There are a few different ways to organize your coupons.
My favorite is the "Binder method".
With this method, you need to have time to clip every coupon and file it into different categories. (or at least the coupons you know you will use) With this method the upside is that you will have all of your coupons with you at all times so if you are walking through a store and see an item that is on clearance, you can flip through your binder right then and there to see if you have a coupon for it. I have gotten A LOT of hidden freebies this way. The downside is that you do have to take the time to clip the coupons and you COULD end up spending more money than intended if you walk around the store looking for ways to use your coupons. It really is up to you and how much time you have to spend on cutting out your coupons. Sometimes there are coupons that I KNOW I will most likely never use, but I don't want to throw them away "just in case". For those items, I do not take the time to cut them out, but instead, I will save them and put them in a folder.
In my binder I use clear baseball card holders to organize my coupons. (Thanks Rachel for the picture) They can be found at Target or WalMart near the baseball cards for about $5 a pack. (Usually at the front of the store)
Here are the categories I use for my binder: (you can add, delete or change to your preferances)
Breads and Bakery
Deli and Meat
Diet and Nutrition
Soap and Deoderant and Skin Care (I have been known to put all of these together under "Personal Care" along with the feminine care, razors etc to save from having so many categories)
Here is another option called the "Bin Method":
First, get a file folder bin. (Cheap at Wal-Mart)
Insert some hanging file folders.
Disperse about 30 file folders throughout the hanging file folders.
Take your coupon inserts out of your Sunday papers.
Collate the inserts. (match page to page and set them aside)
Place the inserts in the first available file folder.
Label the folder with the date (i.e. 8/24)
Your coupons are all organized.
Now that they're all put away, how do you know what to use, when to use it and how to find it? First, if you are reading our BargainBlog or checking the deals listed at Pinching Your Pennies, you will see that for every deal it says: "Use: BLANK PRODUCT COUPON 10/22 SS", go to the file you have labeled 10/22. Find the Smart Source insert and clip the coupon.
The information at the end is where the coupon can be found, and the date it was issued and here are the abbreviations for your coupon inserts:
LV= La Voz
PH= Presna Hispana
Money Saving Mom also has a great way that she organizes her coupons. Click here to see her method.
I know some people that do a modified version of both, cutting out and putting their favorite coupons into a binder, filing the others in the "bin" for just in case. It is really up to you and what you prefer.