Pennies (US) - they have become so wortless charity says no!

albert_135June 24, 2002

Well perhaps not legally a charity but affectively a charity says "No more Pennies!"

The local senior center asks for a "donation" for lunch. The donation is to be put in an envelope and dropped in a collection box rather like a church donation, hence rather like a charity.

They put out the word last week "No more Pennies!"

GAO says they are costing us more to make them than they are worth. Now we cannot give them away.

Here is a link that might be useful: Report on the cost of the US

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That's interesting. I can remember taking the little orange boxes around while trick-or-treating. All those pennies added up to millions of dollars a year. Hmmmm....I've got to say that if they don't want pennies, I'm not sure I want to be giving to those organizations. I like to give to those where "every little bit counts", and for those that I might volunteer for, I'll volunteer to take them to the bank. Just my (ha-ha), "two-cents" worth.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2002 at 1:47PM
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Pooh Bear

They can send them to me.
Pennies make dollars.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2002 at 2:17PM
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I posted this comment on another thread, too, so forgive if you've read it before.

But when I worked for a bank on the customer service line, the folks who called in dickering over a 20-cent discrepancy on their balance, were also the ones with the most money in the bank (I'm talking 7 figures).

I don't discard or take for granted any money, even if they are pennies. It adds up!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2002 at 2:42PM
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What cent-s do you figure that there may be in this proposal?

Also - later, you'll only be able to offer your "half a nickel"'s worth of opinion.

Having allowed for inflation, that is - which is what caused the demise of the penny, in the first place.

We used to be cautioned not to "take any wooden nickels". Will that then be changed to , "Don't take any wooden dimes"?

joyful Ed

    Bookmark   June 24, 2002 at 3:02PM
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Maybe people were unloading all their Canadian change or something. That can be costly, once you account for the exchange rate.

I know every year since I was about five my uncle has given me loads of Canadian change as a joke - taped to my birthday cards, wrapped for Christmas, etc. etc. Once I learned better I thought, "Gee, worthless money!" Now that I live in Buffalo, I guess I can finally use it for something. ; )

    Bookmark   June 24, 2002 at 4:47PM
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The time and cost involved to handle too many pennies could be at least part of the reason they asked for no pennies. If people use the Senior Center to unload them, it could be a problem. Stores don't have to take full payment in pennies if it's over a certain amount as I understand, though places I've gone to with rolled pennies had no problem taking them. Just my 2¢ worth--at currently devaluted rates no doubt. :) Interesting link. Who knows, the pennies I've squirreled away may one day be truly valuable.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2002 at 9:14PM
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I've seen people actually sort the pennies out of their change and throw them in the trash. AN ACTUAL TRASH CAN! What the? If you detest them so much at least wait until you get to a store with a jar for "Jerry's Kids" or give them to a bum or something. I've even seen a few people who weren't exactly rolling in the dough either do this. I'm with PoohBear -- pennies make dollars.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2002 at 9:30PM
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If between pay and benefits, the Senior Center is paying someone more than $X to deal with $X worth of pennies it is quite logical. If they are paying (between pay and benefits) $18 an hour to deal with the money, and if it takes more than 20 seconds total to deal with 50 pennies, they would be loosing money. Even using a coin roller, it would take some time to replace the rolls. You also need to properly log in the amount of pennies. It would even take and extra second at the bank, for the bank to count the penny roll. A few seconds here and a few seconds there, can add up pretty quick.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2002 at 9:29AM
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But if you are already at the bank depositing other things, how hard is it to deposit the pennies while you are there? My bank lets you bring in un-rolled coins, except on Saturda a.m. when they are too busy.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2002 at 9:44AM
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I would carry a whole bunch of pennies with me when I go shopping. If it costed $2.28, then I would give them 28 pennies, plus two bucks. If it was 5.79, I would try to do 79 pennies plus five bucks. Sometimes you get the rolled eyes from the cashier or the guy behind you but I have never had anyone refuse me. I spent over 6000 pennies I had collected in a jar (while I was a kid) in the last 6 months.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2002 at 12:11PM
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Poo, how much does it cost to ship a roll of pennies?

The bank here won't take them unless they are rolled and they must be rolled in their sleeve which they sell which is why the senior center said ",,,no more". Senior Center is now collecting them in a trash can for some yet to be determined destiny.

I checked with the supermarket this morning and with McDonalds and nither have the little jars where they collect pennies for charity anymore. Employees could not say why.

Persuant to this I have some other interesting anticdotes but I think I will start another thread tomorrow because these other stories are a bit different from this threads OP.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2002 at 1:58PM
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Poo, just checked. If you send me a shipping container and $2.01 postage I can send you $1.00 worth of pennies, first class. VBG as they say for some reason, as if you didn't know.

Checked two more places. Local 7-eleven and Chevron don't have the charity jars anymore either. But, people use them for "penny bingo" whatever that is.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2002 at 2:43PM
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Most folks wouldn't bend over to pick up a penny. But I do whenever I see one because it is good luck to find money
:-), they just haven't figured out that pennies make dollars. Every once in awhile I find a whole stash thown down in a parking lot or sidewalk. I pick it up and put it in my purse. Call me frugal if you want. I wouldn't complain about miserly either.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2002 at 12:05AM
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My "2 cents"!
If they don't want anymore pennies don't give them anymore money PERIOD! They really burns my up. I still pick up a penny when I see one and I always wait for my penny change. Money is money, what bothers me the most is kids not wanting pennies of their piggy banks because they aren't worth anything, and these are kids under 6 years of age. What are their parents teaching them, not the value of a penny and how 100 hundred pennies is $1 and 1000 is $10.00 and so on. I work for a bank as well and people call about the 8 cents difference on their accounts.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2002 at 11:27PM
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I agree with PoohBear---give them to me! I regularly roll mine up & deposit them. I recently read in an MSN article about US currency that the penny is THE MOST used coin, even now!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2002 at 12:57PM
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I am young (23 years old) and I depend on my pennies.
When my penny jar(empty pickle jar) is full I go to the coin star and exchange it for dollars.People will be amazed at how much you can save with pennies.When I am low on money My pennies become gas money or my daughters lunch or what ever.The coin star takes a small percentage but I think it is well worth it.
I would never throw away my pennies and I have taught my children that money is money.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2002 at 3:42PM
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You guys are thinking about your own situations, but your situations aren't anything like the charity's. Charities have to pay people to work for them. Even when they get volunteers, they have to pay someone to coordinate to make sure that all the volunteers have something to do. They have to pay for office space, transportation and supplies. They have to make sure that the goods and services they output are worth more than the money they spend producing them. Why should they waste money on unnecessary administrative costs that outweigh the benefits of accepting pennies? That money should be going to help the people that donors intend to help.

So don't get all indignant about charities being honest and frugal about their costs of doing business. It is just good accounting.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2002 at 4:07PM
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Someone above says that they take a jar of pennies somewhere and exchange them for dollars.

How did you find ANYPLACE that would exchange a JAR of pennies???

    Bookmark   August 8, 2002 at 4:24PM
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Albert 135,
Many grocery stores in southern California have a CoinStar Machine. You pour all your change in the machine and it counts it for you. After the percentage that they keep is deducted then the machine gives you the option to donate the money or cash it out.Then it will print out a voucher and you take it to any cashier at the check out and they will give the dollar amount that is on the voucher.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2002 at 5:19PM
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Note, though, that the machines take a fairly high percentage. Can't remember what it is, but I decided a few nights in front of the TV with the coin wrappers was worth have ALL of the money.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2002 at 6:56PM
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It's a little more than 8 percent. I would much rather pay a few pennies on the dollar than waste my time wrapping coins. My time is worth much more than that.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2002 at 12:45PM
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Wrapping coins doesn't take all that much time. Two rolls of pennies = $1.00, and I can easily wrap two rolls in a minute.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2002 at 1:46PM
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Yes, I charge a significant amount more than that when I'm freelancing, but when I've got my tush on the couch already wasting time watching Trading Spaces, I might as well be doing something useful! ;-)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2002 at 7:52PM
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I checked the CoinStar map on-line and it showed none near Reno NV. (We've people at the Senior Center who go to California but I couldn't find any CoinStar on their website even close to Northern Nevada.)

Do you know of any CoinStar locations in Reno or preferable Sparks?

Do you know names of any other coin snarfing machines that will take pennies?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2002 at 1:10PM
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check all your local grocery stores. they're usually in the big chains. :o)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2002 at 9:46AM
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Here are a few locations I found on
I hope this helps you, Albert 135.

1. Albertsons
565 E Prater Way
Sparks, NV 89431
Distance: 0.88 miles

2. Scolari's
950 Holman Way
Sparks, NV 89431
Distance: 1.01 miles

3. Raley's
2895 N McCarran Blvd
Sparks, NV 89431
775 353-8800
Distance: 1.47 miles

4. Albertsons
2150 Oddie Blvd
Sparks, NV 89431
Distance: 1.53 miles

5. Sak N' Save
1901 Silverado Blvd
Reno, NV 89512
Distance: 1.96 miles

6. Smith's
1255 Baring Blvd
Sparks, NV 89431
Distance: 2.22 miles

7. Sak N' Save
1000 Plumb Lane
Reno, NV 89502

    Bookmark   August 12, 2002 at 12:29PM
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Thanks, will check next Sunday. Next big problem is bureaucratic. Someone's "regulations" says TWO seniors must count the money. At present time - no seniors have agreed to count pennies. Want'a bet if I find a machine to count them there will be some kind of objection? We're really quite cantankerous old curmudgeons you know.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2002 at 1:58PM
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I am confused, do you all not have a bank/credit union with a coin machine? I work in a financial institution and I probably spent a good part of today running coin for people. It really adds up. One man had over 130 dollars. I asked him how long he had been saving and he said, oh, just a month. This was all pocket change, not just pennies. I'd rather someone bring me loose coin any day over rolled. I have to count the "brought in" rolls, cuz they are always off. So, check with your bank/cu before taking your coin to the grocery store.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2002 at 8:23PM
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In 1900 the smallest denomination of coinage in the US was 1 cent (the half-cent was discontinued previously). In 2002, the smallest denomination of coinage in the US is 1 cent, but that one cent has less than 1/20th of the buying power than it did in 1900. If people in 1900 could do without half-cents (or 1/20th cents), I think we can do without the 1 cent token. The real workhorse of coinage is the quarter these days anyway... hey, that's pretty close to the value of a penny in 1900, go figure.

At some point the US public is going to have to give up this cent. It appears to me that it is already happening to some degree. In addition to situations mentioned above (garbage can coinage, not picking up cents, etc.), please note that all of those "Have a penny, leave a penny. Need a penny, take a penny" cups at the registers are there for a voluntary rounding to the nearest nickel. Most establishments stock those cups with a roll of cents prior to starting the day. The cent is really no longer needed for daily transactions.

Things can still be marketed in cents, just rounded to the nearest nickel upon completion of the transaction. That is no different than the way gasoline is priced since it is priced by the 1/10th's of a cent (and for some reason we function just fine without a 1/10th cent coin).

Don't get me wrong. I pick up pennies and don't throw them away, but I also realize that they take up far more volume and weight in comparision to their store of value than other coinage does. I recently "cashed in" my son's "piggy bank". 40% of volume in pennies, 5% of cash value. Quarters, 40% of volume, 80% of cash value.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2002 at 4:18PM
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Its an old saying, but a good one to..."look after the cents and the dollars will take care of themselves".

But, can also understand a charity finding that the cost outweighs the benefit in this particular case. Certainly wouldn't in my budget lol.. your 1 cent is worth 2 cents here *grins*.. please send them all to me!!!!

Here in Australia, our lowest coin is the 5 cent piece. We used to have 1 and 2 cent pieces, but that went out some years ago. We round up or down to the nearest 5 cents if paying cash - 3 cents supposedly being rounded down to the 0.

merc :o)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2002 at 9:58AM
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Just want to add to that ... our banks don't charge you to count loose coins, and they don't refuse coin either.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2002 at 10:01AM
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I have an annual coin roll day. Just in time for holiday shopping! I sit at my table, put on TV, and roll up the years worth of coins that DH pulls from his pants pockets every evening and puts in several plastic cups. Every year it is about $200-$300 worth. I pick up pennies, and I wait for the penny change too.
The road to wealth begins with but a single penny...

    Bookmark   August 14, 2002 at 1:45PM
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Brian, I don't disagree at all that the penny might be going away, but I'll again say that as long as ANY charity refuses to accept pennies, they obviously don't need my money; I asked a couple local groups I've worked with, and they had more than enough true volunteers to count coins, and will even take back pop cans as a donation (10 cent refund per in my state). If it's too much work or cost to count them, then it's too much work for me as well, or their doing something wrong.

oh, and in my area, the local grocery store machine charges 6% for counting coin.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2002 at 7:17PM
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A penny buys a ride for the kids on the mechanical horse at our Meijer's store. :)

Pennies financed a good portion of my college education. My dad saved them in an old can on his dresser, we sat down once every couple months and rolled them up, and he deposited them into my college fund.

Now I do something similar, and the banks look at me like I've got two heads when I ask for penny rolls. They're free, BTW, upon request. The job isn't so bad if you do it regularly.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2002 at 10:38PM
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To help anyone looking for cheap or free coin counting machines (read NON-Coinstar), I have put together a web site,, which lists by state banks and institutions which count coins for 5% or less (many free). Many are self service machines, some are just cheap or free teller coin count services. You might be pleasantly surprised at finding a bank or credit union near you which won't charge you. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Cheap and Free Coin Counting Machines

    Bookmark   December 6, 2002 at 9:17AM
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Just found this thread by accident. Wanted to let anyone who missed it know that the link that kobalt posted is really good. I just found out that DH's bank that he uses for his business (and my Mom's bank) both have a free coin counting machine in the lobby. This info will be good for anyone who does the coin jar thing. DH and I are doing a job at the end of the month that will generate a lot of change. Last time we did this job I sat in front of the TV counting. I can't believe he never told me it was there!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2003 at 8:31AM
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My bank will take pennies, rolled in their plastic clamshell wrappers, by appointment if it is over 5.00 total. That is their rule, technically. But I have cashed in more than that without an appointment. And I am "in the know" - since I do almost all of my banking virtually I have a "plan fee" that I pay monthly for a certain number of transactions etc. I can't get around paying it (although I keep track of my transactions like a hawk to make sure I don't get extra charges etc. and that I have the right plan for the transactions I make). So I use it to the fullest! And it so happens, that under my plan I get all the clamshell coin wrappers I want, for free!

Business don't like dealing with pennies in large amounts. They are heavy. They are dirty. They smell bad, and leave "dust". It costs more to count them than they are worth at the end. The wrappers have to be busted to recount them (you can't trust ANYBODY lol), and now you have to pay for a new wrapper on top of it all.

Having said that, all charities that would no longer like pennies can ship them to me, and I will roll them in my free clamshell wrappers and make an appointment to see the bank!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2003 at 10:56AM
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