Coinstar is My Guiding Light.

Every now and then I get to fulfill a deepest desire, and last Sunday was one of them! The moment only lasted 4-5 minutes, but the joy I received was immense :)

This brings us to Saving Tip # 3001: Make nice with Coinstar. (UPDATE: Many banks now are offering this service for FREE!  So check there first :)) You know, that big green shiny hunk of a machine found in the front of hundreds of grocery stores (usually next to the sexy lottery machines!)? It’s a little place where saving goes a looooong way. This blingin’ piece of technology eats up all your coinage, then spits out a voucher for cold hard cash! Awesome, right?!

Of course, none of this really matters unless you have plenty of coins to share with it. This shouldn’t be a problem at all though. If you take a few minutes to search around your house, cars, jackets, purses, and even your couch cushions, you’d easily conjure up a nice collection. Or, even better, you can start throwing all your lose change in a central place. I use large funky vases (great for decorating too), or those antique candy bowls to gather them all. Either way, if you save up for a few months, you can come out with a good $30+ easily!

And sometimes, just sometimes, you get mad lucky and come out a huge winner! This is what I ended up with after 6 or so months of collecting. Check it:

Quarters 259 $64.75
Dimes 258 $25.80
Nickels 154 $7.70
Pennies 337 $3.37
Total: $101.62
– 8.9% commission
Grand Total: $92.58!


Now that is what I call some exciting news. Of course if you were truly frugal you could wrap all 1,000+ coins in those bank rolls and come out w/ 100% profit (by taking them to your bank), but you gotta be pretty hardcore for that. It would just kill my motivation in my case.

But there you have it – Take some time out and be pals with Coinstar (or your local bank/credit union). I mean, it’s already your money to begin with, but it FEELS like it’s free! And that’s all that really matters these days :)

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  1. Kelsey December 2, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    Use the Penny Arcade at a TD Bank if there’s one in your area. They don’t charge a fee, and they allow non TD Bank customers to use it!

  2. J. Money December 5, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    oh really? that’s awesome! I love when non-customers can use services like this… I remember people mentioning a few other places that did that, but unfort. Blogger wiped out my comments from back in the day before I switched over to WordPress here :( but now I know about TD Bank, so thanks!