Dave and I have a 'wish dish' where we dump our spare change once it accumulates and is too cumbersome to carry around in the purse or pocket anymore. I am not a fan of rolling coins - seems so antiquated to me, the counting, re-counting, rolling, realizing you counted wrong, re-re-counting, re-rolling, etc. No thanks. I was also turned off by the idea of Coinstar because they keep a percentage of your change as a fee. I realize it costs them money to maintain the machines, but 10%? Really? And you think credit card rates are high?
So, recently I discovered that instead of getting cash and sacrificing 10% of your hard-earned dollars off the top, you can opt for a gift card to a merchant of your choice. Yes, please. The list is limited, but who wouldn't want a gift card to Starbucks, Regal, Amazon.com, iTunes, etc.? I certainly do want one, and I chose Lowe's. Since we had just finished our study re-design and haven't yet picked up our new light fixture, I thought that was the perfect choice. Of course, I thought it was wishful thinking to assume that this jar of change would cover the $60 price tag for a light fixture!
I headed over to Martin's to see how much of that light fixture I wouldn't have to pay for. I probably looked like an idiot because I couldn't figure out what to do with the change once I put it in the tray. Even though there were directions on the screen, for some reason, I didn't know what to do.
Oh, I get it now, you just lift it up and the change falls down the little, tiny hole on the right. Shame on me for not seeing that. DUH! At one point, the machine displayed a message that said "My, you have a lot of change, please be patient as the machine catches up." That's promising, right?
My grand total, after inserting some rejected dimes and nickels into the sorter several times, for no good reason, was $101.69! WOW! Holy crap - I can buy my light fixture and some mulch, and a new bird feeder, and some other stuff! Woohoo!
I have to admit I was skeptical about the whole gift card thing. I mean, it's not like the machine is going to spit out a gift card for Lowe's. What if it was out of Lowe's gift cards? Oh, the drama. This is how my mind operates. What if my $101.69 is worthless once transferred onto a piece of plastic that somehow doesn't get activated? Wow, it's scary inside my head.
When I hit 'Done,' out popped a paper receipt with a gift card number and PIN that I can use in-store or online. Awesome.
After all was said and done, I ended up with my gift card, and some things leftover from the wish dish:
- 7 Thomas Jefferson dollar coins
- 5 dollar bills
- 1 gum wrapper
- 1 rubberband
- 1 paper clip
- 1 Bahamian nickel
- and a partridge in a pear tree!