A Beginner’s Guide to Penny Shopping at Dollar General ─ 2024 Guide

A penny saved is a penny you can use towards an item at the dollar store. What did you think we would say?

Yes, you heard that right! Did you know that you can take advantage of penny shopping at your local dollar store? The dollar store just got better, didn’t it?

There is an art to learning how to penny shop. Once mastered, your pockets will surely thank you! Not only is penny shopping fun, but it is addictive as well!

Curious to learn how to penny shop? We thought so. Jump on in and see what all the noise is about!

What Is Penny Shopping?

Penny Shopping

Source: businessinsider.com

Penny shopping is not something most people know about. Essentially, they are items at a Dollar Store marked down to a penny! This happens when those clearance items have but cut to 90% and employees forget to remove them from the shelves.

When you go to pay for these items they will only be a penny! Who wouldn’t love that? People have been doing this for years, wouldn’t you like to take advantage?

The origin store of penny shopping is unknown. Throughout the coupon community, the term “penny shop” spread throughout the years. Some people swear by it as a lifestyle while others love the thrill of the shop-and-hunt.

A Penny for Your Items?

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Seasonal and non-seasonal merchandise will be marked down and ring as 1 cent. These are items meant to be removed from the store shelves, they are not considered a sale price.

These dollar stores have protocols in place when items need to be cleared off shelves. Each item is equipped with its own procedures for how it should be cleared.

You may also want to know that you’ll find most items at the bottom of the dumpster. If you are into dumpster diving, you can be sure to find some goodies in there.

It is important to note that you should follow your local laws and be safe in the process.

How to Penny Shop

Source: pennylaneemp.com

Aren’t you itching to know how to penny shop by now? We thought so!

As the customer, just bring your items as you normally would from the floor to the register. When the cashier rings up your penny items via SKU they should read .01c on the register.

Depending on the store, the cashier will let you purchase your items as normal. This is dependent on the discretion of the store manager. Experiences may vary in the process, so make sure to note which stores get the green light.

For stores that honor penny shopping, you cannot return to the floor post-transaction.

We have compiled a list of different tools and tricks you can use on your penny shopping excursions.

Code Names

One of the first things you’ll want to look out for is product code names. Be on the lookout for the barcode on each product’s tag.

The code names will be a system of years and seasons:

  • 18 – 2018
  • 19 – 2019
  • 20 – 2024
  • 21 – 2024
  • SP – Spring
  • SU – Summer
  • FA – Fall
  • WI – Winter

When penny shopping, look for items marked in the past. Older products are more than likely to be penny products!


Tags are another thing to look out for, marked with a color and a shape.
Tags signify discounts, but results vary depending on the store. The discounts range from 10-90% and span of two weeks. If you find the 90% symbol, be sure to return in 1-2 weeks and see if it’s now marked a penny!
Tuesdays are when you’ll see most stores change their prices.

Penny Tools

Barcode Scanner

Get yourself a barcode scanner from the app store on your phone. Scan away and be sure to look out for more deals during the week.

Source: honeywell.com

Penny Lists

If you’re penny shopping at Dollar General, keep your eyes peeled on the link provided. Information is out weekly.

Keep in mind that each store varies, so take that as a precaution. Happy hunting!

Facebook Groups

One of your best resources is joining a penny-shopping Facebook group. From there you can see what people are getting and find those penny items more easily.

Search for Dollar General Facebook groups. You can take advantage of mass groups or more niche local ones as well. Learning how to penny shop at Dollar General is more fun when done as a collaborative effort!


YouTube is a great resource for this sort of thing as well. The options are endless on this platform. You’ll find how-to guides and hauls as well!

Source: techcrunch.com

You could even start your own YouTube series covering penny shopping at large!

Penny Tips

Practice makes perfect, but our advice will have you headed in the right direction. Before you trek out to your nearest, here are some of our favorite tips.

  • Don’t ask employees for penny items
  • Asking for a price check is a no-no
  • After locating a penny item, load up on it
  • Be courteous to the staff
  • Keep the shelves clean
  • Write down your items by hand beforehand

Save Your Pennies

Don’t miss out on the pennies you find on the ground. They are worth more than good luck! Whether heads or tails, you’ll want to start saving your pennies!

Soon you will be a master of the craft. Have fun and learn as you go. Jot down ideas and solutions for next time around.

Learning how to penny shop is something you can build off as you go. Your ideas will keep coming and you will love saving so much money. Shopping has never been so much fun, has it?

Be sure to share your tips with friends family and social media. For more money-saving tricks and tips, check out our blog for more! Fill your piggy banks up!