Buy One, Get One Free sales can be a lot of fun for coupon shoppers! Not only do shoppers take home two items for the cost of one, we can add coupons to the mix to reduce our out-of-pocket expense.

Stores handle BOGO sales differently, though, and this affects how shoppers should use coupons during these sales. The next time you buy items featured in a BOGO sale, look at the receipt to see how the two items are charged at the register. This will help determine how to use coupons to cut those prices even more.

There are two ways that BOGO items may ring up at the checkout. For this example, let's assume you're buying two identical bottles of lotion that are on sale for $4, Buy One, Get One Free.

Example No. 1: You buy two lotions that are on sale "Buy One, Get One Free" for $4. The register charges you $4 for the first bottle and $0 for the second bottle.

In this example, the register charges full price for the first bottle, nothing for the second. This sale is a time to put a "Buy one lotion, get one free" coupon to best use. Bring it in to play and you will end up getting two bottles free with your coupon. I realize this can be a little confusing, so I will explain it in more detail.

When a coupon for "Buy one lotion, get one free" is scanned, the register will take off the entire selling price for the first bottle you're buying. The first bottle's price? $4. After this coupon is scanned, the register takes $4 off. Now, the first bottle is free. The second bottle's price is still $0.

Another way to make the most of a BOGO sale is to use one coupon on each item that you purchase, even the free one! Check your store's coupon policy to determine whether this is allowed. Because you're purchasing two items, even the free one, some stores will allow you to use a coupon on each bottle.

So, in this instance, if I have two $1 coupons for the brand of lotion, I could use one on each bottle (even the free one) and pay a total of $2 for both.

Example No. 2: You buy two lotions that are on sale "Buy One, Get One Free" for $4. The register charges you $2 for each bottle.

With this example, instead of one bottle being full price and the other bottle being free, each bottle sells for half-price: $2. With this sale, using a "Buy one lotion, get one free" coupon will take $2 off the cost of the first bottle, and you'll pay $2 for both - the cost of the other bottle.

In a situation like this, where the register charges half-price for each item, you can often "split" the sale and buy one bottle. This is a great option if you only have one $1 coupon for the lotion. You could buy a single bottle, use your coupon, and pay $1.

No matter which way your store handles BOGO sales, they're great opportunities to stock up at far lower prices than one would normally pay.

Learn more about couponing at Jill Cataldo's website.