The Secret to Getting Dollar Store Items for Free

Mother and daughter with makeup
Photo by fizkes / Shutterstock.com

At most stores, a $1 coupon shaves a buck off the price you pay for an item. But at the dollar store, a $1 coupon gets you something for free.

Yes, you can use coupons at many dollar stores. Major chains offer their own coupons or accept manufacturer coupons — or both — as we detail in “7 Ways to Save Even More at Dollar Stores.”

So in theory, scoring freebies at the dollar store is as easy as finding $1 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 Moola Saving Mom, The Krazy Coupon Lady and CouponMom.com 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 stuff regularly.

Take makeup, for example. Joanie Demer of The Krazy Coupon Lady notes that brands like Physicians Formula, Wet N Wild, ELF and Maybelline routinely push out $1 coupons.

“Any time there’s a new Wet N Wild coupon, something at Dollar Tree is going to be free,” she tells Money Talks News.

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 freebie, 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. CouponMom.com and Moola Saving Mom have webpages dedicated to listing coupon matchups for specific dollar stores. The Krazy Coupon Lady highlights a variety of dollar-store deals in blog posts.

Check out each site to determine which you prefer.

What to do with all your freebies

If you start using coupon matchups to get stuff for free at dollar stores, 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 CouponMom.com highlights freebies that are particularly helpful to charities, marking them with the line “This is a good item to donate to 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 come the holidays, some freebies fit neatly into Christmas stockings.

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