Today I am linking up to Homebody, which is one of the blogs that I follow and read almost daily. Holly is featuring a Monday link party special entitled “Monday’s Money-Saving Tips” and I decided I wanted to link up to this party and share one of my money-saving tips.
My money-saving tip is to save your coins. I normally don’t carry a lot of cash so I instead scavenge for my husband’s spare change, check the pockets in the laundry, pick up coins on the sidewalk, etc. 🙂 Ever since I was a kid I have been a scavenger of coins. I used to roll my Dad’s change and loved to play with the money. The desire to collect change has not changed for me over the years and now I have a container that counts the coins as I insert them, but it is not always the most accurate count since I raid it when I go to yard-sales. Moving on….to the entire point of this post.
I had seen in my local grocery store the green coin counting machines and had checked them out previously and had opted to not use their service since they have a processing fee of $.098 per dollar counted. Basically for every dollar the machine counted, the company got to keep a dime. I know it is not much for a fee, but I did not want to pay it. A few weeks back my coin container was almost full and I really did not want to roll all the coins. My bank, which will remain undisclosed, requires the coins be rolled. I used to be a member of a credit union that did not require rolling and they would do all the counting for you in their machines for free, so that was a good benefit, but no longer available for me. I decided to check out Coinstar again and see what my options were.
As I reviewed the site, I noticed “Free Coin Counting and proceeded to learn more. I found out if you choose to receive a gift certificate to a sponsoring company then the processing fee is waived and your coins are counted for FREE! Some of the sponsoring companies include: Amazon, Lowe’s, iTunes, JCPenney, Old Navy, Starbuck’s, Overstock.com, CSV, among others. WOO HOO!
I decided that day to check out this Free Coin Counting claim and to see how complicated the process was. My local grocery store has the Coinstar machine. I took my container of coins that had to weigh at least 10 pounds. The process of loading the coins was easy, I would recommend to put some of your coins on at a time, not all of them, as I experienced a bit of a snag and overloaded the machine.
For a quick demo of the process, click here. The machine does its counting magic and once it is done it asks you how you want your money – a receipt that you can take to the grocery store clerk to give you the cash (this method involves the $.098 process fee) or in gift certificate form (FREE). I opted for Lowe’s since I knew I had an upcoming office painting project. The receipt printed out and provides you with an itemized count of the number of dollars, half-dollars, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies it counted. My grand total was $92.88.
Here is a picture of a sample receipt.
This past weekend I took my Coinstar receipt with my Lowe’s gift card information printed on it to Lowe’s to redeem it. I was slightly worried there would be a problem with it, but no problems and my loose change bought $92.88 in painting supplies. LOVE IT and no rolling! I highly recommend you check out Coinstar. You can check to find the nearest Coinstar location here. Kids will love this also – encourage them to keep their change, they can help putting the coins into the machine, and then they can buy something they want at a sponsoring store.
I will continue to save my coins and ruthlessly scavenge for loose change and will definitely be using the Coinstar service again. I mentioned the service to my Dad (he still rolls his coins and takes them to the bank) and I think he is going to give it a try. He easily could have $300+ of coins ready to be rolled/counted as I type this and he is a weekly Lowe’s shopper so I know it will come in handy 🙂 Give it a try! Yea for Coinstar!