There are several types of coupons we'll learn about in this post: $$$/###, BOGO, and Free coupons!
$$$/### - You might see $0.55/1, $1.00/1, $1.00/3, or $2.00/4. In each case, the first number is the amount of money you'll SAVE, and the second number (sometimes written further down in the text of the coupon) is the amount of products you have to buy to use that coupon.
If I have a coupon for $1.00/1 bag of frozen vegetables, I will save $1.00 when I buy 1 bag of frozen vegetables. However, if I have a coupon for $1.00/3 bags of frozen vegetables, I will save $1.00, but I have to buy 3 bags to use that ONE coupon. I can't use a coupon that says $1.00/3 on ONE item - I need to buy 3 items to make it work.
Buy One Item, Get One Free (BOGO or B1G1) - Sometimes these come in Buy 2 Get 2 Free or Buy 2 Get 1 Free, but they all work the same. In this case, you are BUYING one item and getting the second item free. You'll want to take note on this sort of coupon there is usually a "maximum value," and the coupon will only go that high and no higher - even if the store prices the item higher. One important thing to note is that this coupon attaches to ONE item, but the FIRST item (the one that you bought) does not have a coupon attached to it. So you can use a coupon on the FIRST item and use the BOGO on the SECOND item.
For instance, let's say I have a coupon for BOGO (max value $4.99) on deodorant, and I'm going to buy deodorant priced at $5.49 in store. I'll bring two deodorants to the register. My total would be $10.98. When the BOGO coupon is scanned, $4.99 will come off the price since that is the maximum value of the coupon (even though the deodorant is priced at $5.49). Then, if I have another coupon that is good on ONE deodorant (i.e. $1.00/1), I can use that as well on the product that does not have a coupon attached to it.
FREE - These coupons are a GREAT find! With a coupon that says FREE on it, you can get the item pictured completely free (as long as the price in the store does not go over the maximum value of the coupon).
If I have a coupon for free burritos (max value 1.00), and the store I shop at has them for $1.09, I'll have to pay $0.09 to get those burritos for "free," but it is still a great value!