How does Raymond get rid of his excess pennies?

Commenter Boris mentions that he uses NJ Transit to get rid of his excess pennies. But what do you do if your area isn't served by NJ Transit?

I use the self-checkout line at the grocery store. The machine has a slot for accepting coins, and you can drop pennies in there until your arm falls off. I don't do this when the grocery store is crowded, since this holds up the line.

(Yes, banks also have change-counting machines, but using the machine is overkill when you have only thirty pennies to get rid of.)

Comments (26)
  1. Kimmo says:

    Coins are evil. I’m glad I’m not living in Denmark where coins galore!. I’m a total nervous wreck each time coming back home. No, seriously. I am.

  2. Mike Dunn says:

    I have two bowls in my kitchen, one for quarters (which get used in the laundry machines) and one for all other coins. Since I don’t carry coins in my wallet, any coins that I’m carrying when I get home go straight into the appropriate bowl.

    The way I get rid of the non-quarters is easy: Coinstar. Every November, I take them to a Coinstar machine and exchange them for a gift card for an online store (that way I don’t pay a fee to Coinstar), then use that store to buy Xmas presents. The last time I did this, I had over $40 in that bowl.

  3. Jonathan says:

    One word: Change-returning vending machines.

    Ok, that’s 4 words. But you get the point.

  4. BCS says:

    I once purchased a mountain bike with rolled coin. I’m probably one of the few people in the world who have, pound for pound, paid more for a bike than it weighs.

    And mentioning weighing money, I once paid about $50 in coin and the store weighed it rather than count it (using a scale something along these lines:

  5. Mike Dunn says:

    (It also looks like the me-being-unable-to-comment problem is fixed)

  6. DysgraphicProgrammer says:

    I give my pennies to the charity collectors who come door to door in my neighborhood. This kills several birds with one stone. It gets both the coins and the collectors out of my hair. The charity is happy to have any money it gets.  And I consider having to carry $50 in pennies for the rest of the night to be just punishment for ringing my door during dinner :)

  7. njkayaker says:

    I keep my change in my car. When I go into a place to buy something, I grab the change too. I end-up having a small average amount of change.

  8. chris says:

    I keep my change count down by spending them.

    Also my bank has a self service coin counting machine. Dump your coins in, it counts them and prints a ticket, take ticket to teller and they will either deposit into your account or give you notes

  9. Ed says:

    I have an automatic sorting bank that puts coins into rolls on my dresser.  At the end of every day, I dump whatever coins I’ve accumulated in that day into the bank.  Once a roll gets filled, I take it and use it on whatever my next purchase is.

    Before I had the bank coins would just accumulate.  When I first got it and filled it up for the maiden voyage, I ended up with almost 75 bucks.

    [This assumes local businesses accept rolled coins. Stores out here have a policy of opening the roll and counting the coins manually, which is cumbersome and annoying to the cashier. -Raymond]
  10. Michael Mol says:

    In college, I would leave stacks of five or ten pennies in various obscure, hard-to-see places and keep track of how many hours, days or weeks it would take for them to disappear.

  11. John says:

    I read pennies with 1 n. :) Thought this post was dealing with some kind of disability :)

  12. Aaargh! says:

    Even better is to just get rid of the cent altogether. In the Netherlands we stopped using 1 cent coins in 1980, every transaction was rounded to 5 cents. When the Euro was introduced in 2002, we got the cent back and it was quite annoying, so in 2004 it was decided that stores could round to the nearest 5 cents again and 1 and 2 cent coins disappeared from everyday life once again. It’s still legal to pay with them, but nobody bothers.

    Since a dollar-cent is worth even less than a euro-cent, why do you still keep using it ?

    [Efforts to eliminate the penny in the United States. -Raymond]
  13. Stephen Tordoff says:

    Surely this is the better way:

  14. I used to do this when I took the commuter train, where buying tickets every day cost about the same as a monthly ticket. A year ago I moved, and now get a light rail system (where I buy a monthly ticket with a debit card) or walk. As a result, I have now accumulated about a kilo of small unspendable coins. Bah.

  15. Joseph Koss says:

    Save the coin and wait for big inflation to kick in (which looks likely to happen over the next decade) at which point the raw metals will be worth more than the coin.

  16. Voo says:

    @Joseph Koss: Which is illegal as far as I know – even over there in the US – otherwise this would be the perfect way to make money.. the the penny is not the only coin that costs more to produce than it’s worth ;)

  17. James Moore says:

    Tip jars.  Presumably anyone working in a place that has a tip jar values pennies far more than I do, and they’ll figure out something useful to do with them.

  18. Ron says:

    I got rid of all of my pennies 5 at a time when I discovered that King County Metro takes pennies, though now that I’ve started using ORCA to pay my fare they are piling up again.

  19. Joseph Koss says:


    In America, it is indeed illegal in the case of 1 cent and 5 cent pieces, but not larger denominations. This is so because only these two coins (so far) are worth more than their face value.

  20. Merus says:

    I save my loose change (or as it’s referred to here, shrapnel) in a jar. When the jar fills, I visit the bank and get some coin bags, then bring back the full coin bags as a deposit into my account.

    I guess a coin-counting machine (like a vending machine) would be less time-consuming, though.

  21. Boris says:

    Wow, I’m famous!

  22. Dan says:

    I like to leave my pennies at the deli counter at Costco. No sense walking out of the store with them.

  23. Michael G says:

    We’re getting off topic here, but…

    Just because it costs more than a penny to make a penny does not mean that melting them down is profitable.  

    The cost of making a penny is more than the cost of the raw materials, and the cost of melting a penny down is not insignificant when compared to the value of a penny.

  24. Worf says:

    Do people not try to make good change? I mean, I always spend my coins, so I never understood why people had change jars.

    If something was $9.51, I’d pay $10.01 or $20.01 to get 50 cents or $10.50 back. Sometimes it comes out funnier, like I had to pay $9.82. I paid $20.07, and got back a $10 bill and a quarter.

    Really – am I the only one that does this? Everyone else pays with a bill and gets oddball change back that they take home? Or are math skills needed to calculate convenient change too advanced for most people? (This isn’t even the funny change things a few days ago…)

    [My wallet does not have a change purse, so I tend not to carry change with me everywhere I go. -Raymond]
  25. Sion says:

    BCS, you’re not the only person who has paid, pound for pound more for a mountain bike than it weighs.

    Only this year, I spent 1,850 British pounds on a mountain bike, and the bike certainly doesn;t weight anywhere near two thousand pounds :p

  26. Embarrased says:

    Is it just me or is it very easy to misread the last word of the title by leaving out n & e?

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