3,597 pennies for your thoughts

When my wallet gets too heavy (what with all my fabulous wealth), I sort through all the coins and put the big ones in my vacation fund and the pennies in a bear’s head. It’s an old Kraft Peanut Butter jar from a million years ago when they used to come in bear-shaped glass jars that you could use as a piggy bank when it was empty (or otherwise, if you’re into that sort of thing). For as long as I can remember, I’ve put all my pennies in this jar and used it as a door stop. It moved with me from Victoria to Calgary, back to Vancouver, and all around the mainland. It’s been filled and emptied before, but it takes a long time to fill so it hasn’t really done much in a very long time.

With news that the penny is finally going away, (and with the jar being full), I decided it was time to take it to a coin counting machine and start the collection anew. I gathered up all the loose pennies in the house and bagged them up (along with the 34 rolls of wrapped pennies from the last time we thought to do anything with them), and set off to Safeway.

if i had a penny for every penny i put into a jar ..

The bag was heavy as hell, and would have made an excellent weapon. I decided to scoot to Safeway; a decision I almost immediately regretted once it began to rain and I almost fell over from the added weight of the pennies. Still, I made it to the store in one piece and hauled everything over to the CoinStar machine, and started dumping them in.

take it all, you filthy whore

My coin flow is both fast AND furious:

my!

It was kind of like playing the slots in reverse – I was the one causing the machine to make the jackpot noise; not the one winning. It took almost half an hour to get all my coins in and it was terribly noisy – people stared. The machine is almost never used, so everyone was curious as to what I was doing to make so much noise.

Eventually, all my pennies were in (and two dimes, apparently) and it totaled them all up:

CASH VALUE

I took the slip to the customer service counter, and received a (small) wad of cash: out of $36.17 in coins dumped into the machine, I pocketed $31.87 (the machine took $4.30 in fees). Not too bad for a bunch of coins sitting around collecting dust, but I probably won’t do it again – the machine takes a sorting fee of 11.9 cents per dollar which is expensive if you’ve got real money to sort. Pennies are dumb, but if I had a giant bag of loonies or twonies I’d just sort it out myself or take it to the bank. Still, that $31.87 will buy me a lot of Diet Coke. I am easy to please!

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