Here you can see what represents $94 in cash. Each stack of quarters is $1 and each placeholder of nickels, dimes, or pennies, represents $1 of that denomination. It’s kind of hard to stack 100 pennies or 20 nickels, for example.

I’m a saver. When I have loose change floating around in my pocket, backpack, or wherever, I place it in a jar that I have on my dresser. When the jar is nearly full, in this case about 2/3 – 3/4, I usually exchange it for cash. I’m not quite sure how long it’s taken me to fill it up, but a while. Maybe this time I’ll write a start date on it!

I’m pretty sure that I picked up this habit from my mother who had a huge piggy bank full of nothing but quarters, half dollars, and dollar coins. Also, she took money out of every one of her paychecks for US Savings Bonds. She grew up pretty poor, so it was important to her to have a backup stash. The amount that she saved was well into the thousands! A good habit to have, I think.

Coinstar used to charge about 7% to exchange coins for cash. Hey! They need to make money, too! Now, the fee is up to 10.9%, which in this case means that I’d have to give up an entire row of quarters, $10, just to make the exchange. Well, that’s not gonna happen.

I can exchange it, without fee, for a gift card to the grocery store (Walmart, Harris Teeter, etc), or for an Amazon gift card. So, basically, no fee if you plan to spend it on something else. I tend to buy a lot of my stuff that I need/want from Amazon, since I’m a Prime member. I guess that’s what I’ll do – hold onto the card until I see something that I need to buy, and use that. Works for me. I don’t like to buy junk.

Seems that banks don’t want to deal with coins, either – this legal tender is kind of hard to deal with in bulk. Might as well get these back into the system and start the refill process all over again 🙂

Addendum: After adding in the coins that I had stashed in my car, I was able to get an Amazon gift car for $105! Sweeet! The jar is now empty, save for some foreign coins from my travels:
1 – Mexican Peso
1 – 20 Pence English coin
2 – 10 Centavo Brazilian coins
1 – 5 Pence English coin

Appliance solidarity or sympathy death, perhaps!
Travel plugs




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