Secrets to Shopping at the Dollar Tree

I don’t remember when the first Dollar Tree opened near my house — all I know is that it was an exciting day.

I do remember going to a dollar store in Idaho when I was a child when we visited my grandparents, and I thought it was the coolest place ever.

I wondered why we didn’t have one where we lived (and admittedly – maybe we did. I just don’t remember it).

However, I’ve loved the Dollar Tree since it opened in Littleton, and it’s become a place we got many times a year – for parties, for holidays, for presents…the sky is really the limit.

I’ve shared a few posts about the best products for different holidays (such as Halloween and Christmas). Today, I’m going to share a few tips for shopping at the Dollar Tree that you may not know about.

And before you say anything – yes, there are ways to save at the Dollar Tree…where everything is already dirt cheap.

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YES! You can use coupons at the Dollar Tree – pretty awesome, right? I don’t remember when they first started allowing coupons, but I think it’s pretty cool that they do.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using coupons at the Dollar Tree:

  • Understand their coupon policy – it can be read here. From what I’ve heard, many of the employees aren’t even that versed in it, so make sure you have a copy of it on hand when you go in store. For instance, a coupon cannot be used if the value is more than a $1 – makes sense. However, they will reduce the value of the coupon to less than a $1 so you can use it. So don’t just throw the coupon out!
  • Check sizes – many products at the Dollar Tree are smaller than what you would normally find at retail stores. Their policy states that in order to use a coupon, it must match the size listed on the coupon. So before you head to the check out, make sure what you are getting is the correct size.


Oh, how I love Ibotta! It’s a dream for people like me who just don’t love cutting and using coupons. It was a great day when they added the Dollar Tree to the Ibotta list.

It’s a free app that you download and can get cash back on certain purchases at the store. We use this for just about every store that we shop at, so you should download it if you haven’t already. You typically just have to scan your receipt and then the barcode on the items after you are done shopping. Easy Peazy.

You can sign up here – they often have promotions where you can get $10 when you sign up and redeem your first rebate!

Not all stores are the same

There are a few different sizes of Dollar Tree stores that are around – and obviously, the bigger ones have more stock. We have a few different Dollar Trees in our area, and I often will go to different ones when I can’t find something I’m looking for at a certain one.

Get to know which ones have the best stock. For instance, there is one store we went to by our old house that NEVER had any of the balloons in stock – at least, not any of the good ones. So I’ve learned to not go there.

Shop Early for Holidays

The Dollar Tree, much like most other stores, tend to get stocked up for holidays well before the holiday even arrives. If you are wanting to take advantage of the best products, I recommend going early.

For instance, when I went the week before Halloween this year, pretty much everything was picked over, and there weren’t any of the fun Halloween products I had seen earlier in the year.

Check back frequently

It seems like every time I go to the Dollar Tree, they have something new. So make sure you stop in every now and then, especially if you are looking for something specific. Typically, when they run out of stock, they’ll get it back in eventually (except in the case of seasonal items).

Know When the Inventory Comes In

On a similar note, ask your local store which days they get new shipments. That way, you can make sure you get there on a day when new products arrive, especially if you are needing something specific.

Walk Around the Whole Store

You never know what is going to be found at the end of an aisle or in the back corner of the store. I’ve found that some of the best products can be found in the weirdest locations.

For instance, I knew that the Dollar Tree usually has stocking sfor Christmas, but I could not find them anywhere in the Christmas section. Granted, I could have asked, but I just figured they didn’t have them. Well, they happened to be on the opposite site of the store behind one of the cash registers. So they did have them – just not where I was anticipating!

They Sell Name Brand Products

There’s an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch where Sabrina is babysitting with Harvey, and she brings out these snacks that have funny, off-brand names. I think people often think that the Dollar Store only sells weird off brands – but it’s not true!

They actually sell many popular and well-known brands, so make sure to take a look!

Check the Ounces/Size

I already mentioned the importance of doing this for couponing – but it’s also important to make sure you are getting the best price. Not everything you’ll find at the Dollar Tree is worth purchasing!

You can Shop Online

Did you know that most of the inventory available in stores can be purchased online as well? The only drawback is that a lot of it has to be purchased in bulk – however, if you are shopping for a party or something like that, it can be a great place to shop. I’ve found that for some items, they are sold in sets of four, so not everything is sold in huge quantities.

I know none of these are probably earth shattering, but I do hope they will help you navigate your Dollar Tree adventures a little bit better!

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Spending tons of time on Dollar Tree DIY Projects? Here are some secrets and tips for shopping at the Dollar Tree you won't want to miss!


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  • A dollar tree is only 3 blocks from me, and I buy quite a few staples there on our monthly shopping list. Baby wipes (only adults here, but they are very handy), canned name brand fruits, extra large cans of Campbell's Soups, glad and hefty ziplock style bags, candy, Cascade dishwasher tabs (4 for $1.00) but cheaper than buying a large quantity at grocery, and quite a few other things. Seldom buy party or holiday decorations, but that is because we really don't need them! I shop there weekly. Oh, great pet section, too!
  • Great tips. Another awesome thing they have: magic washclothes! All kinds of Disney, comic book, & cartoon characters, etc. And our store usually has some pretty nice 300 piece puzzles w/nice sizes pieces. Their 500 & 650 piece puzzles tend too be too dificult because the pieces are too small. Also, they usually have quite a few Disney,Comic book, & cartoon character "prize toys". They're the type that would work for carnival booth prizes and such.
  • Lovly article. I would like to add one thing to the coupon area though. Dollar Tree can only take 4 like coupons per transaction. You are able to use as many different coupons as you would like though. Plus read the fine print on the coupons. I've worked at Dollar Tree for a few years now and these are the reason most customers yell at me.
  • Be very careful when making purchases. Even with a receipt they will not make returns. They do like giving credits. This has been a problem for me with both articles that are broken or when I hane purchased too many or too much for a classroom project.

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