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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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5 tips to save more at dollar general

This post brought to you by Dollar General. All opinions are 100% mine.

Over the past year I have grown more and more fond of my local Dollar General.  Every time I go in I always end up finding deals I didn’t expect and loving the savings.  If you are new to shopping the DG deals, then here are my top 5 tips to help you save more:


1.  Look for special markdowns on specific tagged items.
Most toys, household items and clothing have special symbols on their tags that are colored coded with shapes.  You’ll see a yellow star, blue dot, etc.  They use these symbols to do clearance markdowns.  Look for clearance notes around the store that may have all of one symbol on 50% off clearance.

2.  Holiday & Seasonal Markdowns.
Dollar General needs to be on your list of stores in the days after any major holiday:  Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter and many others.  They mark down large sections of items very quickly, many times bringing those products to a section of the store closer to the front door.  We’ve gotten huge toy sales after Christmas, Christmas decor items for 25¢ each, Valentine’s day candy for 10¢ and many other fun finds.  Also watch for items to be clearanced at the end of summer.  I have a great stash of beach toys that all cost 10¢ each at the end of the summer last year.

3.  Special Weekly Deals.
Many weeks you’ll find fun sales running in the weekly ad.  They do have BOGO deals, and even instant savings deals where you get a certain amount off at checkout when you buy participating products.  Remember, they do take manufacturer coupons.  So watching for these deals and using coupons can make for great prices.  In the past year, we’ve gotten free jell-o, kool-aid, and super cheap cereal with these sales.

4.  Store Coupons.
Before heading to your Dollar General, always check the Dollar General website for store coupons.  They have many coupons off specific items, and also release coupons almost every Saturday for $5 off any $25 purchase.  One thing to keep in mind, is that most stores will require your total be above $25 after all other coupons to use the $5 off coupon.  Pairing in some of the big weekly sales and clearance deals with manufacturer coupons and the $5 off coupon makes for great deals!

5. Milk.
Yep, I’m giving it it’s own category.  I can’t speak for every Dollar General, but in my area milk is at least 50¢ a gallon cheaper than other stores!  Plus… for this mama I want to hug them for putting it at the front of the store.  Don’t forget to also take advantage of apps like Ibotta and Checkout51 that offer savings on milk no matter what store or brand you buy.

Do you have any tips for how you save at Dollar General?

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    • pdnr

      How much are you paying for milk? Walmart was always cheapest at $3.38 a gallon but has now gone up to about $3.80 in the last couple of weeks. (Lexington, SC)

      • barbara

        our $gen is not coupon friendly-they really think you’r stealing-but-they can not figure out exactly how

        • hijo

          Same here, they NEVER know how to ring up coupons (no training, I guess), and beware, if you have a store AND a manufacturer coupon (which they allow you to stack but it never works). The cash register will beep and the cashiers will look at it like a mouse at a snake. Then they will turn to you and give you a nasty look. At my DG, there’s usually a line and only one cashier (if you need a store manager, he/she is usually not available). One cashier did not know how to ring coupons up at all and the crowd got impatient and angry. So I had her void the transaction, got my coupons and left for another store. This was my last visit to DG last year spring.

    • Donna

      I almost fainted when I saw milk at Publix for 4.19 last week – I bought it at Bi-Lo yesterday for 3.69 – their usual price. (Clemson/Seneca, SC)

    • Madee

      I typically buy my milk at Walgreen’s because they have it for $2.99 pretty regularly. :)

    • Mike

      DG in / around Newberry SC is charging nearly $4 a gallon while I like some other can get it at either Walgreen’s or Rite Aid (with my everyday 20% discount) for $2.99 or less

    • Kathy

      I love Dollar General stores….they have almost become “mom and pop” stores of years ago. In my town of less than 18,000, we have 5 yes 5 Dollar General stores. I love the stores and the convenience they have provided. I don’t find their prices to be that much more than Walmart….especially when you consider the gas it takes to get there. (I live 10 miles from Walmart and 2 miles from a Dollar General).

    • lisa

      I have a Dollar General Market in KY, which has produce, fresh meat/chicken and a lare freezer section. It is FABULOUS! They also have lots of specials each week that can be up to 50% off!

    • Kristan

      I buy milk at Walgreens too. Milk is $3.89 at Kroger and Walmart here outside of Savannah, Ga. My sister in Tx says regular price at her Kroger is $2.89. I would like to know why, if there is even a reason.

      • Diane

        Each state has a dairy lobby. The get state governments to pass laws protecting their profit and to discourage sale prices.

    • Sue

      My DG finely started posting their milk prices @ 3.50 a gal. while Walmart went from 2.88 per gal to 4.05 per gal. I did fine milk for 2.65 a gal @ Family Dollar and ti goes fast. Our DG is very good at taking coupons, their clearance isle is a big JOKE that is just where they throw anything on the shelves and nothing is marked down.I do find some good deal there on some things and it is convent to my house at less than a mile Walmart is more than 30 and that is a once a month shopping on a very low fixed income.

    • Cathy Mennitt

      Walmart does price matching so I think you can get it for the lowest price. Also my Walmart seems to know what the lowest price is and goes a penny or two lower that week. I live in Vero Beach FL.

    • Lana

      We love DG too! One thing not mentioned is their wine. At $3.95 a bottle it is a steal and it has become one of our favorite brands because it is so good.

    • Jgwm16

      The $5 is taken off Before you use your coupons that is policy. You can use multiple receipts on several trips thru the lines. Coupons should be no problem they get reimbursed to take them. Ask them to read their coupon policy which should be posted.

      • Jane Walker

        Mine makes you have $25 total after your other coupons or they won’t let you use $5off $25.

        • kelly

          If you use a printed from the dollar general website it actually says cashier instructions, scan this coupon before manufacturers. I pointed this out to mine and they no longer argue. Might be worth a try .

    • Joannar

      I’m glad you have good experiences at Dollar General. :) My DG is a couponer’s nightmare. They don’t accept any printable q’s, even the ones from their own website. Last time I went, they wouldn’t even accept my $5/$25 coupon on a Dollar General RECEIPT. The manager shrugged and said sometimes it worked, sometimes it wouldn’t. She refused to put it in manually. Their prices are high even on milk, and the clearance aisle is a joke except when they have 90% off seasonal sales, which are definitely worth the trip. Thankfully, our Publix accepts DG’s $5/$25 on Saturdays even though Dollar General may or may not accept their own coupon!

      • blee

        I would contact the home office and verify coupon policies and let them know what is going on. They could be loosing a lot of business because of this policy or problem. Not to mention how it makes you spend time running around other places. Good Luck!

    • ellen

      I have had terrible luck with coupons at Dollar General. If something is on sale and I try to use a coupon it will not go through. It is not like it is bigger than the sale amount. No one seems to have a clue when it come to coupons. I have finally just started taking the sale circular to Walmart and using my coupons.

    • mullins

      Today I was able to buy 10 kellogg cereal and two poptarts for the grand total of 13.50. with the instore discount, 5/525, and my ip coupons

    • Mary

      I have been told in my area, that since they went to a new system, they have to ring up the each coupon after each product. You can’t do all the coupons at the end of the transaction, the register won’t accept but one coupon if you do it that way.

      • Mary

        This was told to me by the store manager. He also told my daughter the same thing.

    • kelly

      The $5 off on Saturdays is an excellent way to stock up on detergent. This week wisk is $4 at mine. Buy 7 for $28 – 5 coupon – 7 coupons for 1.50 off = 12.50 or 1.79 a bottle!! If you actually print the coupon from their website instead of using one on a receipt it actually has cashier instructions that say scan this coupon before any manufacturers coupons.

    • ArtOfSophie

      I find DG to be a bit expensive on a lot of things BUT their DG brand (DG or Clover Valley) is usually reasonable. The big markdowns on their holiday items after the season is always worth the trip. It’s hit or miss sometimes. DG is the closest store to me in my new (very small!) town. I usually am there at least once a week to pick up something. I can sometimes find amazing deals in the clearance aisle, but you have to pay attention because sometimes the items that are in the clearance aisle aren’t really clearance–sometimes they are regularly priced items that are just in that aisle for whatever reason. I think my favorite DG deal was last summer. Folding tv trays for $3 each-they had been $10 each! We use those for holidays and all sorts of things. It also helps that the DG cashiers at my store are usually nice and patient. I’ve heard some horror stories about other DGs so I’m thankful for mine!
      Also, as a mom, I am thankful for the $1 toy items as well! Those are nice treat items that aren’t too expensive and there are quite a few to choose from.

    • aly

      I always lose out there so i stopped going there….. The staff never knows the coupon policy……it was getting to embarrasing to argue over it…… Then they would call the manager over who knew the coupon policy even less…

    • Bellaluna

      I am in northwest Georgia and we have 12 Dollar Generals in our county! At some point or another, I have probably shopped at all of them and never had a bad experience. The $5 off $25 coupon has to be used first per the instructions on the coupon. You can get them from a previous receipt from a purchase you made there earlier or you can print one from their website. And there appears to be no limit to how many you can use as long as you hit the $25 mark first. I used two yesterday and the cashier at the store nearest to my house, less than 1 mile away, laughed when I came in and she said, “How much are you going to save this week?” The only thing that could be improved is the scanner for the coupons. Sometimes they do not scan and she has to enter them manually. My store just opens the other register so folks do not have to wait. I have also helped give some shopping tips to people in the store which made them purchase more, but they got a better deal in the long run, so maybe that is why they put up with me! I have had no problems with printables or coupons from the inserts–they accept both. I think you just have to watch the sales and get the deals, just like any other store. They have a freezer and refrigerated section which is a bit high, in my opinion, but convenient if you need it. It is also much cleaner than those awful convenience stores! I have gotten some great Saturday deals at DG, so I love it!

    • mcleodsc

      I am over in Sumter, SC. Jenny you need to come here and try to shop at any of the DG stores here. None of the stores here are trained on correct usage of the $5 off $25 coupon. The only way I can use it is if I buy more than $25 and do NOT use any coupons at all. Another issue here is if you buy more than one product and try to use a coupon for each item purchased. Only the first coupon will work. The solution I found was to have the cashier scan the coupon right after the item. Some managers/cashiers have refused to do it and the transaction always ends with me and my coupons leaving empty handed. Then there is the store that will scan each coupon after the item and then when you get to the end, refuses to scan the $5 off $25 coupon because at that point you are under $25. Another time a store manager would not let me use a $1 off coupon on an item priced at $1.00. He insisted it was a free coupon which was against the coupon policy. I have complained and complained. I sent an email to the district manager who did not respond. I have sent a lengthy letter the DG headquarters outlining the situation here in Sumter. I even suggested they send in an “UNDERCOVER BOSS” to see the problems first hand. Why can’t the district managers, store managers and cashiers be trained so that no matter which DG store you go to you get the same shopping experience.? As it is now each district manager, store manager and cashier is allowed to make up their own rules and interpret the coupon policy instead of just following it.

    • sputnam

      My DG in Laurens, SC is quite frustrating. Today I purchased 1 BIC Disposable Razor, on sale for $2.75 and used the $3 off one coupon from the paper. I was told that I could not use the coupon because the total of my order was less than the amount of the q. I added a 50 cent item to make the purchase over the amount of the q. Instead of taking the $3 off the $3.25 total, the register deducted $2.75. In other words, I had to pay full price for the added 50 cent item. What a rip-off! I didn’t mind that the q would only deduct the amount of the razors, but why should I be forced to purchase another item I didn’t even want in order to be able to use the q?

      This is not the first time I have had difficulties here, but it may be the last.

      • JHerndon

        ask them to type in coupon for 2.75, they can do that just depends on how nice cashier is

        • JHerndon

          when I had her do that I got 3 packs of BIC razors for 0.70 :)