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"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 bank.

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 copy.

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.

The checker 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 him $46.02.

"Lady we canít hold up this line while you count out $46.02 in coins."

"Fine" Johnnie said and she dumped all of the coins on the counter. "You count them."

The supervisor said, "I think thereís enough to cover your groceries, just go, and donít come back. Youíre no longer welcome in this store."

When Johnnie 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 to find.

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 marked $24.95.

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.

When the supervisor got there, Johnnie was counting away.

"Three dollars and twenty-one, three dollars and twenty-two, three dollars and twenty-three."

"What are you doing?, the supervisor asked.

"Paying for my sheets." Johnnie told him.

"I canít accept all those pennies."

Johnnie said, "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."

Well. after 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 them.

We gave them to our kids and grand kids for Christmas gifts.

copyright 2003 Loren Moore

TUNE ~ All Shook Up






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