"A penny saved
is a penny hard to spend."
For a long time
Johnnie and I have put our left over change in a quart fruit jar each day.
We keep that fruit jar in the bottom of the kitchen cabinet.
The other day
Johnnie said we had four quart fruit jars full of change in the cabinet
and she thought it was time we got them out and deposited them in the
About six or
seven years ago we took a large sack of coins to the bank and they had us
leave them and a deposit slip. They had a machine that would separate and
count the coins. Then they would fill out the deposit slip and mail us a
But banks have
changed a lot since then. When we took our coins to the bank they told us
they didnít do that any more. We would have to separate the coins and put
them in rolls before we could deposit them. They gave us the paper rolls
to put our coins in and told us to be very careful when counting the
coins, because they weighed each roll. This would let them know if a roll
was short a coin or two.
When we got back
home with our sack of coins, I told Johnnie I wasnít going to sit there
for hours counting and rolling coins. She said she didnít like the idea
either. She would just spend them.
The next time
she went to the grocery store she dumped a big hand full of the coins in
her purse. When it was her time to check out, her bill was $46.02. She
reached into her purse and grabbed a hand full of coins and started
counting. Most of them were pennies. The checker stood there with her
mouth open for an instant and then said,
"ah, ma-am your
holding up the line."
"You want paid,
donít you?" Johnnie answered.
called her supervisor and showed him what Johnnie was doing. By this time
Johnnie have counted out $2.31 in pennies, $1.85 in nickels and $1.30 in
dimes. The supervisor asked the checker how much the bill was and she told
"Lady we canít
hold up this line while you count out $46.02 in coins."
said and she dumped all of the coins on the counter. "You count them."
said, "I think thereís enough to cover your groceries, just go, and donít
come back. Youíre no longer welcome in this store."
told me about her experience, I asked her if she thought there was $46
worth of coins in that pile.
"I have no idea,
but it was humiliating to be told not to ever come back to that store."
A few days later
Johnnie took a purse full of coins and went to sears to buy a set of
sheets for my bed. I sleep on an extra long twin bed so it takes special
sheets to fit it. They always cost more then regular sheets and are hard
She was lucky
this day and found a set of sheets in the extra long twin size. There was
a fitted sheet, a flat sheet and a pillow case in the package. It was
She took it to
the cashier, and with tax the bill was $26.94. Johnnie started counting
out her coins and the cashier got this panic look on her face. The cashier
picked up the phone and called for her supervisor.
supervisor got there, Johnnie was counting away.
and twenty-one, three dollars and twenty-two, three dollars and
"What are you
doing?, the supervisor asked.
"Paying for my
sheets." Johnnie told him.
"I canít accept
all those pennies."
"They are legal United States money and I can spend them any where I want
to. Open your cash register and see how many you have to give in change."
Johnnie got home with the sheets, she told me she wasnít going to go
through all the hassle of trying to spend the coins again. She told me
that I was going to have to spend them.
That night after
I went to bed on my new sheets, I was laying there thinking about all that
change when I had an idea of how to get red of it. I went to sleep with a
smile on my face.
The next morning
at the breakfast table, I told Johnnie about my idea. She clapped her
hands and said, "That will kill two birds with one stone. I wonít have to
do any more shopping and it will get rid of all the coins. From now on we
are going to spend our change as we get it, no more saving it."
Now I guess you
want to know what my idea was. Ok, here is what we did. We put all the
change we had left in pint fruit jars and packed the top with cotton
before we put the lids on. This way the coins would not rattle against the
lid. Then we wrapped the jars in Christmas paper and tied a big bow on
We gave them to
our kids and grand kids for Christmas gifts.
copyright 2003 Loren Moore