How to Beat Price Inflation at the Dollar Store

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Woman holding her wallet
Luis Molinero /

Not even the dollar store is immune to inflation anymore: Dollar Tree recently announced that after 35 years of holding the line at $1, the chain is raising the price of most of its merchandise to $1.25 at stores nationwide.

You can knock that price down to as little as 25 cents and possibly even free with a coupon, though.

Yes, you can use coupons at many dollar stores. For example, Dollar Tree — the largest dollar-store chain in the U.S. — accepts manufacturer coupons, as we explain in “5 Ways to Save More at Dollar Tree.”

So, in theory, scoring dollar-store finds for less than a buck is as easy as finding coupons for items sold at your favorite dollar store.

In reality, though, that’s easier said than done. It requires combing through coupon websites and familiarizing yourself with the coupon policy of, and the inventory at, your local dollar store.

But here’s a secret few dollar-store shoppers know: You don’t have to do that research yourself. Deal blogs like The Krazy Coupon Lady and do it for you.

These bloggers scour all the coupons available out there and determine which coupons are for items sold at chains like Dollar Tree. The result, known as “coupon matchups,” is basically a list of current coupons that you can redeem at particular dollar stores.

While the lineup varies from week to week, you can expect to find free or nearly free stuff regularly.

How it works

The coupon-matching sites make the process simple for freebie-seeking shoppers. They tell you everything you need to know to cash in on a dollar-store deal, from where to find the applicable coupon to when it expires.

The only thing you need to know in advance is where to find coupon matchups for dollar stores. Start here:

Each website lays out information differently. has a webpage dedicated to listing coupon matchups for Dollar Tree. The Krazy Coupon Lady highlights a variety of dollar-store deals in blog posts.

Check out both sites to determine which you prefer.

What to do with all your freebies

If you start using coupon matchups, you will likely come across items that you can get for free but that you don’t personally need or want. If that happens, remember that dollar-store freebies are also a good way to stretch your giving dollars.

Stephanie Nelson’s site highlights freebies that are particularly helpful to charities, marking them with the line “Good item for charity.”

The website notes:

“If every shopper in the US donated one item a week to a local charity’s food pantry, their shelves would be filled and their clients would be able to get the assistance they need. At no cost!”

The “giving” could also be more personal. Friends who just had a child could use baby-related freebies that pop up. A basket of cleaning items, paper products and laundry supplies makes a nice gift for a relative who just got her first apartment.

And during the holidays, some freebies fit neatly into Christmas stockings.

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