There are three different ways to coupon, along with a mixture of the three.
One: Clip the coupons every Sunday and put them in a binder to be used as needed. Some clip all of the coupons (just in case) and some clip only the coupons they know they will use.
Two: File the inserts by date and use couponing websites to tell you the best deals out there. Then when you go shopping, you pull the inserts and clip the coupons you need. You only clip the coupons you need.
Three: Print coupons from the web. You figure out what you need, search the internet for coupons and print what you can find.
I started out doing the first method. It takes about an hour once a week to clip the coupons. Then when you make your grocery list you peruse through them to see if you have any coupons for the items. Many carry their binder in their car and if they stop at the store unexpectedly, they have all of their coupons with them. It is also nice to have your binder with you in case there was an unadvertised sale. You can see if there is a matching coupon for even more savings.
After doing some research I found that a lot of experienced couponers use the second method. The best part of this is that it takes you two seconds to put the date on the flyer and file it in what ever method you choose. Some use expandable folders, others use file cabinets. It all depends on how many inserts you are going to use. I tried to switch from method number one, to this method. I ended up not knowing what I had in coupons and I had to rely on other people's research. This meant that someone else was deciding what a good deal was. I didn't like having to search through site to site to see what was a good deal. So after three weeks of trying it this way, I gave up and went back to my old way.
The third method can be used alone or with the first or second methods. If I see a great deal on cereal and I only got two inserts in the newspaper, I will go online and print more of them. This allows me to stock pile. I might buy enough cereal to last me the whole month. If I bought it when there was a great deal, I may have spent $1.50 a box. But if I bought it once a week, I could pay three to four times that amount. It is all about the planning.
For those of you getting into couponing, try out the various methods. See what works for you. Just because I like to clip my coupons, doesn't mean that the file method won't work better for you. I do think it is well worth it though. Good luck!