Monday, December 10, 2012

Saving Your Change - Dollars and "Sense"

pennies worth
A penny saved is a
penny earned!
Did you ever wonder just how much you could save if you started saving all those loose coins from the washing machine? I am always pulling out quarters or dimes and nickles from the bottom of my machine. Some years ago I started putting them in a can just because I didn't want to carry all that weight around in my wallet. I believe in a penny saved is a penny earned! I still have that can and it weighs about ten pounds now. I have yet to count it all.....I like surprises!!
In days gone by, pennies actually could buy something.  I am old enough to remember "penny candy" from the local grocery stores.  They had bins full of little bits of sweetness for sale for just a pennies worth or two!  Of course, it was displayed right at the eye levels of many of the eight year old customers! Unfortunately, those treats have long disappeared from the shelves due to current health and safety requirements of the grocers. But it could still pay off to save those pennies and other coins if you want to treat yourself to something else down the road. 
change counters
Turn your pennis worth into cash!

Some people think that saving their change is a complete waste of time. But it can actually be a great way to save some extra cash, and I think you might be surprised just how fast it can add up to some real money! I will concede that it is harder nowadays to save your change as so many of our purchases are made with debit and credit cards....thus no change! However, the banks have gotten in the game and started a similar program through your online banking programs. They will round up your payments and then put your "change" in a savings for you. 

A Treasurer Chest of Savings!

You might set up a "Mom's Savings Jar" and have everyone in the family drop in their loose change every chance they get. It could be used as a vacation fund or family night out fund, so the whole family might benefit from the little extra effort. Another great idea would be to let the family pick a favorite charitable organization to donate it to when it gets full. This can be a very rewarding experience for the kids and mom and dad. It could be donated to a childrens' Christmas Fund during the holidays. If you start your savings jar in January and keep "donating" to it all year, by the time December rolls around you will be amazed at just how much you might have in your stash! 

You could use your change for the kids' lunch money each week or extra gas money, if needed. We all know how the higher prices of gasoline have hit our pocket books lately! It might ease the pain just a little to know you have a little extra to count on. 


One thing that I have found is that it is harder to get the paper type coin rollers these days. We used to be able to just ask the bank for extra rollers, but so many now use plastic wrappers that are rolled by change countersOh, but for the good ole days!!! However, you can find the coin wrappers at some of the dollar store chains and at some banks. It is really kind of fun to sit in the middle of the floor with a pile of coins as you roll them and anticipate just how much you will end up with. Of course some banks and super markets have change counters where you can pour your change in and watch it be counted. Some make it a little contest where you guess how much you think you have, and you win a prize for coming within a certain range.

This is actually a good way to teach kids how to save money.  They can start filling their piggy banks for something they might want to buy for themselves down the road.There are also websites set up to help you track your savings such as They make it a type of game and offer information on saving and investing if you are so inclined.

And don't forget that if you need to save money on prescription medications, download the free FamilyWize discount prescription card and save an average of 30 percent at the pharmacy. Over $400 million has been saved nationwide. That's a lot of savings!

So save that change and make it count. In these tough economic times turn your loose change into cash and make every penny count!

Cindy Foley
Contributing Writer

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