How to Master Dollar General Penny Shopping

What if I told you there’s such a thing as Dollar General penny shopping wherein tag prices of clearance items have been slashed to over 90% but once they’re not sold and Dollar General employees forget to remove them off the shelves, it would just ring up 1 penny at the cashier?

Yes, that’s a thing!

And a lot of people have been Dollar General penny sale hunting for YEARS!

This post will explain Dollar General penny shopping in-depth, and point you where to go to have a consistently-updating Dollar General penny list.

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What is Dollar General Penny Shopping?

No one really knows when this started, but people began finding penny-priced items at Dollar General and this information has spread through the coupon communities. Today, it has become a way of living for some people, or a fun shop-and-hunt experience for others.

Every time Dollar General has seasonal and non-seasonal merchandise that has been marked down incrementally (or discontinued), it will ring .01.

Note that according to Dollar General, this penny isn’t the item’s sale price. Instead, this figure should indicate to DG associates that the item has been marked out-of-stock and should be removed from the sales floor. Every store has protocols in place for items that are supposed to get off the shelves (and different types of products follow different clearing-out instructions as well).

When a customer picks out an item (or items) from the sales floor and brings them to the register, Dollar General penny items should ring $.01 after verifying the SKU that the item/s are an out-of-stock item. In most cases, the cashier should let the customer buy them and pay only for the amount shown on the register. (This would be at the discretion of the store manager, so experiences may vary).

If your branch honors penny deals, be aware that the customer isn’t allowed to go back to the floor to get more of that item. And once the cashier has discovered the penny item, a DG associate should make sure none of that same item remains on the selling floor.

5 Ways to Get the latest Dollar General Penny List

Shopping for Dollar General penny items sounds easy, right? Well, the process itself is actually easy, but finding the items is the challenging part. The stores don’t actually promote these items like how they do during clearance sales or Black Friday sales, so your goal is to hunt them down.

1. Facebook Groups

Facebook is such a gem if you know how to use it well beyond its social media function. If you’re trying to look for Dollar General penny deals, hop over to your Facebook and find them in two ways:

  • Search for Dollar General Penny Shopping pages or groups. One quick search and you’ll see numerous groups like this. One of the biggest FB groups, managed by Julie’s Freebies, has over 700,000 members who share or request Penny lists on a day to day basis.
  • Search locally for Dollar General stores near you. As of 2020, there are over 16,000 Dollar General stores across the country. Because you’d eventually have to go to the store physically to purchase these penny items, it’s only smart to join DG FB groups near you.

2. PennyPuss.com and its own DG Penny Finder app

PennyPuss.com is a website all about saving money. It has its own super-popular Dollar General Penny Finder app of the same name.

“Penny” doesn’t share how she gets the list, but she updates both the page on the site, the app, and the Facebook group. It is always up-to-date. However, she doesn’t guarantee that the items will remain in its “penny state” since DG employees could find them first before you do.   

PennyPuss also has a Facebook page if you’re usually on that platform. If you prefer to get the Penny list via e-mail every Tuesday, subscribe to the blog’s newsletter.

3. DollarGeneralPennyList.com  and the Dollar Admiral app

You can get a regular supply of Dollar General penny items through these 3 places maintained by Jeremy Roberts:

  • The DollarGeneralPennyList.com – The site lists down Penny items every Friday, which you can then use by Tuesday.
  • Facebook Group – Like other Penny List FB groups, this is more of a community effort. Aside from the listings posted by Mr. Roberts, members of the group could also share their finds.
  • Rapid Penny Finder Dollar Admiral app – This free app works by allowing users to scan barcodes in any Dollar General without the need for Bluetooth or location turned on. You have a choice to upgrade the app (for a small fee) if you wish to remove the ads.

4. ThePennyList by Christa Coupons and its FB Group

ThePennyList organizes Dollar General penny items into an up-to-date listing. Some of the items are posted freely, so anyone can just get the list and shop at the store. But there’s also a paid membership (costs $2.99/month) where you can receive the Penny list earlier than the rest.

Christa also maintains a Facebook Group if you wish to follow Dollar General listings there.

5. Manual DG Penny Hunting at the Store

Dollar General Penny items are never marked with a $0.01 price tag. Because of this, you should train your eye to watch out for several things on product bar codes, such as:

  • Season – SP means Spring, SU for Summer, FA for Fall and WI for Winter.
  • Year – 15 (for 2015), 17 (for 2017), 19 (for 2019) and so on. Note that clearance items are usually products placed on the shelves a year ago (or longer). There is very little chance that you can get a penny deal for an item with a barcode FA19 if the current date is only December 2019.
  • Symbols – You’ll see a brown diamond, blue dot, pink star, pink dot, red dot, brown dot, purple dot, and so on. Each symbol will mean something: such as red dot for new items. Brands like Disney may also have their own symbol.

Dollar General Penny Shopping FAQs

Decoding the bar code takes practice, but the following guidelines should help you make every Dollar General Penny hunting a good experience. 

Can I use Coupons with Dollar General Penny Items? 

Yes, you can still use coupons (printed and digital) for the remaining balance of your transaction. Do note that cashback isn’t given for coupon overages.

What Tips Do You Have for Someone New to Dollar General Penny Shopping?

  • NEVER ask employees about penny items. They really aren’t supposed to know, since penny items are technically supposed to be out of the shelves.
  • Don’t make a mess. Penny shopping can feel like a hunt, but make sure to organize items as you saw them originally. Don’t leave the shelves a mess.
  • Don’t assume that the Dollar General wifi will work. Make a written list of your penny items before visiting the store.
  • Be nice to DG associates. Even if a Penny List app posted a certain item priced as penny, don’t demand the store cashier or crew that the item should be a penny. Not every store gets the same discount at the same time,
  • If you are 100% that an item is a penny item, load your cart with as much of it as you want. The minute you ring it up at the register, employees will pull off any other items still on the shelf once they learn about them.

And lastly, don’t take it personally if you can’t find any Dollar General penny items all the time. There are always discounted items at the store anyways.

And if you’re looking for something specific, such as sunglasses, t-shirts, clothes, dog-related stuff, cat food, lipstick, or others, make sure to look around as we have A TON of resources free for everyone.

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