Loose change drives me nuts. When you throw it in your purse, your purse winds up getting overly heavy and if you leave it loose in the car it can get messy real fast. And don’t even get me started on pennies. Ugh!
To help collect the change in my car I throw it in the ashtray. This is typically change from the drive thru or getting gas. Since my vehicle is strictly no smoking this is not an issue. Once the ashtray is full I empty the change into a small bag and cash it in at the Coinstar machine at the grocery store.
In the house we have a large jar that we throw our spare change into. This use to go towards our Christmas fund, but now we put this money in our daughter’s savings account. Well, I cash it in around Christmas for gift cards and move that amount of money from our Christmas Club account into her savings account.
When you cash in your coins with Coinstar the trick is to cash them in for a gift certificate. This way they don’t charge you a fee. Since even my bank charges a fee for coin counting I love that I can get it done for free with Coinstar. Make sure that you select a gift certificate to a store that you would shop at anyway and that you’re cashing in at least $5.00 worth of coins. If you cash in less then $5.00 worth they will charge you a fee.
Saving your change is a painless way to save money. I have been doing this for years and you can easily get at least $150 a year in spare change. Just make it a habit to empty your pockets or your purse every night into some sort of change collection container and before you know it, it adds up.
Update: I answered this question in the comments, but wanted to add it here to for those who don’t click through to the comments. The question was if the machine gives you a choice of gift cards. When you go up to the machine, before you start dumping your coins in, it will ask how you want to cash out. You select gift card and then it gives you a choice of gift cards. The availability of gift cards varies by machine, so check out the coinstar website to see where the machines are and which gift cards are available at which machines.
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