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Complete Guide To Penny Shopping at Dollar General!

Updated: May 13

Dollar General Penny Guide
Dollar General Penny Shopping


I am sure you have seen the pictures on social media where people are scoring items at Dollar General for $0.01. Most of those Facebook groups for the penny items, when you ask them a question they act like you are asking them the pin number to their debit card. Well look no further, her is EVERYTHING you need to know about penny shopping at Dollar General.

What are penny items at Dollar General?

Dollar General Penny Items are items that have clearanced out. This means they have already gone the lowest they are supposed to go (90% off) and are supposed to be removed from the shelves. When the Dollar General employees do not remove the items from the shelves and you find them, they will ring up just 1 penny! They are coded a penny so that when scanned the employees know they are the correct items to pull off the shelves.

How do we know when items will penny?

Typically most items will penny after a clearance event on a Tuesday, or after they reach a time of being 90% It could be the following Tuesday from a clearance event or it could be the week after. Sometimes certain items will take longer to clearance. As we have seen lately, DG has been keeping us on our toes and changing things around, so what might have been in years past, def may not be any longer.

How can I know what items are a penny?

Each week Dollar General releases a list nationwide to each store that informs the employees on which items to remove from the shelf, usually to make room for new items. You can find hundreds of items that are on the shelf at your local Dollar General that employees just didn't have the time to remove, you can find this list here. Every week as soon as it updates. We try to update it weekly but unfortunately sometimes there is not a list.

I have the list, I am heading to Dollar General, what is next?

Make sure you either print your list, or screen shot the list with the UPC number and description of the product. Once you get to Dollar General you will now want to look for your items. These items can be found in your clearance section or on the shelf where they are supposed to be. BUT HONESTLY, people will say, I'm going penny shopping, but the truth is your going on a treasure hunt, lol. WHY? Because as much as we want to think it is as easy as walking in and finding these items right there, its not that easy. You are going to have to have patience and time to really penny shop. You also may just never find one. Once you get into the store and start looking you are going to want to know how to scan items from your DG APP. You are going to want to open your DG app and choose the scanner from the front page of your app. Make sure your app is set to the correct store and start scanning items. The Dollar General app shows penny items when you scan them as 0.00, see store for price, or $0.01. Items will often show in your list on the DG app as $0.00, but if these are items that you are creating for a list, these are not a penny. Scanning your items, comparing them to the penny list, matching the UPC and packaging is ALMOST a guarantee that the item will be a penny. THERE ARE TIMES THAT THESE ARE NOT PENNY ITEMS. All you can do is take it to the register and if it rings up not a penny, just politely say, OH GOODNESS I AM SO SORRY, I am not going to get these items at this time. Offer to take them back, and move on to the next sale. Remember that the register is always the last say.

Where can I find penny items in the store?

You can find penny items anywhere in the store. ANYWHERE.

Dollar General penny items
Penny Items at Dollar General


What is the policy on penny items at Dollar General?

The policy is that the items should be taken off the shelf, but when they don't and you take the items up to the register, they cannot deny you the sale. THAT DOESN'T MEAN SOME WON'T. So, what do you do in that case? NOTHING. YES! NOTHING. Why? Well look at it this way, if they deny you the sale, and you call and complain, then the district manager is keyed to the fact that the employees are not removing the items so they will then make sure they will be in the future, that means definitely no pennies for that store. Employees turn around so much in retail so much that next week you may get a cashier that welcomes you to the penny items. Remember that penny items are not a guarantee so just move to the next deal.

Penny Policy For Dollar General
Dollar General Penny Policy


Take you time and do your research.

Know that penny items are not a guarantee and be respectful. Don't go in making a mess of the store.

Don't go in and ask the employees where are the penny items! That's not how it works.

If you make a mess, clean it up! KINDERGARTEN 101.

Be kind. Don't be a jerk, like Spongebob says!

KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. Here is an example. Someone bought a pair of boots and was not happy they were not a penny at her store. BOTH are the same boots, the difference is the tags. The tag says FW20, this means they were Fall/Winter 2020. They also have a BLUE DOT, this just means it is a non core product, or not year round, normal product and the BLUE DOT is how they categorize when it was delivered to the store.

NOW, here is the boots the person bought

Same item, Blue Dot, But the tag says FW21, that means it is a 2021 item which means they are new and not pennies. Also the person did not scan the item to double check they were in fact a penny. Make sure you know what you are looking for. Know how to read the tags at Dollar General, GO HERE and get all the info you need to know how to read Dollar General Tags.

Looking at the packaging of items

The reason that items go on clearance is to get rid of the items. This could be because they are seasonal, old items, or just changing pf the packages. When you see items on the list that are not old etc, double check the packaging. Double check by scanning your item.


When going to DG look everywhere, clearance sections are awesome for finding penny items. Look for the orange or yellow tag sticker put on items with clearance prices. Sometimes they penny and it is a sweet surprise.

Remember to clean up any items that you scan. So many people will scan and throw items around, please don't be that person. Here is where you can find your scanner in your app.

Make sure you are scanning from the home screen and not your list where items are added as this will cause a false reading of $0.01 or $0.00 making this look like a penny item.

Can I only find penny items on Tuesdays?

NO, you can find penny items any day as they continue to penny until pulled, all gone, or they reset.

I cannot find any penny items in my store, WHY?

This means that the store is doing exactly what they are supposed to do. Some stores are severely understaffed and unable to get to pull the items , and some just don't pull them just because. That is why you may see some gettings 100s of items and some will find nothing. You also may see stores selling 100s of penny items just because their DM is not concerned and would rather sell then the hassle of packing up all the items. Some stores have issues with getting their truck to take back the items.

What happens to penny items after they are packed up.

This is truly up to the store itself. Some are sold to pallet companies that resell, some are donated, some are trashed. Contrary to popular public accusations, employees cannot buy penny items, they can get fired if they are caught. Penny items go towards shrinkage of store and can count negatively to the store. Most cashiers do not want the negative impact of the consequences of buying penny items.

After scanning items it says item not sold at store what does this mean?

Absolutely nothing. Often seasonal items may say not sold at store because they are not CORE (everyday) items.

After scanning an item it says out of stock, what does this mean?

Absolutely nothing. This means NOTHING when it comes to penny items.

Make sure that you keep all of this info in mind as penny shopping can be fun but also can be very frustrating if you do not know what you are doing.

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