Day 13: Spare Change


That’s my spare change jar pictured above, which is actually a mug. I bought it years ago in a thrift store not because I was looking for a spare change jar, but because I enjoy San Miguel beer. I doubt it was ever used for a serving of San Miguel beer; it’s ugly, has a crack in the middle, and, seriously, could you imagine drinking out of that thing?

Over the years, though, it’s helped me do a lot of shopping.

At the end of every day, I empty my pockets and toss the loose change into my San Mig mug. When the mug is full, it’s off to my local Coinstar, where I pour the coins into the machine and a few minutes later an Amazon credit equal to my change is printed on a slip of paper. What’s great is that the normal Coinstar fee for counting coins is waived (usually around 9 percent), so I don’t lose anything for the service. Since I’m a regular Amazon shopper and a Prime member, I’m not paying for something I don’t normally use and shipping is free on most of my items.

The mug is usually good for about $60 in credit, so new books, Blu-rays, or whatever I need at the time are usually in hand a few days later. Perhaps one day I’ll replace my mug, but so far it’s treated me to quite a few mini-shopping-sprees. I can’t imagine getting rid of it … unless there’s a great deal on spare change mugs on Amazon.