Last night, thanks to Sherrisa and Natasha, we had one of those smack your head moments. We’ve been so caught up in trying to build up our stockpile before our local Kroger store stopped doubling coupons that we forgot all about how much money we save when we shop at the various dollar stores in our area. But these two ladies reminded us and now we’re reminding YOU! Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Family Dollar stores all accept manufacturer’s coupons. They generally don’t give you any overage or cash back, but they also don’t have any limits – unless the coupon itself has limits. Most will also allow you to stack a manufacturer’s coupon with a store coupon. (Yes. The dollar stores do have their own coupons from time to time.) There’s one drawback to shopping at dollar stores: You can’t always get what you want. Stock and selection varies from store to store. The Dollar Tree on one side of town might have Purex No Sort in stock but The Dollar Tree on the other side of town might not have any variety of Purex at all. But, you can also find some pretty awesome deals. We recently found a few jars of the new JIF chocolate spreads for a buck apiece and we have a few $1 coupons so we got ’em for free.
Here’s a few tips for shopping the dollar stores:
Familiarize yourself with the store Like any other store, you’ll find more and better bargains when you familiarize yourself with the store. Don’t ever expect to save a bundle at any store on your first visit. Study their shelf tags. Look for the Clearance aisle. Compare dollar store prices with the other guy’s prices.
Bring along your binder
If you normally only carry the coupons you plan to use you’ll miss some great deals at the dollar store because their stock and brand selection changes so frequently. Bring your whole binder along and spend some time browsing. You never know when you’re going to trip over a whole shelf of Tide marked down to a buck.
Keep the ad
Here’s one lesson we learned the hard way: All dollar stores are not created equally. A few months ago Dollar General had a big ad with dozens of in-store coupons in the Sunday paper. And Dollar General let’s you stack coupons, so we were looking at some pretty awesome savings. BUT… When we went into our local Dollar General to pick up a few extra ads, they didn’t know what we were talking about. We visited 4 Dollar Generals that day and only 1 had the ad. Yes, they all honored the coupons even though they weren’t even aware of the ad. Every dollar store is different so if you have a few in your area, spend some time scoping them out.