Dollar General Sells Items for a Penny—Here's How You Can Find Them
It's easy to find amazing deals for a penny—if you know where to look.
Dollar General has a secret: Select items at the deep-discount emporium might eventually be sold for a penny. This happens to items that remain after many markdowns—sometimes as much as 90 percent. The "secret" part? They're really not supposed to exist.
When items reach $.01, it's a cue for employees to remove them from shelves. However, given the sheer amount of merchandise in stores, this step sometimes goes undone, resulting in the one-cent price tag. Diligent shoppers have scored everything from mugs and wall hooks to succulent plants and blankets for next to nothing. Read on for insider tips on how to find the latest penny merch at Dollar General.
READ THIS NEXT: 5 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Dollar General Employees.
First, check the penny list.
According to Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com, markdowns at Dollar General are generally done on Tuesdays, so plan to hit your local store on Tuesday morning.
And be prepared when you do. Start by looking for the most recent list of penny items. Blogs like The Freebie Guy publish the penny list regularly. You can also check social media for hashtags like #dollargeneralpennyitems or #dgpennyfinds.
Then, download the app and scan.
TikToker @madcouponingwithmads explains that you can use the Dollar General mobile app to check if specific items in the store are priced at a penny.
First, download the iOS or Android app to your phone. Then, search by location to select your local store. After checking the latest penny list, find items you're interested in, and find the UPC code for each item. Copy the code and paste it into the app's search box. The item should come up $0.00—this means it's "penny-ed out," according to the TikToker. The app may tell you the item isn't available in your local store, but that information is often inaccurate.
Finally, hit the store. When you find an item on the shelves that you think might be deeply discounted, use the app and your phone camera to scan the actual item's UPC code and hit "submit bar code." If you're in luck, the price should come up as $0.00.
Pro tip: If your store uses the newer pricing system, some penny items are marked as "promotions," so hit "total" in the app to see the final price.
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Know where to look in the store.
Penny items are likely to be scattered throughout the store, so be prepared to take your time.
"It may make sense to check clearance sections first, but the items could be anywhere so don't feel discouraged if you don't find the items in the most obvious places at first," shares Ramhold.
TikTok user @bargain_busters adds these frequent shopper tips: Check end-caps at the end of aisles and look for seasonal and holiday accessories such as Valentine's Day- and Christmas-themed socks.
Check the tags.
In a TikTok video, @crystalrichendoll advises shoppers to look for tags with red dots. Though this doesn't always mean an item is marked down to a penny, it's more likely.
And if you ever see a ton of orange "50 percent off" tags at your Dollar General, it means the store is likely to undergo a remodel. TikToker @cbombnatorcoupons offers this advice: "Find out the date of the remodel, then show up the Sunday before that date. Most of the items that are marked 50% off will penny."
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Don't ask store employees about penny items.
As mentioned, penny items aren't actually supposed to exist on Dollar General shelves, which is why die-hard shoppers have taken to social media to share their sleuthing techniques. This is also why it's probably best to avoid asking store associates for help locating said items.
"Dollar General marks items that aren't selling well down to one cent in order to signal to employees those items need to be pulled, so if you're finding them in the store, that means someone didn't pull all the inventory," explains Ramhold.
Don't ask for price checks, either. The store doesn't actually have to sell you these deeply discounted products, so they may refuse and pull the rest of the items.
"The best thing you can do is seek out insight online and then head to your store on Tuesday—especially in the morning—to try to snag these items before they disappear," advises Ramhold. "Be polite when you find penny-sale items, especially as it can make a difference in the associate deciding whether or not to actually sell you the products."
Remember, there are other ways to save.
In a response to Best Life about the penny items, a Dollar General spokesperson did not directly comment on the topic, but rather pointed to the many other ways shoppers can save at the store.
This includes digital coupons, which shoppers can access online or on the mobile app, as well as the $5 off $25 coupons that are offered each Saturday.