up and see if there is any kind of intro price or offer. I'm getting 4 sunday papers free because it's an introductory offer! I'd buy them anyway, but this way I get $6.00 value for free. Hehehe.
I am super-uber organized with my coupons. It's seriously the ONLY time I'm this organized. I have two small folders and a binder that keeps them all in order.
#1 is the small accordion folder I have with me all the time. It contains the coupons I know, without a doubt, I will use. I have it organized categories- "Pets" "Food" "Health/Beauty" "Household". I leave two empty folders at the front of the folder. The very first one is for me to put the coupons in as I put the item in the cart, so they are all ready at the check out. The one right behind that is so I can put all the coupons I know I'll use in that shopping trip.That way, everything is organized and I don't have to hunt my coupons in line or while I'm trying to shop crowded aisles.
#2 is the small accordion folder for coupons I might use. I have them organized alphabetically and they are ones that I might use if the price is right, or ones for items that I'm unsure of the price. I grab it for shopping trips, along with #1.
#3, the big binder, contains all the other coupons. I keep them in each insert they come in (Redplum, P&G and Smart Source). This one stays at home. I use it to price compare on blogs and in the newspaper. If I can get something free that I wouldn't normally consider getting, I will use the coupons, but that's about it. This is the one that takes up more time than the others, but it so worth it! So these I keep "just in case" a deal comes up that makes an item I don't normally want or won't use free. Then you can either give it a try, donate it, or use it to get overage and get money off on your bill! Sometimes the items make good Christmas Gifts or would work to put together a gift basket. Sometimes it's just really expensive brands, so when the stars align you can treat yourself to a fancy lotion or chocolate for very cheap!
Keeping them organized takes a bit of time, but I love it. I probably spend a half hour on Sundays clipping coupons, organizing them and comparing sales papers. It's time I'd otherwise be online, so I'm not losing much.