Skip to content

Dollar General Shopper Reveals the Secret Way to Get Items for Just a Penny

Discover how you can buy things for even cheaper at the discount retailer.

The product recommendations in this post are recommendations by the writer and/or expert(s) interviewed and do not contain affiliate links. Meaning: If you use these links to buy something, we will not earn a commission.

Over the past few years, inflation and a shifting economy have forced even discount retailers to raise their prices. Dollar Tree betrayed its name by taking products up to $1.25, while Dollar General has been regularly adding more expensive items into its stores. Some recent reports go so far as to suggest that you may be getting charged more at dollar stores than at big-box chains like Walmart or Target. Now, frustrated consumers are fighting back, as one Dollar General shopper is revealing the secret way to get items for just a penny.

RELATED: Dollar Tree Shoppers Find Bed, Bath & Beyond Items for Just $1.25.

Shopper Elisha posted a video to her TikTok account @epelland23 on Feb. 21 to provide a "quick tutorial" on penny shopping at Dollar General. At the start of her video, Elisha indicates that there are important rules to this retail hack.

"Number one: We do not talk about the penny list to Dollar General employees," she wrote in a text box overlaying her video.

That's because you're not technically supposed to be getting anything for just a penny at Dollar General. "Penny items are items that are discontinued that they're supposed to remove from the shelves," Elisha explains.

According to the shopper, Dollar General managers receive a list every week consisting of items that they're meant to pull from store shelves. If those products aren't removed, then they're automatically marked down to 1 cent.

"And if we, the customer, find them, we can buy them," Elisha says, adding that the list is typically distributed every Tuesday and consumers can usually see it posted on Kristie's Connections.

Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with, previously confirmed to Best Life that markdowns at Dollar General are generally done on Tuesdays—so if you're interested in trying to find penny items, it's a good idea to go to your local store on Tuesday mornings.

"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," Ramhold advised.

In order to penny shop at Dollar General, Elisha says you need the retailer's app. You can scan the barcode of items in a store on the app, and if they're a penny item, they will come up as $0.00 on the screen.

"So then when you scan it at the register, it will be a penny," the TikToker explains.

TikTok screenshot showing penny item on Dollar General app

But Dollar General employees don't have to sell you these items—even though the company's policy says that they can, according to Elisha. That's why she and other shopping experts encourage customers to be secretive about penny shopping around workers.

"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," Ramhold told Best Life.

One more "rule" Elisha says to follow is that when you find a penny item in the store, you must take the entire inventory.

"Because as soon as the Dollar General employee scans it and it's a penny, they're actually instructed to go remove all the [rest of] the items," she explains.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
Filed Under