I am one of those people who never counts out the proper change at check-out, so I end up with a lot of spare pocket change. It seems like such a hassle to roll coins and take them to the bank. I’ve noticed the Coinstar machine at my local grocery store, but never stopped to use it before. When asked to try it out, I figured what do I have to lose, especially when I learned that Coinstar lets you convert your coins into groceries with no fee.
We needed to pick up a few things from our local Bi-Lo this afternoon, so I dumped my jar of coins into a baggie and headed out to try the Coinstar machine. How much money do you think is inside this jar?
The Coinstar was located at the front of the store next to the customer service desk. I was glad to see that there was a touch screen with easy to follow instructions. Coinstar gives the option of selecting a cash voucher, a gift card or a donation to charity. There is no fee (normally 9.8%) to get a gift card, so I opted for a Bi-Lo gift card to apply toward my groceries. I dumped the change all at once into the tray and Coinstar did all of the sorting and counting for me.
It was fun to watch as the coins were counted and the total began to go up. I was shocked to learn that my change totaled $17.09. Within a couple of minutes, a Bi-Lo gift card and receipt came out of the machine. It was much more than I had expected to get from my bag of change. The receipt showed that there were 32 quarters, 54 dimes, 46 nickels, and 139 pennies.
I had checked online before going to Bi-Lo and knew there were a few deals that I would be taking advantage, so an extra $17.09 from Coinstar meant that I would be saving a bundle.
Would you believe that my spare change paid for almost half of these groceries? That’s pretty awesome! I was really impressed by how easy it was to use Coinstar and it’s a real plus that there is no fee to get a gift card. I will definitely be doing this again the next time my change jar gets full.
Have you ever tried converting your coins into groceries using Coinstar?
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Disclosure: I have been paid (at Coinstar’s request) to try and blog about Coinstar’s products/services as part of a Collective Bias #CBias shopper insights study. All opinions are my own.