What if you could walk into a store and pull items off the shelves that only ring up for a cent?
This may sound too good to be true but it’s actually something you can do! Best of all, there’s no catch.
In this article, we will be talking about how to penny shop at Dollar General.
What will I learn?
What is Penny Shopping?
Penny Shopping is basically a hack for saving money at Dollar General.
When an item has been on clearance for too long at Dollar General, they get marked in the system as an item that needs to be removed. The way they do this is by pricing the item as a penny, which makes it easy to spot by workers.
You might be wondering, what does Dollar General do with penny items? Usually, these items are removed from the shelves and thrown away or donated. However, in the cases that they aren’t found by staff, they can be bought up by customers like you!
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You see, if an employee forgets to throw an item away, it is just sitting there on the shelf for literally only a penny. Penny shoppers at any point of time can come purchase it and, usually, the store will just let it go.
Why are items marked to a penny?
They’re still getting rid of merch they were going to throw away and you’re getting an item for nearly free. It works out for everyone!
However, it should be noted that some stores will just outright refuse to sell someone a penny item. While the corporate policy is to let it go, you never know what an individual store will do. In these situations, it’s honestly best to let it go and find a different store to try it at.
What is a penny shopper and why would I want to be one?
A penny shopper is someone who finds penny deals at Dollar General. They know all the ins and outs of how items are priced at the store and how penny items can be found.
The main reason you want to become a penny shopper is that you can save a ton of money doing it. Sure, it’s a little extra work to learn how to get started. Once you do it though, you’ll start saving so much on stuff you were probably going to buy anyway.
The best part is that it’s all practically free!
How Can I find Penny Items
The first thing you need to know is that penny items will never literally be displayed as a penny in the store. They only ring up as a penny to the store’s computer system.
However, there are ways for you to learn what is likely priced at a penny.
Product Code Names
When you are shopping, look at the barcode of a product’s tag. Here, you will usually find some numbers or letters.
These actually have specific meanings such as:
- SP – Spring
- SU – Summer
- FA – Fall
- WI – Winter
- 17 – 2017
- 18 – 2018
- 19 – 2019
So if you’re shopping during the winter and you find a shirt with the code “SP17” its almost certain this will have some kind of discount on it. The older an item is, the more likely it is it be a penny item that hasn’t been removed from the shelves.
One thing you’ll notice is that tags usually have a color or shape associated with them. You can usually find something attached to them like:
- Brown Circle
- Blue Circle
- Purple Circle
- Pink Circle
- Red Circle
- Brown Star
- Pink Star
- Brown Diamond
- Pink Diamond
- And so on!
You can probably guess that these colors and shapes relate to discounts. Unfortunately, this varies from store to store, so you’ll have to visit your local spot to figure it out. However, in most stores the discount will start at 10% and gradually increase to 90% over a two week period of time.
If you can figure out what the 90% symbol is, then you only need to wait about a week or two. After that, come back and see if the item has been put at a penny.
One final tip on this subject: most stores change their prices on Tuesdays!
How do you scan things at Dollar General?
Another great bonus about having the app is that you can also find other great deals every week.
The following are some tips to make it easier for you to get started.
- Don’t ask employees where the penny items are because they won’t tell you and will probably try to remove them before you can get to them
- Don’t ask for a price check. They will likely tell you that the item is unsellable because they are technically is supposed to remove that item.
- If you think an item is a penny, then load up your cart with as much as you possibly want of that item. Once you check out, the employees will likely not let you come back to get more penny items because they will want to remove that item as fast as possible.
- Be polite to employees. These are people you are likely going to see often and if you are known to be a nice customer, they will be more helpful to you!
Tools to Help You Penny Shop
After reading this article, you might still want some more help. Here are a few tools that you can use to get your shopping trips as cheap as possible.
Almost every month, penny lists get leaked out to the public. This doesn’t mean that your store will always follow the trends in these lists but usually they are fairly accurate. Here’s a site that updates regularly with new penny items.
Penny Shopping App
If you’re first getting started and you’re worried about how to successfully do this, don’t worry. There’s actually an app that can grant you access to a whole community to help you!
Check out our Penny Finder app review here to find out more.
Sometimes it’s easier to understand how to do something if you have a visual reference. Here are three videos we found that can teach you about penny shopping and walk you through the process.
- How to do Penny Shopping at Dollar General
- Learn how to Penny Shop @ Dollar General
- Beginners Guide to Penny Shopping at Dollar General
So that’s the 101 on how to penny shop. Now you just have to get out there are start trying it out! Before you start your shopping list and head to the store, check out our other article on ways you can save money at Dollar General that we linked to above. Good luck and enjoy the savings!