I have a little wooden box in my house that accumulates all my loose change. If I have any quarters in my pocket, they get thrown in the box. Any change in the bottom of my purse, or that I find cleaning- it goes in the box. Now, it’s been ages (probably years) since I’ve gone through it (usually it sits there, forgotten about, since I rarely use cash for anything)- but last night, I decided to count all the silver coins and was pleasantly surprised. I had over $35! Just sitting uselessly in my house. That’s a pretty decent dinner out for two, but of course you can’t just show up at the restaurant with a bucket of change (and if you have done that, shame on you!). I need to find some way to turn it all into cash. There’s Coinstar, but it takes about 11% of the transaction. So, I found this article by Dr. Don Taylor at the Bankrate blog. Here’s what he says to do with large amounts of change:
Talking to your bank is a good place to start, in any case. It might provide coin counting as a free service to customers even if they don’t have a machine in the lobby.
Coinstar, which operates machines at many grocery store locations, offers an alternative to paying its 10.9 percent fee. The coin counting is free when you opt to get a gift card representing the dollar value of the change.