How Shoppers Are Snagging 1-Cent Bargains at Dollar General

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Dollar general
Jonathan Weiss /

Bargain hunters who stay on their toes are getting outrageous deals at Dollar General.

Frugal folks keeping tabs on the public Facebook group “Dollar General Penny List Shopping” recently have scored St. Patrick’s Day decor, soup bowls that say “cozy” and LED bulbs for just a penny each, according to a Business Insider report.

Why has Dollar General suddenly become the place of a treasure hunter’s dreams? It likely comes down to this simple fact: The retailer is drowning in inventory.

As Business Insider reports:

“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Dollar General $21 million, in part, for creating hazards for workers and shoppers with stores overrun by merchandise. Some locations have become so overrun that local fire marshals have ordered them to close until they can clean up.”

In reality, Dollar General does not intend to sell items for a penny. The 1-cent price tag is merely a marker used to write off the items. Employees who see these price tags are supposed to remove the items from the store so they can be either returned to a warehouse or trashed, Business Insider reports.

However, a lack of staffing at Dollar General means these products can linger on store shelves. When customers spot the items, they inadvertently become 1-cent sales for Dollar General.

And that reality fills Dollar General shoppers with glee, with one person posting on Facebook that the bargains left them feeling like they were stealing.

In addition to joining the public Facebook group — and another private group that has more than 1 million subscribers — the frugal folks who scour Dollar General stores for nearly free items offer the following tips:

  • Shop on Tuesday — that is when Dollar General allegedly discounts the items in its inventory system.
  • Use the Dollar General app to scan items so you know how much you will pay.
  • Do not ask store employees about penny items, who might respond by pulling such items off shelves.

For more on cutting costs, check out “29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day.”

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