Do you guys have a change jar? This is a habit I picked up from my early days of getting tooth fairy money and the occasional $5 bill from babysitting gigs (oh to be a child of the 80’s!;-) I guess it’s followed me into my adult life, because even now in the era of “I never carry cash and use my credit card for EVERYTHING”, I still manage to clear out a few tinkling pennies and nickels from my bag every night. And into the jar they go!
Well. I certainly never got around to actually rolling any of those mountains of pennies to take to the bank…and the idea of plunking them into a coin counting machine and then losing a solid 10% for usage costs just never appealed to me enough to lug the coins to the machine. But then! I discovered a little trick that allows you to retain all your money if you’re willing to forgo dollar bills from the machine and instead take a gift card…and voila! You keep every single bit of it!
I recently decided to haul my change jar to the Coinstar machine on 43rd Street inside the Food Emporium (talk about a workout, whew!!!) and pour them into the machine in exchange for an Amazon.com eGift Card (also tons of other options from Starbucks to Sephora to IHOP.) It was super easy breezy, and at the end I had redeemed a giant jar of coins for $57.47 in “cash” I could now use for books, coffee, shampoo, or any of the other random things I get from Amazon. A total win/win! And the clerk at Duane Reade won’t hate me for paying for stuff in coins, double score!
The Coinstar machine will also let you choose to donate your change for charity, or get cash (as in dollar bills) back–although they do take a 10.9% service fee. Regardless, all three of these options require no rolling, sorting, or counting! And the feeling of a once again empty coin jar is, well, pretty priceless;-)
What about you? How do you handle piles of change?