This is usually one of the first questions I am asked by friends, family, and even strangers in the store. My first advice is to get yourself organized. You need to create a system that saves you time and works best for you. What works for me may not work for you, so you may have to figure this out by trial and error. I have stored my coupons in several different ways, but I believe the current system I have in place is the best.
I bought a zippered three-ring binder from my local Walmart store. I use baseball card holders to store each coupon and have tabs labeled for different parts of the store. For example, I have a tab labeled produce, etc. I carry this binder with me every time I go to the grocery store, Target, Walmart or any other store where I may have coupons for. If I come across something on sale that I want/need I can easily look to see if I have a coupon for that item. It also makes it easy to look for expiration dates. I go through my coupons on a weekly basis and throw out any expired coupons, or you can send it to your local military base. I have been told they will give these to servicemen and women who are allowed to use expired coupons in their commissary.
The second most important thing to know is your local stores coupon policy. If you are unsure what their policies are, check out their website. Most regional stores have their policies on-line. This is very important. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to correct (nicely) a cashier and call a manager to get my coupon approved. So know their policy before entering the store. Some stores like Publix will allow you to use a store coupon and a manufacturers coupons for one item. They will also sometimes accept a competitors coupon, but check with your store for specific information on this.
The third most asked question I am asked is, "Where do you find coupons"? Now, you might think this is a no-brainer, but actually it's a very good question. I have learned from so many sources of new ways to find coupons. First, buy your local Sunday paper. If it is a particularly good coupon week, buy more than one paper. You will make up the cost of the paper in your coupons. Before purchasing the paper, look through it and make sure the coupons are there. I have had this happen to me and know of several others who have bought papers and someone has taken the coupons out. So check before purchasing! Coupons are all over the place, the Internet is your best friend! Please remember before printing, make sure you are on a reputable website. Coupons.com, Southernsavers.com are a few that come to mind. You can also find coupons on the manufacturers website and your local stores website. If the manufacturer does not offer a coupon on the website, call or email them. If you call and tell them how great their product is and ask for coupons, chances are they will mail you some.
Fourth, Be Prepared! Make sure you have a list and a plan before setting foot in the store. Dont be tempted by all the delicious convenience foods you walk by. Have your list and coupons in hand and stick to it. You will be amazed when you look at your receipt and see all the money you saved!