Above is the binder I recently moved up to after my other binder was getting too full. Also, you really want a zipper binder to keep from losing your coupons if the binder get's dropped. This binder was purchased at Walmart for $10 in the Office/Supply section.
Weekly, I make my stop at the Dollar Tree after church and pick up the Sunday paper for $1.00 each. I pick up one paper per family member. You may think that's a little crazy but when you have 5 coupons for Cheetos and you can snag them for $0.29, you'll thank me! We're not talking about the small lunch Cheetos either. Yes, I bought 5 bags of Cheetos at Safeway for $0.29/bag and my girlies were thrilled!!!
At the front of my binder is the Stock-up Prices that I got here at Fistful of Coupns and here at Faithful Provisions. The Faithful Provisions is an 11 page pdf file and very detailed. Stock-up Prices is the price you pay to stock-up your pantry and freezer. This list also includes the sale price they are willing to pay for items. Example: A good sale price for cookies is $1.25 but the stock-up price is $0.99. That way when you are making your list, you can make sure it is the best deal for your family or you may decide to wait until the price is lower.
These are the categories that I have in my binder. I have added to them since I started and you will want to modify it for your family. I no longer have Babies at home so if you do, then you will want a section for that.
*Condiments/Sauces (includes your BBQ sauce, mayo, salsa, marinades, etc.)
*Packaged/Canned Goods (includes pasta, bread, boxed mixes like Zatarain's, etc.)
*Baking (Includes sugar, chocolate chips, cake mixes, etc.)
*Snacks/Candy (Includes chips, granola bars, gum, crackers, etc.)
*Dairy (Includes milk, butter, cheese, sour cream, yogurt, etc.)
*Meats (Includes meats from deli and meat dept. - frozen meats like chicken nuggets are filed in the next section - frozen foods)
*Frozen Foods (Includes meats, icecream, rolls, prepared frozen meals, etc.)
*Personal/Razors/Deoderant (I have all three of these together and plan to break them down when I get more dividers! Personal includes feminine products, etc.)
*Oral Care/Make-up (I also have these combined but plan to break them down when I get more dividers. Oral Care includes toothpastes, whiteners, dental floss, etc. I keep all cleansers, etc. in the Make-up sections as well as nailpolish, lipstick, etc.)
*Body/Lotion/Soaps (Body includes body washes. Soaps includes hand soaps, soap systems, etc.)
*Cleaning Supplies (Includes your toilet and glass cleaners, dish soap, etc. I also include sprays and candles here.)
*Paper Goods (Includes toilet paper, ziploc containers and bags, kleenex, paper towels, etc.)
*Office Supplies/Misc. (Includes light bulbs, batteries, pets, bug sprays, etc.)
*Kids/Toys (Includes coupons like The Littlest Pet Shop you can snag here! Click on the link and select Toys on the left side to see and print the BOGO coupon and score them free at Toys R Us this week since they are on sale Buy One Get One!)
I use the baseball card holders for my coupons. You can find these at Target and Walmart by the registers and trading cards. I have three packs of them now but you can start out by buying 1-2 to get going. They are around $5 for about 30 sheets. This way you can flip through all your coupons and see what you have. A little more time consuming than some of the other couponing methods out there but I won't miss things by having them all filed and visible.
A couple of tips:
1) To make clipping those coupons easier, grab all your coupon packs from the newspapers you buy (ex. SmartSource) and open up and lay out the like pages on your kitchen table or living room floor. Grab a stack that are the same and snip them leaving a bit of a border so you don't cut off the expiration date, etc. This way you are not clipping coupons from 5 of the same SmartSources. Really speeds up your clipping!
2) Only print computer coupons that you know you will use. Otherwise, you are wasting your ink. Lots of times, the newsletters/emails I receive will say to print the latest coupons and in the beginning I did. Now, I've learned that you can usually print the coupons that you need when the product is on sale.
3) See a newspaper coupon that is not a product you use/want...keep it! I am not a contact lense wearer but yesterday, I bought contact solution and profitted $1.26! They paid me to buy the product and I'll pass it along to a family member if they can use it or to my local food bank. How did I do that? The product was on sale for $7.99 and after I paid, I received a Register Reward for $8 for a future shopping trip. I used a $2.00 off coupon so after paying for the product plus the taxes, I profitted $1.26 - Wahoo! You may be thinking, it's only $1.26 but I could buy 4 bags of those $0.29 Cheetos with that money! That is what couponers call a Money Maker or MM.
4) Keep in mind that you pay the tax on those free items so make sure it's an item you need or that you'll use. Those free deoderants and lotions are not really free when you consider the tax but they are really inexpensive.
Feel free to leave me a comment if you have any questions. Good luck!