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How To Save Money Shopping at Dollar Tree: Savings Pros Reveal the 9 Best Secrets

Coupons and cash back apps help you save even more on these already low prices

In 2022, Dollar Tree announced a monumental change to their original only $1 business model. And this one surprised loyal Dollar Tree shoppers everywhere. Due to the pressure of the rising cost of goods and increasing supply chain problems, the retailer announced it was raising its famous $1 price to $1.25 throughout their stores. Thankfully, this change was short-lived. In 2023, Dollar Tree reversed course and reduced the prices of 300 to 400 products to their original $1 price tag giving back customers the bargain they’d loved all these years. But that’s not the only thing that makes the store great. Keep reading to know more about how to save money shopping at Dollar Tree.

What is Dollar Tree stuff so cheap?

In 1986, Dollar Tree (known in the early days as Only $1.00) opened the doors on its first 5 stores in Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia. The ambitious concept of offering a wide assortment of high-quality goods for just a single dollar was the brainchild of J. Douglas Perry, his brother-in-law Macon F. Brock, Jr. and their partner H. Ray Compton. Despite retail industry experts doubting the success of their bold plan, their dollar stores became a runaway hit. By 2004, there was a Dollar Tree in all 48 contiguous states. By 2006, the retailer celebrated 20 years in business by opening their 3,000th store. And since then, they’ve gone on to open thousands more locations across the US and Canada.

Over this time, Dollar Tree has offered various ways to save, including accepting coupons on its already low prices, launching a website where you can get dollar store savings in bulk and selling many famous brands for less. 

In 2019, the discount retailer offered a whole new way to save: For the first time, it stocked products in the $3 to $5 range. With these Dollar Tree “Plus!” offerings, the popular store has been able to provide customers with larger sizes and a wider selection of goods (such as fresh and frozen food) while still keeping prices low.

9 easy ways to save money shopping at Dollar Tree

Whether you want to buy food, household goods or craft supplies, our money-saving experts agree that Dollar Tree can help you cut costs. Here, their easy secrets to saving the most every time you shop at a Dollar Tree near you.

1. Bring your coupons for bonus Dollar Tree savings

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Dollar Tree’s everyday low prices are already saving you a bundle. And by clipping coupons, you can save even more! “Many people don’t realize that Dollar Tree accepts manufacturer coupons,” says frugal living pro Ashley Langston of Facebook’s Frugal Coupon Living. But pay attention to the coupon’s terms, she cautions. “Dollar Tree is a bit tricky with their product sizes, requiring careful attention to size restrictions.”

Best of all? You can use coupons to get a product for free! That’s because you can use a valid coupon that exceeds the cost of a dollar on a single item. And at a dollar store where hundreds of products are only a buck, that can leave you with a $0 total! (However, don’t expect to get any cash back if the coupon is greater than the purchase price since Dollar Tree doesn’t offer overages.)

2. Earn cash back on Dollar Tree purchases

“Another way to save even more is to stack manufacturer coupons with a rebate app for bigger discounts,” says Langston. “Check out Rebate apps like Ibotta, Checkout51, and Fetch Rewards.” To use them, select available offers, redeem them when shopping in person, then upload your receipt to get cash back.

Also smart: Join the free cash back program at Rakuten.com and download its mobile app. When you shop at DollarTree.com on your computer or smartphone, you’ll earn 2% cash back on your purchases. Or use Microsoft’s Cash Back program which earns you up to 4% cash back on DollarTree.com purchases.

3. Get alerts about new Dollar Tree merchandise

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As you can imagine, with Dollar Tree’s low prices, new products can sell out fast. “Some items, particularly seasonal products, fly off the shelf, so it is always nice to get a little sneak peek of what is coming to stores,” says budget shopping pro Courtney Gunn host of the YouTube channel Creative on the Cheap. That said, how can you make sure you know what’s coming soon so you can take advantage of the major savings? “Joining Dollar Tree’s social media pages is a great way to see what is coming to the store,” Gunn notes. For example, you can follow Dollar Tree on Facebook and Instagram.

Another way to get a sneak peek at what’s coming soon: Check out Dollar Tree’s weekly ad, and sign up to receive their free newsletter.

“I also find it helpful to know when truck deliveries are made to the store,” Gunn shares. “If a delivery comes on Tuesday, I make a point to go on Wednesday morning.” This way, you get first crack at the new stock. To find out when your local Dollar Tree gets its weekly deliveries, ask a store manager or associate.

4. Pay Dollar Tree prices for major brands

Dollar Tree has seen a recent surge in shoppers who are looking to save money during times of high inflation and national brands have taken notice! Since they want to be where folks shop, they’re stocking Dollar Tree stores with more of their products and selling them at rock-bottom prices. Just a few items that Gunn has found while shopping: “Brand name makeup, like E.l.f., popular brand crayons, like Crayon, and brand name cleaners, like Clorox.” You’ll also find Crest, Dermasil, Dove, Mott’s, Sun-Maid, Tide and Welch’s products, among others, in-store and online.

Click through to discover our 11 favorite Dollar Tree food finds!

5. Scoop up discounted seasonal Dollar Tree items

Take a look at your calendar, then make a note to visit a Dollar Tree after major holidays (such as Christmas), annual events (like graduation) and after seasons change (for instance, summer to fall). “Dollar Tree marks down any remaining seasonal items that you can score for extremely cheap,” says Gunn. “I have been slowly gathering up generic graduation items after the season is over. Now, I am ready with tons of decor for when my son graduates. And the best part is I paid 25 cents per item.”

6. Find different Dollar Tree bargains by visiting different stores

If you’ve ever shopped at off-price retailers, like Marshall’s and TJ Maxx, then you probably know that each location stocks different items. The same holds true for Dollar Tree. “Dollar Tree merchandise can vary greatly from store to store,” says Shannon Hale, frugal home decluttering expert and host of the YouTube channel Shannon Skip to My Life. For example, some may offer lots of refrigerated food choices while another may have more toys. An easy way to find out what each location around you offers? “Check out online reviews of stores in your area,” advises Hale. You can find review at Yelp.com. “It may be worth your time to drive further for a well-stocked location.”

7. Nab dollar stores savings on larger quantities at DollarTree.com

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“One of the ways to save money that people might not be aware of when shopping at the Dollar Tree is that you can purchase items by case or lot on their website, DollarTree.com,” reveals financial coach Sara Conklin of Frozen Pennies. This can come in handy for a wide variety of reasons. “If you’re a teacher, you can buy bulk supplies. If you’re a bride-to-be looking for decorations or favors, it’s cost-effective to order bulk online.”

Tip: You can skip shipping charges by opting to have your order shipped free to a nearby Dollar Store location where you can pick it up.

8. Stock up on crafting supplies

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There’s a secret that crafters want you to know: Dollar Tree is a haven for low-cost arts and crafts supplies! Not only can you save a bundle, but the retailer offers a wide selection of products, including paint, yarn, beads and containers. “Not all Dollar Tree craft selections are exactly the same. Some stores have a wider variety of items; however, you will find a more cost-effective selection of certain craft items at Dollar Tree regardless,” says DIY crafting expert Mary Polanco host of the YouTube channel Mary Polanco Designs.

“For example, embellishment gems (the $3 pack) from Dollar Tree are less expensive yet just as high quality as the products you’ll find in other craft-related stores,” she assures. “You will also find paper crafting-specific items at Dollar Tree, such as mini self-healing mats and adhesive mats, that you can’t find anywhere else. Metallic markers and small jars for storing craft items are great, as well. I’m also a huge fan of the stickers and rub-ons for my projects. They’re a great way to personalize your items without spending a bunch on product,” Polanco shares.

The crafting aisle isn’t the only place you’ll learn how to save money shopping at Dollar Tree, says Polanco. “My favorite ways to save are to think outside of the box for my crafting. I use a lot of products that are marketed toward other uses for my craft room,” she shares. For example? “The microfiber cloths from the automotive section are the perfect size and material for cleaning up my surface as well as my ink blending brushes,” she points out.

“Dollar Tree round makeup brushes are perfect for inking up cardstock for my greeting cards,” she adds. “I also use glitter nail polish on my cards for a quick add of sparkle. If I were to buy glitter and glue, separately, to get the same effect, I would be paying 4 times the amount I pay at Dollar Tree!” she notes.

“Storage options are another great way to save on crafting. The cookie jars, both big and small, are ideal for craft storage and because they are clear containers, they add to the aesthetics in my studio as well.”

Looking for crafting inspiration? Dollar Tree’s Value Seekers Blog has lots of DIY ideas to get you started! (And you can click through here for more on crafts that soothe.)

9. Don’t skip these Dollar Tree ‘best’ bargains

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Sure, Dollar Tree is chock full of great buys. But which are the best?

Gunn recommends her 5 favorite ways to save money shopping at Dollar Tree. “I continuously purchase these at Dollar Tree because they give me the most bang for my buck,” she states.

“The first item is greeting cards and packs of notecards,” she shares. “These are a huge bargain, costing about 1/5 of the price you would pay at other retail stores. I love to stock up at the beginning of every year on a variety of birthday, anniversary, get well, and ‘just because’ cards. It ends up saving me money and time by having a year’s worth of cards ready to go!”

Gunn’s second favorite Dollar Tree bargain: “Party supplies, especially helium balloons,” she reveals. “You can host a very budget-friendly event by picking up a variety of party supplies like balloons, tablecloths, banners, paper goods and serving ware.”

Third on Gunn’s list of Dollar Tree must-buys: “Reading glasses. Dollar Tree has a huge variety and since the prices are so low, you can pick up several and not worry too much if something happens to them,” she notes.

“Fourth are kitchen utensils, particularly the wooden utensils, and items like spatulas and spoons,” Gunn shares. “It is always great to have a few extra cooking utensils in the kitchen.”

Gunn’s fifth favorite Dollar Tree purchase? “Storage containers,” she says. “When school supplies are stocked in stores, you can find a lot of great items to help get your house organized. The plastic bins and baskets are always a great deal!”

(Click through for our favorite Dollar Tree organizer hacks. )


Looking for even more ways to save on shopping? Click through these links below

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Money-Saving Pros: The 9 Best Ways to Save Even *More* At Aldi Grocery Stores

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