(Editor’s Note #1: RSS and Atom feeds are working again…I think/hope)

(Editor’s Note #2: Today, I’m a guest blogger for Mellie at Golly Blog Howdy. She offered to homeschool my future children, if I made an appearance on her blog. With an offer like that, I couldn’t refuse. But then again, if I never have children, due to things like wearing really tight underwear, a swift kick to my balls, getting castrated while in a crazy cult, or scaring women away when I take off my clothes, I’ll get the raw end of this deal.

Anyway, I’ve written a review for her blog, which is almost the exact same review as the one below. However, the review on her blog is, um, how can I put it? Rated PG. The review below is the usual PG-13 or TV14, for you TV ratings geeks. So after you read the PG-13/TV14 review below, go read the PG version at Golly Blog Howdy.)

There’s a container on my shelf that I specifically use for loose change and the occasional button. Recently, that container became full and I needed to figure out a way to get rid of the loose change.

I could’ve taken them to a bank and have the teller who helped me dream of shoving an adding machine down my throat. Or I could’ve given them to the panhandlers that hang outside of the convenience store down the street and watch them drown out their problems with alcohol. Or I could’ve stuck them in between my couch’s cushions, so that I can finally say I found loose change in between a couch’s cushions.

I eventually decided to cash them in using a Coinstar machine, which can count my coins for me. Sorry, drunk-ass panhandlers.

First, I had to find a Coinstar machine, which I did by visiting their website. There, I just inputted my zip code and the site told me where the nearest Coinstar machine was.

The nearest machine was at the locally-owned grocery store down the street that I hardly step into because their prices are slightly more expensive than the national grocery store chain I usually shop at.

I grabbed my container of coins and walked to the store. Unfortunately, this was a bad idea, because I had to pass the convenience store, and guess who were hanging out there. Yes, the panhandlers.

Now, when they’ve ask me for loose change in the past, I’ve told them that I didn’t have any. This time, I couldn’t say that with ten pounds of loose change in a container that was impossible to hide.

I really hoped they were too drunk to notice the Fort Knox of loose change I held in my hands. Fortunately, they were.

When I got to the store, there already was a guy unloading a small cooler of pennies into the Coinstar machine. I waited for 15 minutes as he dump over 5000 pennies into the machine.

After waiting and being amazed that 5000 pennies could fit into a small cooler, I began to dump my coins into the machine, which accepts pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half-dollar coins, and dollar coins.

One cool thing I read about the Coinstar machine is that it can detect if you’ve accidently slipped in buttons, Japanese Yen, Canadian coins, other foreign coins, or those stupid penny souvenirs that are worth less than a penny. If you happen to stick in non-American money or crappy penny souvenirs, it will drop it into the slot labeled “Coin Return,” which seems kind of ironic to be called that.

When the machine was done counting my coins, it spit out a receipt that showed me how much money I put into it. My gross total was $50.06, but the machine subtracted an 8.9 percent processing fee. So my net total was $45.60.

After I got my receipt, I headed to the cashier with the shortest line to cash-in the receipt. For me, the shortest line was the four-items-or-less line, which also had the prettiest cashier. When I got to the pretty cashier, I handed her my receipt and she opened her register to get the money.

While counting the money, she asked me, “What are you going to with the money?”

Internally, I said, “Well, how about you and I spend it on dinner at a nice restaurant?”

Externally, I said, “Uh, I dunno,” and then walked away.

(I’m such a pussy.)

As I walked out of the store, I began asking myself questions to figure out how to spend the money.

“How many products can I review with this money?”

“Could I really feed an entire village in Ethiopia for just 25 cents a day?”

“Could I use an iPod Shuffle?”

“How many tricks can I get with this scratch?”

I eventually decided to use the money to help with the purchase of an iPod Shuffle.

Thanks, Coinstar.

Item: Coinstar
Purchase Price: FREE to use (8.9 percent fee for every dollar of coins counted)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Pros: Easy to use. Convenient. No need to roll coins. Takes all types of coins, except those stupid penny souvenirs. Can turn your loose change into an iPod Shuffle.
Cons: Noisy. Drunk panhandlers. I am a pussy.

29 thoughts to “Coinstar”

  1. Webmiztris – Or “Don’t Be Tryin’ To Trick Me, Beeyatch!”

    Thumper – Dear Lord, that’s a lot of coins.

    Sarcasmom – Yeah, I remember reading something about that. Honestly, how many people actually use pennies? I think the mint might have a problem with quarters in the future. With all of these state quarters, I think people are hoarding them as well. I’ve got about 100 dollars worth I’ve been keeping, just in case the value of them rise to 26 cents.

  2. Hey! This is way random but you did the Terra chips post, and I missed it 🙁 so I’m posting here. I didn’t know you had never heard of them before- I should have warned you about how hard they can be to find (and how expensive they can be ONCE you find them) you also had the potpourri, which I just had for the first time myself the other day. There are actually many, many kinds. My fave is the multi-color bag. I think it’s just original. Even better than potpourri. Believe it.:)

  3. Thanks for reminding me I had a Pringle’s can full of pennies. Put them in a ZipLoc bag and toted them to my local grocery food store. That baggie was heavy! There was only about $7 and after CoinStar’s deduction, I think I should be saving QUARTERS instead!

  4. Janet – The strange thing is after my review I began to see Terra chips in some of the stores that didn’t carry them before. I’d like to think my review had something to do with that, but I know it didn’t.

    Aymie’s Mom – I’m scared to reuse Pringles cans, because I’m afraid of getting my arm stuck in them…for the umteenth time.

  5. David – If the coin return ever gives you actual fingers, I would step away from the machine, because it’s either possessed by the devil or it’s a deli slicer.

  6. Everytime I go to the Coinstar I always run through the same ONE QUID piece and arcade token I’ve had for years. After I get them from the finger-nail/band-aid return I put them back in the can, thinking I may use them at some point. More likely, the Coinstar will eventually take pity on me and just give me the cash equivalent.

    Will keep you updated.

  7. I once won a cd from a Coinstar machine.
    I am now the proud owner of the soundtrack to the Olsen twins movie that came out last summer (something about NYC.)

    Since the banks around here attempt to charge my no nacount having ass for exchanging rolled coins, Coinstar is my new best friend. (I need more friends.)

  8. UncleHornHead – Arcade token? Holy crap! Those still exist? Well if it does take the arcade token, see if it will take the stupid prize scripts I have from playing that basketball free throw game. I have enough to win a cheap ruler, but not enough to get the cheap portable radio.

    jazzchic – You can win stuff from the Coinstar machine? Oh wait, the soundtrack the New York Minute, you say? I don’t think that counts as a win.

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