Have a problem with too many leftover coins (yeah, you could have worse problems)? Too lazy to roll up your coins and deposit them in a bank account? Or do you toss aside your coins because they’re so heavy to carry around, and then find yourself breaking bills all the time just to get a quarter or two?
Coins definitely weigh you down, but there are still a few places where you’ve really just got to have them, and so it makes sense to save your coins and pennies purposely for just such occasions.
The converse holds, too: if all you have left is coins, you’ll be in good shape at certain joints, so hang onto them. They’re still money!
Where You Can Get Rid of Coins
1. Bus/Public Transit.
Most all buses and other forms of public transit still accept good old fashioned coins. Some places might have fare card dispensers that will also take your coins, and let you purchase a fare card or ticket with the largest handful of coins you can carry. If you need a great place for getting rid of excess coins, save them for the bus.
2. Parking Meters.
Goes without saying that even car-drivers can make use of their coins in many parking lots. Load up the meter with your excess coins and don’t worry about breaking bills for this. You could even bring your coins into your car and keep a stash there just for these occasions.
3. Toll booths.
Once you’re in the car and driving you might run into some tolls on the highways. And you’re going to need coins for these. Some are automated and won’t give you any change – but the good news is that these are the perfect place for dumping all that metal.
Yes, a large section of society still needs laundromats, and these places will usually take your quarters – and you’ll need a lot of those quarters, so save up. Sure, many laundromats have change machines, too, but why waste a good bill when you probably have a stash of coins hiding out around your apartment? If you’re traveling you might also find yourself using one of these places…
You’ll probably receive some change back with your check at the restaurant anyway, but it goes without saying that not only can you leave those coins there as part of the tip, it’s a great opportunity to add some of your own and lighten your load. In other words, don’t leave bills with your tip if you can avoid it (perhaps larger checks might necessitate bills, but see how many coins you can reasonably leave first).
These will be more of a rarity, but believe it or not, there are still situations in which you might have to use a payphone. Cell phone dies, battery runs out, no charger, top-up doesn’t work, credit card is maxxed, and on and on. Maybe your bag is stolen and your phone, too. Fact is, you need coins to run these old-school phones. Remember? Part of every survival kit should be at least $1.00 in quarters just for the use of a payphone (where now 50 cents is more of the average price of a call).
7. Coffee shops.
Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, whatever your preferred coffee shop is, it’s a great place to get rid of your coins. Don’t break a 20 to pay for your triple decaf skim latte when it’s perfectly legitimate to pay in quarters and dimes – and even in pennies. You might do your barista a favor, though, and separate the coins into little bags if there are a lot – it makes it easier to count them.
8. Variety Stores.
Perhaps this should have been number one on the list, because there are so many items in a variety or convenience store that you can easily buy with a handful of change. In fact, this is usually a number one place for heading to in order to get change when we need it. From gum and candy bars to newspapers and watery, burnt coffee – you can find a good way to put your coins to use here.
9. Dollar stores.
Speaking of cheap purchases, don’t forget the dollar store. This place is different than Walmart or Zellers – it sells all the usual department store items (household supplies, gifts, party accessories), but for pennies on the dollar. This means it’s a prime place for letting go of your coins. Better yet, it may be even more socially acceptable to get rid of a bag of pennies here (even if you try to pay for a latte completely in pennies now, you’ll get some strange reactions – see why pennies are worth less than the metal they’re made of).
10. Donation boxes/charity.
When those kids come to your front door selling girl guide cookies or asking for UNICEF at Hallowe’en, or whenever you see a donation box at your local coffee shop for fundraising for a kid’s camp – these are excellent places to get rid of your coins and know that you’re fulfilling your tithing quotient. It may be a last minute decision and not be the best representation of your goodwill values, but at least you’ll have a use for the coins and be doing good, too.
So that’s it – this is why you need to save your coins, but also a great list of places where you can get rid of your coins (it all depends on how you look at it). Keep your coins in a jar by the door or in your bedroom – just dump them all in there and you won’t have to see them scattered all over the house. The only thing worse than heavy money is dead money in places you can’t find it.
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