Posts Tagged 'coinstar.com'

Possible Penny-Pinching: Coinstar – Thoughts & opinions?

The typical family has about 100 dollars worth of change around the house, I read that in some magazine I read over the past week, which makes the source Kiplingers, Business Week, or Forbes (the best I can do for a reference, sorry).  I am the typical family then, I have a bag of loose change at home, as well as a desk full of pennies at work – the pennies are there because I empty my change into my desk, then in times of stress or hunger I dig through for the silver ones and go to the vending machine – the pennies are are left over.

I have in the past used Coinstar machines to convert my change into cash & into Amazon.comgift certificates.  Conversion into cash costs a relatively steep 8.9% – but then i just take the certificate & pay for my groceries with it – I never get the cash.  Similarly, the amazon conversion costs nothing, but then I am stuck with this gift card code (not even a card, just a code) that i have to use before I lose it (physically, because in my state these codes don’t expire).  I like neither of these solutions, but between the two I prefer the cash (if you can’t tell by the blog so far. )

A third option is out there, prepaid visa cards – normally cost 10 dollars for the card + 5 dollars to refill.  The cards are manufactured by green dot.  However, while perusing my newspaper this week, I saw that green dot mastercards & visa cards are available for free after rebate from walgreens – so the 5 dollar refill charge leads to a 5% or less fee for counting my change.  That is not bad, and I can figure out places to use a visa card.

I’ve seen other places in the blogosphere with strong opinions on not using coinstar due to the 8.9% fee and suggest that I become a member at a bank that will count my change for me (not a big plus for the inconvenience of changing banks); go to a casino & change up (don’t live near a casino – not legal in California; or roll it myself (which I estimate will take 30-45 minutes + 2 trips to the bank, one to get rolls, one to change them in- way inconvenient)