Monday, October 12, 2009

Coinstar

I was given $90 in change and a Flip video camera so I could make a video of how easy it is to use Coinstar. The kids and I talked about donating the $90 to Unicef (which you can do through the Coinstar Center), but in the end, we opted to donate it to the Church World Service Crop Walk that I'm participating in this weekend.

When you use Coinstar, you can either -

A. get cash back for your coins. Coinstar charges a fee of 8.9 cents for every dollar counted. Yes, the bank will do it for free, but sometimes it's hard to get to a bank while they're open and Coinstar is convenient.

B. cash in for FREE when you choose a gift certificate from a participating vendor.

C. donate it to your favorite charity. Coinstar works with several non-profit organizations including the US Fund for Unicef.

When we went to cash in at our local grocery store, I spilled the cup of change right as we were walking through the door. Probably $20 in change went rolling over the floor. And there we were (me, Savannah, and Brooklyn) trying to pick it up as people attempted to get by and walk through the door. A couple nice people, Felisa and Kevin, stopped to help us out. Only a dork like me could've managed this. Right in the doorway! Ugh.

Anyway, we headed to the Coinstar Center and started to cash in. Because we didn't want to pay the coin counting fee and the charity we wanted to donate to wasn't an option, we cashed in and got a JCPenney gift certificate. With 6 kids to clothe, I can always use that! Then I came home and took value of the gift certificate and donated it to Crop Walk. Does that make sense? I suppose it would've been simpler to just pay the $8.00 or so fee to count the almost $90 in change, but I wanted Crop Walk to get every penny.

According to Coinstar, the average US household has about $90 of change in it. So, here's our video with 10 tips on where to find hidden change in your house. Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments! Search your houses for change, turn it in and use it to buy Halloween costumes for the kids, candy for trick-or-treaters, Halloween party supplies, or donate it to Unicef or another charity of your choice. If you run out and do this, leave me a comment with how much change you were able to dig up. I'm really curious to know how much is lurking in the average home.

Oh and I didn't end up using the Flip camera at all. In fact, I'll give it away to a random winner on Friday. Good luck!


175 comments:

Sandy in Illinois said...

Dawn,
Unfortunately my search only turned up $2.87, but I'm all for donating to UNICEF or CWS. I'll add paper money to my find.

Natalie Young said...

We keep our extra change in a jar and when it gets full (usually around $120-130) we put it in the bank for the kids. Before having kids we'd use it for going out to a fancy restaurant or buying something we wanted but didn't "need".

Ashlee and Bill said...

looks like something "fun" for the kids to do!!! We use our change to buy stuff from our kids (origami hat's, cookies- that I made) etc.. So while I am low on change they always have a ton! Maybe I'll take them (one at a time) to try this out!

Sue daisy said...

i would love a flip phone for my oldest for christmas, they have been pretending to film movies all fall with the neighbors, action and adventure. the credit union will take your change for free, we have a disney jar, every three years we cash it in and go...usually about 300 dollars.

Mom24 said...

How do we enter???

Great idea to donate it to the CROP walk.

Our bank will not count change and will not accept rolled coins. Nice huh?

The Father of Five said...

We have a "family jar" for found change. If change is found, it goes in the jar. It is remarkable how quickly it adds up - then when there is enough in there, we use it to go to the movies, go out to eat, or other fun family adventure!

pastrytiff said...

I am one of those that only spends bills, never coins. I save them all in a GIANT jar, and every year or two I count it all and use it for something nice for myself. I usually end up w/ a few hundred dollars, and a few years ago was actually able to pay rent one month when $ was really tight.
My mom has a box that she does the same thing now, and she uses it for vacation.

Valerie said...

We have a coin rolling machine so right now we have about $147 in change rolled (not counting the unfinished rolls). We are saving up to take a mini-vacation with our kids :D
I would love to win the flip camera!

Thanks so much,
Valerie G from GA

Nicole said...

Last time we turned in change we had about $75.I always have change on my computer desk too.

Anonymous said...

SSO question: I gotta know... did you plant any of that change?

Hey Teach! said...

Its not really an odd place to find money but I have a jar on the dryer to collect my "jackpots". We are saving the laundry money up for a year as an experiment to see how much money our household launders...then maybe we can go out for a nice dinner....

Amy Flippin Blankenship said...

OK..you have me so motivated to go find change around this house but fearful of all the other crap I will find. LOL ;)

pigbook1 said...

I love coinstar, and I too always get a gift certificate. I did want to mention that sure banks SHOULD take your money, but a lot of them will start by making you bundle the coins which is why I don't spend the coins to begin with, I don't want to bundle them.

rebecca said...

I find coins in parking lots. seems if it's less than a quarter, people won't bother to bend over and pick it up

Julie B. said...

I just have to say... Clay has THE single, most awesome chipmunk laugh, EVER! It made me giggle! And he's so much like my 6 year old son, Andrew, he's my favorite!

Steff said...

Sweet! My girls would love a flip!

Lorene said...

In our house we have a "money jar" that all the spare change is added to. The goal is next summer to cash out the jar for vacation. All money that comes through the washing machine or dryer gets added to the jar. All change left laying around is added to the jar. Its great to watch my girls, 8 & 6, scouring the house for money. We've even added several dollars because also having a 20 year old he is great at not picking up after himself.

Jennifer in Wisconsin said...

My husband always leave me "tips" in his pants pockets when I do laundry. We have a fish bowl that collects our change and when we cash it in, we have about $100-$200 in it. Woohoo. Also, I'd love a Flip Phone, so I hope the random number picker picks me.

Anonymous said...

I save all my pennies in a jar , my husband uses the silver for snacks and my three year old son finds the rest!:)

Donna said...

great idea to get a coupon and then donate the proceeds to a charity not listed on Coinstar!! I will remember that the next time I use Coinstar...

Laura ~Peach~ said...

i rolled 100 in quarters this morning... i did not know the bank will do the change for free will have to ask about that today... cause we have about 500 or more in change we collect it for years then finally one will sit and sort and roll it...
great idea the charity :)
i would love the flip :) new grand son is doing all kinds of stunts now and should be video'd doing them LOL
have a great one!

Meredith said...

We have been putting all of our spare change in one of those jars where the lid adds it up for you. (Not that it works all that well...) This is our "airplane fund" to help the kids understand about saving for a trip and how expensive it is. We also put quarters for saying bad words in there. When FIL is in town it adds up nicely!

sandyn said...

That is funny about dropping the coins on the way in. a few years back I took our neighbor boy to the coinstar to cash in his change..same thing, he dropped all his coins. we scrambled for a long time picking them all up. no one had patience for us; maybe it happens more then we know? thanks for your blogs...sandy

Nancy said...

We regularly collect coins around here and place in a large water jug. I don't have any idea how much is in there right now. I'm sure I could clean out a couple of purses to add to the stash.

Hope you have good weather for your walk this weekend!

Kelly M. in Texas said...

Wow. Sounds cool. Thanks for the info! And the camera sounds nice . . . :)

Kelly
http://ourordinaryday.wordpress.com

Jen said...

I always see the coinstar machines, but I never think to use them. Donating the money to charity is a great idea. Also, I really need a flip cam - I'm having my first baby in March and I have to record his or her every move for the grandparents!

Anonymous said...

You have inspired me to look for spare change in my house!
I'd LOVE to win a Flip Camera!

Jill in Indiana

janetcc said...

$90 - wow that seems excessive. I don't think we'd be able to come up with half of that. I don't know what a flip camera is, but it sounds like a cool prize.

Jessica Willis said...

my husband and i bring our change to coinstar every six months or so. every time we manage to get at least $75 - a free date night every time! yay!

kellyb said...

I would love to win the flip camera - that would be cool!!

lizzyval said...

I love how you saved the $8, and used it for a good cause! It makes perfect sense to me, I hate paying fees. Good luck on your walk!

Melia said...

Thanks, Dawn for letting us know about the gift card option for Coinstar. That is something that I could use for sure. Of course, I would probably spill at the doorway just like you. Thanks for the laughs.

Shannon said...

My 4 year old loves Coinstar. We use it about twice a year with our loose change.

Hally said...

We'd LOVE a flip camera! I'll secretly hide it until Christmas for hubby's gift. He is insanely hard to shop for and this would fit the bill!

Rox said...

Oh, I would love to win this, I need a good video camera! Thanks!

lesan said...

My other half tends to leave coins on any flat surface. We've found coins in the couch, under the ottoman, behind the tv, on the table, on countertops, on and in the washer & dryer, in his shoes (due to a hole in a pocket, perhaps??), on/behind the chest freezer. Also, in the and under the drivers seat in our vehicles. Now my 2 yr old confiscates all change for his piggy bank. When it's filled, I deposit into his savings account. One fill-up yielded over $95!

Sara said...

I would love, love, love the Flip! I have three crazy boys (ages 3, 3, and 1), and we need to have a video camera we can whip out whenever they are being entertaining (which, you can imagine, is often). Thanks!!!

Amanda E said...

So far I've found about $20.00 in our home, but a lot of that I already knew where it was hiding....now off to search for the stuff that isn't actually visible!
Thanks for the tips Dawn!

geelizzie said...

My husband puts all of his change into a big jar every day. Not me, though, I usually spend my change. When the jar was full after about 6 months of this, he spent an entire afternoon rolling it all up, took it to the bank, and ended up with something like $225.00. I don't know about spending an entire afternoon rolling up coins, but the jar thing is definitely a good way to save up a few bucks. Since he takes it out of his pockets when he gets home we don't find change in the usual places like couch cushions and washing machines.

April M said...

We use to do this every year to buy a Christmas tree. I'd collect all the loose change around the house and it would usually be about $85 or so and we would buy a Christmas tree and it wouldn't come out of our Christmas budget.

We have also done this for spending money for the kids before we go on vacation. They collect all the loose change and they can split what they find to spend for souvenirs when we travel.

Great video Dawn! I can't wait to see Brooklyn dressed up as an angel :)

MS Gramma said...

Dawn - I've emailed you before but this is my first time to leave a comment and I admit I have an ulterior motive! My husband just told me he wants a small video camera for Christmas to video the grandchildren....AND if I was the random winner of the flip camera that would give me more money to spend on said grandchildren at Christmas : )
A little old Mississippi grandmother, Donita

Sharon said...

Even with stategically placed large pickle jars thru-out our home, loose change can always be found around our home. The laundry is probably the biggest payoff for me. Hubby has a tendency not to check pockets. I manage to find several dollars in change every week. Occassionally I even get a few "big" bills. (hubby thinks the money goes the same place that the one sock disappears to;) The worst place to find change....up my son's nose. Thank goodness it was where I could still get to it!

Sharon said...

Oh I forgot to tell you our total. This past summer, we cashed in over $600 in change. We divided it 6 ways. 100 for each of the 5 kids and the remaining went to our local Relay for Life!! Go PINK!!

Shayna Mills said...

I use coinstar all the time, I've donated a few times, but usually just pay the fee and get cash, average is about $75 but one time I had almost $160 in change. I've bought groceries, clothes, paid bills, and more with it. I find my change in my purse, car, couch, washing machine, closet, clothing, jackets, and my husband's wallet. LOL. And I carried my coins in a plastic baggie one time and it busted on me, so I know your pain of dropping all of that change. :)

Juneau Poole Party said...

Fun, family bonding - finding the change and brining it to Coinstar!

Anonymous said...

How much of that change around your house was planted? :0)
I am too cheap to have change lieing around...I use quarters to pay off my kids for just about everything, and we have a gumball machine that eats our pennies - I guess I could go empty out the gumball machine and see what I can find.
Stephanie A.

Mama said...

OH, I hope I get picked this time, a camera, how cool!

Nickalli said...

Wonderful video!! My son is a great finder of lost money... of course he's six - so as soon as he finds it, he loses it and the fun begins again!! I think he's been finding the same quarter and nickel for two years running. Thanks for making me want to look under my couch cushion, I've been missing my favorite bottle of nail polish. :0)

Missi said...

WOW 88 bucks....you rock! The best places I find change is the washer, & my purse. I use the change from my husbands pockets for the kids lunch money. I have a battery operated coin sorter for his change. It's amazing how quick those quarters add up.

BeccaSaun84 said...

I love Coin Star! I use it every time we get our change jar full. So far, it's paid for half of a TV, extra cash for vacation, and some new stuff for our baby! <3 it!

And the best place in our house to find loose change is anywhere our 3 year old can hide it- vents, toys with doors/windows in it, or the bottom of the toy box. :-D

julesb said...

we have them here in the UK ours are blue! Just a useless bit of info for you lol. Your junk drawer looks so organised!

Jen said...

I love coinstar but your video made it even better. Your kids crack me up. And what would a car seat be without at least 1 fry and some smashed up gold fish?

M said...

I really need to check my house and cars for loose change! There is no telling how much I could find.

Monica
monicaalbers@yahoo.com

Our Unique Family said...

I use a container to put all of our change in...At the end of the day we put our change in the container..or also when there is a nickel or a dime there that I find I will also put it in there...In July when we went on Vacation I went to Coinstar to cash in our change..I had $60..I used it for the gas for our vacation! Totally Awesome I thought. :)

Also, it would be great to win that Flip Camera..Hint Hint! :)

Mamapajama said...

My kids love using Coinstar! It is much easier than going to the bank, too, for convenience sake. Go on ya for donating that money to the Crop Walk, your generosity, especially in this economy, is commendable!

Anonymous said...

Oh very cool! I've never used a CS machine but would if I ever had any change laying around. I could probably scrounge up $10 TOPS! We Broke! :)

cbryant2@unl.edu

Robin said...

WOW! This video has inspired me to go hunting for cash in my home. THANKS for the info...LOVE YOUR BLOG!

aceiatx said...

My dad used to always put his pocket change in the top drawer of his dresser, At one point it was 2 or 3 inches thick with coins. We cashed them in for about $90.

Melanie said...

There is no way I'd find that many coins laying around my house, my kids are all scavengers. lol Thanks for donating your $ to charity.

Tara said...

I've never used Coinstar because we save all our change in these gigantic piggy banks for our 5 year old twins. Maybe when we're ready to cash out we'll give it a try!

Sara said...

I would love the Flip camera!

We have about $50 in change - some in my daughter's piggy bank and the rest in my husband's jar. He saves it there "for vacations" but then always cashes it out for one reason or another.

Anonymous said...

would love a new camera

PennyS (CA) said...

I didn't know that you could get gift cards at Coinstar......good to know. But I think I'd be lucky to find $5.00 in change around our house. The Flip video camera sounds pretty cool too!
Thanks

Tiff said...

I would love a flip video camera! Mine is so old I cannot get the video onto my computer, which is almost useless. Pick me! Pick me! :)

KimH in GA said...

What do you do if he's "all dead?"
"Go through his pockets and look for loose change!"

:)

Jeni said...

Love Coinstar! use it all the time...Another option is to get a prepaid debit card - but I think there is a pretty big fee the first time you get it - free after that to charge it up with more funds.

Dot said...

My dad had a rule--"found" money (sidewalk, floor of a store, etc) went into the collection plate at church, and I always tried to follow that. I've seen Coinstar machines all over, but had NO IDEA that you could pick a charity or gift cert to get full value of the coins! Thanks so much for the info!

Anonymous said...

We had $124 the last time we went to the Coinstar machine. We got cash and used it for family dinner out with friends who were visiting from out of town. We keep the change in wooden bowls in the kitchen separated by denominations.

Leah C said...

I'd love the Flip camera! We save coins, but i end up picking out the quarters and putting them in the car, so it never adds up to much. Last time we had a whole piggy bank full and it was only about $20.. but mostly pennies!

Kelly B said...

We have a jar that stays in the laundry room. It's about time to empty it now!

Jennifer said...

My kids love finding change. I think it's funny that they get excited about pennies, but they all add up!

Carol said...

I really don't think I'd find any change other than in my purse. I try to spend it so it doesn't accumulate. But I sure would like to win the Flip camera.

Michelle said...

coins tend to gather all over the place here, so I'll have to send the kids on a hunt. But, the Flip I know I'd always be able to find :).

Step Monster said...

look in your children's clothes!!! lol I find so much change in my two, five and seven year old's pants given to them by grand parents, friends mother nature....

Mary B said...

Interesting that your crop walk is in October. We have ours in May in West Michigan.
Our change gets "rolled" regularly my husband bartends occasionally and its fun to add up the cents for something fun. Its like free money :)

pednurse said...

I put all my spare change in a bank my daughter made for me....saving for vacation! My hubby has been saving pennies since we married & has filled a huge popcorn tin....too heavy for me to lift! I'm trying to convince him to cash it in.....

JDub said...

I remember trick or treating for Unicef when I was a kid - Everyone at school did! I didn't know people still did that. How cool! Good luck!

Mom of Army Brats. said...

I was unaware that coinstar does GC's now.. intresting

TheFischerFam said...

I often find spare change in my 20 month old daughters mouth. She puts in her mouth and them comes to me and waits until I notice and then spits it out into my hand. I also find it in my pants pockets. Most spare change I find, I divide evenly and put in the kids banks. I never new what the CoinStar machines were, so thanks for sharing.

Allenfamilyadventure said...

We save coins for vacation too. I hope our bank will cash them for free. I never even thought about that!

Kikilia said...

We have a bag of coins here that needs counted- but will probably go to the bank- it's just as easy for us as the coinstar...

Would love to try a flip camera.

kristaholloway said...

This is such a great idea, and I really love that you can donate the money to charity. I am going to go change hunting at home!

ATK said...

We don't get too much spare change; we try to use it as we get it. What we do save, we end up putting in our cars for tolls. We do have a lot of pennies building up though...

Anyway, I'm expecting my first in the spring and am looking to get a video camera, and I would love to win one!

AJ Lichty said...

I'm one of those annoying people at the supermarket that add change when they're paying for something to keep it from building up at home. I'm currently going to university to get my Bachelor of Education - we don't have $90 in change because a) my daughter isn't big enough to have money (she's two - just) and b) any change goes into the change jar for my daughter's education fund, if it isn't used for groceries first.

I'd love to get the flip phone though - my husband is going off to boot camp for six months, and it would be great to be able to send him video of our little girl.

Jessi said...

I love coinstar, I've used it SO much recently as we've cleaned out to move. We never make it to the bank during it's hours.

JoDee said...

My youngest thinks coinstar is so much fun that I really have to talk her out of chnging just $5

Anonymous said...

We keep our spare silver change in jars around the house, the pennies get tossed into an old bank bag(or two) and last couut we over 20,000 and are trying to keep saving. My son on the other hand got the great idea and any change he found that other people have dropped he would save to fund his wristband for the fair. He's funded himself two years now and the bands cost vary on the night you go but it's not cheap. We try to be useful when it comes to finding change. I don't know how to go about entering for the flip camera but I know my son has been trying to get one since a company gave away so many a while back. Thanks for all the ideas Dawn and the chance at winning so many cool things. You are a very giving person. Angie

KarenKal said...

We took all of our change in August and the kids bought a Wii. Funny thing, is my kids are 3 and 5 and they had enough money in their piggy bank for a Wii! $250.00 in change. HOLY CRAP. Where do they get it from? I think Grandma and Grandpa

Rhonda said...

My two little ones LOVE money. We give them all the change we find to feed to their piggy banks.

Lot L said...

I'd love to win the Flip camera!

Keeley said...

I used to use coinstar all the time.

Then one time I counted the amount of money I was going to put in there. Three times.

I couldn't believe it when the total was sooo much less than I counted.

Haven't used it since.

sherin toms said...

i found $75 wooh hoooooh

Ceci said...

My family used a Coinstar machine about six years ago the night we began a 1500 mile move. I told my parents there was no way I was packing that much coinage AGAIN (try imagining the looks on the packers' faces when they were asked to pack jars of pennies the previous move). We ended up with over $50 after the Coinstar fee. It took us about half an hour though, because over $40 of that was in pennies. We attracted a small crowd before long. I don't remember there being charity options though- I guess this is newer? I remember my mom and I cracked up at the machine's "My, you have a lot of coins!" remarks when it needed us to stop pouring so it could catch up counting. Ü

Mrs. Groshong said...

I would love a flip camera! We have a clear cookie jar that we turn in whenever it is about 3/4 full. We usually get around $30. Then we go out to lunch or something fun with the money.

Ruth said...

We have a change jar that we use for milk money during the school year. At 50 cents a pop that can add up with 4 kids, but in the summer we use it for the ice cream truck :) We would love a flip phone to catch all of our crazy kid stunts here too!!

watercat said...

Growing up, my grandma collected change and when it got really full, she would take us all out to somewhere fancy - it was a real treat!

As a grown-up (lol!!) we collect change, but haven't really defined a purpose for it, other than quarters go for the toll road!

Mandy B. said...

I have used Coin Star and every time it has been super easy! We have a big container that is totally sealed that we put change in. It is our family vacation fund. When it is full we will have to find a way to open it and go on vacation!

Anonymous said...

Coinstar is the best! Our bank in town is so picky about how the change has to be rolled and in what denominations. Used to drive me nuts! But now our store has the Coinstar machine and my girls love finding change for the machine to "eat." They are three and 18 months, lol. :)

Amanda E.

suels said...

LOVE your blog and so glad you donated! thanks for the info on coinstar.

Janet said...

I found about $3 in change today, I'll be sending it to school for my sons lunch tomorrow! I've never used coinstar since I didn't want to pay the fees. Nice to know about the gift card and charity option. The flip would be so cool!

Anonymous said...

We actually have a coca cola bottle bank that we fill up and take to the local bank last time we went it turned up 200.00 and we have started filling it again would love the camera --sasha-bc, tx

Gretchen said...

I'd love to win! Spare change adds up fast too!

Jen said...

:P Since we just moved a month ago, the odds of us finding loose change, would be nice, but uneventful lol, so I opt to go hunt it down in our Suburban. Lots there let me tell ya. ;) We eventually save it in a big water jug and when it gets to be too much, we'll either donate it or we'll put it in savings. There's so much you can do with loose change lol. :D

Lesa said...

Lot's of fabulous ideas. I love the idea of donating to charity. You don't usually miss all that change anyway and it adds up fast. With the economy the way it is and with Christmas coming up, I am sure a lot of people would be grateful for the donations. :)

healingtouch said...

What an amazing idea...searching for change right now...well not right now but as soon as I post this! Would love a flip cam

Mommy La said...

all the change in our house goes straight to the kids piggy bank.

I've always wondered how coinstar works. Good to see it in action.

cjweb said...

I found a bunch of crumbs and kleenex, not to mention dust bunnies in under my couch... LOL

I would love a Flip Camera for our Christmas Trip to Disneyland! Good luck to me...LOL

Ellen said...

way to go! this is a ritual in our house, the kids love it.

Bobbi said...

My kids watched your viedo with me. So we searched our house and found $40 in change so far! We will donate once we serch for more.

Oh, the flip phone would be awesome to win! Thanks!! :)

Kristy said...

Loved the Video! I need to look for change around my house. I bet i'll get rich! lol

TnT's Mom said...

We always have so much change that needs to be rolled at our house. I just bought the boys one of those automatic coin counters so we can roll some more of it. Once we get it rolled we deposit it into the boys' bank accounts. I also take bags of it to the Coinstar machines and cash it in for gift certificates for stores.

I think the Flip camera looks really cool and simple to use...I think even I could figure out how to use it!

Sara said...

a quick search turned up $5.75, cannot do a major search since I am studing for my tests tomorrow. i would love to win the flip for ds for christmas.

Anonymous said...

Love this idea! I'll get the kiddo's to join me in this treasure hunt.

I would love a Flip camera! Perfect for our trip to Hershey, PA!

Donna said...

I have a coffee cup above my kitchen sink and I put my coins from my purse in it and any change I find in my husband's pant pockets. When the little cup is full I put the change in a small Nestle Chocolate Plastic container and head to the bank. I have them count it and I keep 1/2 and put the other 1/2 in our savings account.
I have never heard of Coinstar.
But will start looking for one to try.

I hope too that I win that Flip Video Camera. I just put that on my Christmas wish list as my cat does the funniest things and so do my 3 grandkids. fingers crossed.
Donna from NE Indiana

julie said...

I didn't realize you could get a gift card or donate the coin amount to charity...It's nice to have options and not have to pay the fee they charge for counting...Thanks for the info!

Kerri S. said...

We found over $40 around the house.

Erin N said...

We keep our change in jars or just give it all to the boychild so he can put it in his "moneybank". Kid gets so psyched over a penny!

Valerie said...

I give it to my 5 yr old to put in her piggy bank and when it gets pretty full we cash it in at CoinStar and she gets to spend it. Its usually about $30.

Colleen said...

Great Video! :)

rankin1997 said...

The last time we counted our change, we had over $300 and used it to buy a new camera!

Rebecca said...

We have a few change collecting areas of our house. Would be fun to go around and combine them.

Carole said...

A. I think you're right about the $90 in change laying around the house.
B. Unicef is an excellent cause. Thank you.
C. The Dutch in me has a hard time losing 8.9% due to convenience. But at that, our change never gets turned in... hmmm...

dicity said...

I have a piggy bank on top of the frig and I put all my change in it. I also have a drawer in my car that change goes in. I roll it myself (gasp) and keep it in my safe until some emergency comes along and I spend it. Good for when I have a yard sale.

Pick me for the flip thingy. I desire to learn to use it.

dicity

Tanja said...

I would love to win the Flip camera!

Harrisons said...

What? I LOVE my flip!! It's the best thing that has happened to me. So easy to use and even easier to download and email and such. And I had a little glitch with mine. I have NEVER been so impressed with the customer service of a company. I feel happy for the person who wins this contest.

momathome43kids said...

We have a separate jar just for dimes. We put ALL of our dimes in there, and when it is full, we go on a short trip or excursion. It's cool to say we took a trip, by "never spending a dime." The rest of our change goes in another jar and is used for supplies for crafts and homemade gifts. Thanks for all the ideas, I forgot about old purses and wallets:) Cecilia

Wendy H. said...

Well, my husband and I use a large jar to drop our coin into on a daily basis.
BUT I thought it would be fun to see how much change my oldest has dropped behind his bed. See, he likes to pull out his change and count it...over and over and over and can't figure out why the number keeps getting smaller.

After pulling out all the toys that have fallen behind there he came up with $3.22! All on the side of his bed! lol

bbear952002 said...

ok So I have allways used just bills to pay and collect the change for the month and cashed it in to do something for myself. I am in the car alot so one time I told my brother in law if he would clean my car he could have all the change he found in my car not inculding the ash tray. Well we both won I got a clean car and he got $25.

The Flip Camera looks cool too

Anonymous said...

I save all my change in my moms old piggy bank (looks like a real brown pig with a cork nose that has a ring through it!!) and when its full there's usually $110 to $120 in it. I also save change in a compartment in my car and when that's full its usually $40 to $50. I cash it all in at the bank (for free!) and put it in a savings account for my wedding next year. It adds up quickly!! I would LOVE to win the Flip!

SPepper22

Mark said...

Thank You Dawn: I was NOT aware of all the recent innovations possible with COINSTAR. Wow! Charitable donations and Gift Cards too.
Back in June, I had gone to our local MALL to get a camera case which had been advertised. I bought coffee from one of the million or so snack shops ,and started unwrapping the camera case from the very difficult to open clear plastic outer-wraps.Somehow, with my video camera like..RIGHT NEXT TO ME, a crook made off with it UNDETECTED...we must have very ingenious THIEVES in Massachusetts!
So, now I own a nice camera case..with NOTHING to keep inside.
So..just from watching your COINSTAR video, I had a special revelation. I got the EMPTY camera case,looked inside..and found $36 in paper MONEY..and 74 cents in COIN.(This must have been where I dropped the receipt and my change from the transaction.(and, MAYBE, some other readers may look inside their camera cases...and be pleasantly surprised too!)

How great it would be to have a FLIP Camera to keep the lonely EMPTY camera case company.

Betsy said...

Cool - a flip camera! Would love to win it!

JustJudy said...

LOVE YOUR BLOG!! Thanks for inspiring me! Think I'll go on a coin hunt with my daughter tonight! Count me in for the flip camera random pick!

Gayle said...

Wow, you guys really racked up. We like most of your other readers have a jar that sits on my desk that we put all of our change in. Then we usually cash it in around Christmas time and split it between the 2 kids for them to do their Christmas shopping. I'd love to have the flip camera!

Anjie said...

I think I'll start searching NOW! And I'll add the change in the "Vacation Fund" jar, since, well, it isn't very full, and most of the coinage is pennies.
I'd love to win the Flip!

The Mommy said...

Interesting. All of our "spare" change goes to my boys' chore cans. If they think there might be a loose coin somewhere they're all over it! I'll see what I can come up with, though!

pamkkm said...

My daughter has used coinstar once for her loose change. I haven't tried it yet, but I think its a great idea to go on a family change hunt to find extra money for Christmas presents this year. I would also love to be considered for your flip camera contest.

Jessica P said...

In college, my roommate and I used to have nickel nights. We would scrounge up all the small change we could find, and go to the vending machines and get sodas and snacks. Great fun.

When I was little, my younger cousin once spent 15 minutes trying to get a quarter off the ground. It had been glued down, and the rest of us just stood there and laughed at his industrious, yet failed, attempt. Of course his parents gave him a quarter to make up for it when it was time for us to go. :)

MamaLemma said...

We also have a coin jar (actually an empty water cooler jug). But the truth is, we hardly use cash anymore, so we don't have as much change.

I'm very interested in the Flip camera, though! I have heard such wonderful things, and since our video camera bit the dust, I've been thinking of getting a replacement! It would be super cool to be chosen. :-)

Emily said...

I found a dime in the laundry yesterday...does that count? Sad, I know! I love Coinstar though!

Anonymous said...

It's amazing what you can find when you actually move your couch. I also went through the pockets of all the winter coats in the house and detailed the interior of the car. All told, I actually found $63 in change and the odd dollar. Unfortunately, the CoinStar at the store has been "temporarily" out of service for a few weeks now so off to the bank I go. Yay! I have gas and food money for the week!!!

-Rachel

Judy Black said...

I would love a flip camera ! P.S I could so see me dropping the entire jar- You only dropped 20%.

Anonymous said...

I started a jar when my nephews were born and we put the money in the jar when it gets full they choose what to do with it i like for them to be independent with choices.We usually buy a toy,movies,give to charity make a trip somewhere. I would love the flip camera im stuck using my moms 1950 video camera with the big tape my nephews love to dance and i video tape them almost everyday its a pain.I love to capture lil moments but its a pain in the butt to carry it around please help me lol..

CeCe
queens ny

Maggie R. said...

We keep a coin jar in our bedroom and when it's full we use the money to spend the night away somewhere. How my son would love the flip as a Christmas gift!

Stephanie said...

When my older kids find MY money on the counter they scoop it up and ask me to put it in THEIR Bank-of-Mom account. Jeesh! I had one of my kids' spare change in a ziploc in the front passenger floor of my van for about 8 months before we finally remembered to bring it in to a Coinstar!

Anonymous said...

I have never used one but I will be soon. Change jar is getting full...

cbryant2@unl.edu

gilroy gal said...

DH keeps a coin jar on his dresser. We used to save up the quarters to give to our college kids for laundry. At Christmas we would put quarters in all their presents. Since the kids are past this stage now,my husband just cashed in our coins...over $50! And we still have coins in ashtrays in cars.

That flip camera looks pretty cool! I could have fun with that!

Jennifer said...

We always have a change jar. Its more fun to shop at the Dollar Store with change and it helps my 5yr old to learn how to count his money for his purchases. As a kid I got my milk money for lunch from the change jar we had in the kitchen.
And that Flip would be great to take on our weekend away!!

Robbi L. said...

We found about $60 dollars in change around our house this past weekend!

Carrie O said...

We have a jar for extra change. I refuse to go hunting because I'm scared of what I will find and the cleaning that will have to happen with what I do find.

Eileen said...

Is the contest open to Canadians? If so I'd like to enter.

All our spare change gets put into a charity container every Friday night at dinner. We count it up and donate it every 2 - 3 months, the kids take turns picking a charity they want to support. We easily have $25 - $50 each time we donate.
Eileen.

Ellobie said...

My pen cup and top drawer of my desk are always good for some found change!

April Tarr said...

Cute video Dawn. Thanks as always for another great post and review. Also loved the post about taking Austin shopping.

Chantelle Renee said...

How funny. I told my son last weekend to gather change just out of the washer (I launder lots of change and just leave it) and out of the containers on the book shelf. He found nearly $50 without digging at all. Then we went to CoinStar. He wasn't as giving though, he bought a little RC Helicopter.

I would LOVE one of those camera's. If I don't win I'll have to dig for change.

Sunshine Brown said...

I love the flip camera's yeah for you!

Looney Lisa said...

Dawn - You and Your kids ROCK!! Way to go teaching them to think of others and give. You are an inspiration. :)

Karen G. said...

Collected change at our house ends up in the Disney Fund, a giant Pepsi bottle. We save at our house and my sister at her house so someday we can afford to pay for our large families to go!! It gives the kids something to look forward to and teach them to save for things they want.
And I have also found coins in the bottom of the toy box and in my son's glasses case.

April said...

I find change in my husband's pockets, on the counter, under the couch, in the cushions, under beds, in toy boxes, in toys, and in the change jar. Usually I just take the money to the bank and put it in our account.

awnH said...

Our kids used to have "timecards" and earn "paychecks". They had to allocate 10% to a charity of their choice. As adults, they're still fairly giving people.

As for the random drawing, I'm all about the random. I don't have a google account, but if chosen, my e-mail is dawnhenrichon@hotmail.com.

I still have a 12 year old at home (mid-life crisis) who would get a hoot out of the flip camera.

absterarnold said...

after reading this, i went on a coin search of our apartment! i only found $25 but i think that was pretty good! i had to keep all the quarters for laundry so i got about $15 from the coinstar machine. i even rode my bike to the grocery store! go me!

Deirdrea said...

That is really cool. I went on a hunt around the house and found $27 in change. That's enough to not have to cook one night!!!

Anonymous said...

I had no idea coinstar did that. Very cool.

Leanne said...

We just collected money from around the house and came up with $198 in change. We donated the first $100 to Unicef and the rest to our Girl Scout troop - they are raising funds for a local animal shelter.

Great idea... we are passing your video around so others will hopefully pick up on the idea and donate, especially with the hard times and holidays coming around.

Thank You for your Awesomeness!!
Leanne

Anonymous said...

Why is it my change jar is full of odd stuff such as keys,golf tee's & blue belly button lint? And a limited amount of silver! I would really Love that flip camera. My son would have a blast with it :) Kristine in Michigan.

Carrie said...

did you plant the coins? specifically in the bathtub and dryer? i was sad. i wanted to see exactly how much money in coins you actually had in your house... one place i would check my house is in the toybox.

Cristen said...

I have heard and seen the Coinstar thing but I have never used it I do know that i collect change all year long and for out family vacation we cash it in last year we had about 100 i did use the bank but i do think that Coinstar is good if you do not have a banking account!!

Rebecca Prochniak said...

I'm in for this one, I've been wanting one of these!

Anonymous said...

My husband and I pooled all of our change after we got married and continued to collect it as we found it. By the time we cashed it in, we had somewhere over $300 in change! We couldn't believe it! It went towards our vacation that summer. We haven't done it in a while -- you've motivated me to go ahead and collect it all up again! Thanks!! :o)

Donna in PA :)

Cheryl in Portsmouth, NH said...

Hope I made it time to be entered in the contest for the flip phone ~ whatever that is!

Living in a house with 2 adults who are anal-retentive, the only places I've found money are the washer (coins) and dryer (bills). I'd go nuts if there were coins rattling around in the dryer through an entire cycle. How do you stand it?!?

Each of us also has a coin holder ~ beautiful ceramic pieces that do double duty. I know they're both nearing the full zone so we have buckets of coins to count. I don't use CoinStar because rolling coins is one of my favorite ways of relaxing.

I love Clay. Can I borrow him?

BabyGoose85 said...

We keep our change in a giant wine bottle that came from a restaurant my sister worked at. It's only about a quarter full. I'm figuring once I get it full I'll take it either to coinstar or roll it and start a college fund for the kids.

Amyb99 said...

We usually keep our spare change in a glass jar in our bedroom and once it gets full, we cash it in at the bank and put it in the boys' college savings accounts. However, any change that the boys find laying around always goes in their "spend" piggybanks...they are sneaky like that! :)

Tara said...

I actually just used Coinstar for the first time a couple of weeks ago... I pulled all the quarters and dollars out first (I didn't want to pay the fee on the larger denomination coins), and still wound up with over $40. And that was just what was in the change jar, not using any search techniques. :)

Anonymous said...

wow! that is so cool! we have so far come up with about 30.00 and we just started! I found another good place to find coins: 5 year old dusty shoved under a shelf gumball machines!

Christina said...

We have used the Coin Star machine before. A lot of our banks around here will not count your change for you!

Sharon said...

WOW! I can't believe you found that much money in your house. I wonder if the amount of children in a household has anything to do with how much change you may find lying around . . . anyway, I am inspired and am getting my boys to help me today (I have 2 boys 10 and 5)to go thru the house and collect. We have a huge water jug that we collect change in but I still see large amounts of change lying around all the time, I am curious as to how much I will find. I will mention it on my blog when I am finished if you care to check it out. Thanks so much for this new found inspiration, I can definitely use any extra money right now.

Ted and/or Laura said...

We're really bad about cashing in our change. REALLY bad. We got a huge baby bottle bank when our daughter was born in 2004...and along with other various banks we finally took it all to the bank earlier this year. Over $600 of change. We put it in the kids' college fund.

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