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Frugal Fridays: The Penny Jar

August 31st, 2007 · 7 Comments


You might have one of these at home already, but in case you don’t I thought I’d share about our penny jar this week.

Now, in my opinion, I hate pennies. There really isn’t anything that you can buy with just a penny (well, not much of anything) and they take up a lot of space in pockets and purses.

A few years ago my husband started a jar for change. It was really meant to be be for all pocket change, but it has ended up being mostly pennies.

Several times a year we take the full jar to grocery store and dump the pennies into the Coinstar machine there. The Coinstar machine counts the money and gives us a receipt, which we can take to the cashier and exchange for cash.

(This is something that the kids particularly like to help with. In fact, one of them has started her own penny jar.)

We never get much money back from our pennies, five or ten dollars at most, but considering that this is money that would probably be lost in the couch cushions or under the seat of the car anyway, it’s a nice little “bonus” for us several times a year.

(Coinstar does charge 10 percent for the service, but most banks in our area will not exchange loose pennies for bills.)

Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved.

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Tags: Frugal Fridays

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mommy // Aug 31, 2007 at 11:01 am

    We do this too. We have TONS of pennies, but we haven’t yet exchanged them. It would be exciting to do though. We don’t have one of those coin machines in our grocery stores. Maybe the bank can do the same thing?

  • 2 Laura // Aug 31, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    Hi Mommy!

    I’m not sure about all banks, but the banks in our area don’t like to do it.

  • 3 Demeter // Aug 31, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    We never collect enough to do this, but I’ve thought about it.

    A lot of the CoinStars these days will let you trade the pennies for gift certificates and you don’t get charged the fee that way. If there is a GC that you could use, that would be an even better way to trade in the pennies!

  • 4 Laura // Aug 31, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks Demeter!

    I hadn’t tried the gift certificate option, but Christmas is right around the corner…

    BTW, I’d start a jar anyway. I’m betting you get more pennies than you realize.

  • 5 Angela // Sep 3, 2007 at 8:56 am

    The bank we use will take all coins and put them through their machines. They don’t charge us a fee because we have an account with them.

  • 6 Maura // Sep 4, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    We also do a “change jar” that I had the kids decorate. Once full, we take it to the bank and put the bills at the bottom of the jar and start saving coins again.

    We used $115 this year towards a movie and dinner out!

  • 7 Laura // Sep 5, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    Hi Angela and Maura!

    Well, maybe banks have started offering this service again. I’ll have to check into it.

    Maura — That’s awesome that you got $115 dollars by saving pennies!

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