So I wanted to buy my former neighbors a new video camera (they were using 8mm TAPES; ugh), and a friend had mentioned that at the Coinstar machines (which normally take about 8% of value of the change you convert) you can convert change for NO FEE as long as you get a credit for one of several shopping places like Starbucks, Amazon.com, etc. Since the camera I wanted was at Amazon.com for around $250, I figured I would give this a shot, because, you know, I have a jar of change.
Okay, it is more a BUCKET of change since I actually am not able to lift it at this point. Being the engineer that I am, I decided I could pour some into another vessel (in this case a mesh wastebasket) and carry that to the store. So here we are:
I know, barely a dent in the original some how.
Anyway, I go to the CVS pharmacy by my house and start pouring in coins until I get $250 worth of credit, which I take as an Amazon.com voucher. (I think we could kick the start the whole economy by just getting everyone to take their change to Coinstar and buying some stuff at Amazon; who doesn’t have a bunch of change sitting around?).
After the effort, I still had quite a bit of change left:
So I am leaving the store and as I step outside, there is a homeless guy, maybe around 40 or so, looking pretty clean and not too crazy. He looks at me, looks at the basket I’m carrying, looks back at me smiling and says “So, you got any change?”.
He chuckled and said not to worry about it but he couldn’t resist, but I thought it was so well-played that I walked over and said “Okay, you get to keep whatever you can grab with one hand.”
After spending a second to size up where most of the big coins were at, he plunged and probably ended up with five to seven dollars.
Which in my book was well worth the laugh and the story.