I love to see how people organize their coupons. I have tried several different ways over the past year and a half and I think my current method is what I plan to stick with. I currently use a very large accordion style folder with handles. I love this organizer because of the handles! In the past, I used a 3" ring notebook with a zipper. The rings had a tendency to mess up which meant my zipper pockets often fell out or just got stuck. Also, it never failed that my zipper would break (usually at the most inopportune time!). I often felt like a college kid again carrying around a massive notebook!
I think my newest binder is actually quite chic! At least it has a bit of character and I don't feel like a school girl. It is also quite functional. The latch ensures that each pocket remains intact within the accordion file. At this moment it is packed to capacity and the buckle is hard to close...but once I do the monthy sweep for expireds --it should be a bit more manageable. Within this accordion file are many plastic zippered pockets. Each pocket is labeled by category and fit perfectly in the accordion file. I have some categories further divided and contained within ziplocs inside the pocket. It just depends on my category whether it will have subcategories.
My categories include: Frozen, Fresh Fruits & Veggies, Refrigerated, Snacks, Breads & Cereals, Starches, Baking, Condiments, Body, Hair, Mouth, Deodorant, Make Up, Fragrance, Cleaners, Paper Products, Baby Products, Meds, Laundry, Restaurants, and Frees/MIR's. I cut 2-4 inserts and file them into my binder based on their category. My remaining inserts remain whole and are filed into a plastic drawer system by date. I cut at least two sets of inserts because I like to be able to pull a pocket and do a quick survey to see what I have. Cutting also familiarizes me with what coupons are available. When I flip through an insert I just don't attend like I should--cutting, sorting and organizing each coupon helps me remember what I have in my inventory. I also like the fact that if I happen to be out shopping and come across a clearance rack--I can easily grab a pocket...do a quick scan to determine if I have a coupon to correspond with the clearanced item. This has often come in VERY handy! Having a few inserts clipped also means I can help a friend in need whenever necessary!
This is what works for me--I carry my binder with me almost everywhere I go as you never know when you might spot a deal. I'd love to see what you all do to keep your coupons organized...