Dollar General has almost 19,000 locations in the United States as of early 2023, with stores in 47 states. Plenty of cities across the country have several different Dollar Generals within a few miles of each other, making it a highly-accessible store. Dollar General carries most items needed in the household, including everything from paper towels to children's toys and a selection of grocery items. One shopping trip can yield most of what you need.

As the name suggests, Dollar General started as a dollar store. Prices have changed since, then, but there are still plenty of great deals and ways to save money. There are even a few well-kept secrets that frequent Dollar Store shoppers rely on for extra savings.

Use Coupons

There are entire sites and social media groups dedicated to Dollar General couponing tips. Most store coupons are digital now, and you'll find them by downloading the Dollar General app. Sign up for an account and browse the available coupons. Once you add them to your account, you'll be able to use them during checkout for instant savings.

That seems simple enough, but Dollar General store coupons aren't the end! Pay close attention to the digital coupons to see if you can stack them with manufacturer coupons. You'll be digging into some real savings on those purchases. As an example, you might use a $2 off DG coupon toward $6 Tide laundry detergent, then stack another $1 manufacturer coupon on top of it. Your laundry detergent suddenly becomes half-price.

Shop on Sale Days

Dollar General runs promotions on certain days of the week. For instance, one of the store's most famous promotions is the $5 off $25. It's a frequent promotion but is limited to one specific day (usually a Friday or Saturday). To participate, check the bottom of your DG receipt for the special code!

It's an excellent day to stack coupons, as you're already getting that extra $5 back. Any additional coupons on top of it mean extra cash in your pocket.

Use the Weekly Ad

To see upcoming sales and price drops, open up the weekly ad through your DG app or visit the Dollar General website. Weekly ads are a great way to budget and calculate where you can get the most savings. You can plan ahead to get the most coupon value, too, and not waste them on items with smaller savings.

Visit the Clearance Section

The clearance section is always a great place to save some money. You'll find them in-store, and many DG locations have at least one side of a whole aisle dedicated to clearance items. It's particularly useful after the holidays, as you'll find seasonal items for a fraction of their regular cost. Holiday decor and related items are some of the best Dollar General deals anyway, so getting them on clearance is a steal!

Check your coupons as you're shopping clearance. If you're lucky, you'll be able to use a few of them for even more savings.

Buy Party Supplies

Dollar General is one of the best places to buy party supplies. They cost less than going to a bigger store like Target, and DG has everything you need. They carry the usual fodder of plates and napkins, of course, but many stores also carry helium balloons for significantly less than party stores! You'll save a few bucks on things like wrapping paper, gift bags, and cards, too, so it's a great opportunity to save on your next party or event.

Take Advantage of the Cart Calculator

The Dollar General app has a feature called the cart calculator. Open it as you shop and scan your items as you go. It keeps a running tally of costs, and you can use it to find any applicable discounts or deals for the items in your cart. It's a great way to make sure you're not going over budget without realizing it and it keeps you from missing out on any deals you overlooked!

Penny Shopping

We've saved the best for last. When is the last time you bought something for a penny? Maybe you've never had the opportunity. A penny doesn't go far, after all, unless you're shopping at Dollar General.

How Does Penny Shopping Work?

Finding penny deals is a bit like a big scavenger hunt. They're not guaranteed, and sometimes you won't get any at all, but they're fun to look for and amazing to find! Penny items are essentially previous clearance items that can't be marked down any further.

Dollar General uses an incremental markdown system. Take seasonal items as an example. After a holiday passes, you'll see items marked down as more time passes. One day you'll see them at 20% off, then 50% off at a later visit, and so on. Eventually, they get to 90% off. After 90% off, items are meant to be removed from store shelves. It doesn't always happen, though, and at that point, they "penny out" and ring up for one cent.

Keep in mind that penny items have to match exact SKUs. Even if an item looks identical to the "penny" item, it might be from a different season and have a different SKU number. Another good way to keep track of them is by using DG's symbol system. On nearly every price tag in Dollar General, you'll see a symbol in the corner. It could be something like a blue square, a brown circle, and so on. If Christmas items with a brown square will become penny items, you'll be able to narrow your search more easily.

It's important to note that penny items aren't a guarantee!


Dollar General offers several ways to save money and have fun shopping. From digital coupons to penny shopping, you can customize your shopping experience and stretch your budget. To keep a little more money in your pocket, sign up for the Comrade browser extension. Comrade gives you relevant recommendations as you shop online and gets partnered brands to pay you for your attention! Earn cash back as you shop, all without compromising your information and security.

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