Monday Dare: You’re worthless, but I still value you.

Every Monday, I’m picking from the List of Things to Try, Places to Go, Possible Acts that Help and Possible Fun to Have. It’s a list I made before The Project started and I’m still adding to it. If you have suggestions, please, feel free to throw them my way. I’m calling the list my Monday Dares, as I get overwhelmed just looking at the words “challenge” or “goal.”

This week: I will use my pennies.

We have a family secret. Every time my mind grazes over this one fact, I shudder a little. When I found out, I turned away in disgust. But, the compassionate side of me understood and we’ve worked through it.  He’s promised never to do it again.

My husband, Harv, threw away a jar of pennies.

In his defense, he worked 90-hour weeks at the time and he needed to pack an apartment-full of bachelor glory in just a few hours. He haphazardly threw some of it (his bachelorness, not the pennies) into cardboard boxes and the rest (deemed unworthy, unneeded or too weirdly shaped) found a new home in the garbage bin.

He claims that pennies are worthless.

Okay, I give him that. Sort of. If you manage to save them and not throw them away, you only have to collect 10,000 to equal a hundred dollar bill. I guess I do have a spare bathtub I could use as a penny collector.

I don’t use pennies because I’m a coward. Is it just me, or do cashiers really sneer when you start pulling pennies out of your wallet? This uppity attitude is unfortunate- if I don’t give the cashier my pennies during a cash transaction, he will probably be forced to give me some of his pennies. Should I sneer? How about just a soft hiss?

Damned be the dirty looks! I will use my pennies!

photo: Simon Howden

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  • Harv

    Yes! Please use our pennies! As of now, their value is actually less than worthless to me. They’re annoying interferences while I try to find quarters in our “junk drawer” for parking.

  • Carressa

    I don’t go out of my way to use a penny. But if the total was 1.01 then of course I’m going to pull out a penny. I rather just get a change jar and eventually take it to coinstar… one day.

  • Anonymous

    Why must women insist on using change? Don’t they know that you SLOW DOWN the line. When was the last time you saw a guy use change? Almost never. Advice, let the clerk give you change, put the change in your pocket, and then dump the change in a bucket.

  • chungbajee

    I LOVE using pennies. It’s a great feeling when you have exact change. It helps out the cashier too because most people DON’T give exact change. Then they run out. Then they have to open up the money case and get change. And then rip open the roll of coins. Now THAT is annoying. The more change you use, the less you will get back! YEAH!

    It’s ok that he threw away the pennies. I sometimes throw away change on the floor if I am cleaning my room. I don’t know why I do that. BUT i bet a homeless person found the jar of pennies and bought a nice meal. =)

  • Anonymous

    I actually like to use my pennies at the toll booths! I find myself at a toll maybe once-a-week and I keep my pennies in the car to toss in there. Love that nobody gets to hiss or sneer at me and and I am still making the pennies useful.

    You could also go the traditional, wrap and take to the bank route!

  • change in my pocket

    Carressa- you just reminded me of the time I took ALL my loose change to the nearest grocery store coinstar machine. It was broken. So, I lugged the change to another grocery store. It was broken. I tried one more time at another store down the street. They didn’t have one. lol.

  • change in my pocket

    chungbajee-right on….certainly more annoying than using pennies is waiting for the cashier to attempt to unroll a new set of pennies, fail, tap tap tap it on the register, attempt to unroll it again and watch it finally spill out everywhere.

  • change in my pocket

    anonymous- Your toll booth takes pennies?? I’m jealous! I once got stuck at a toll booth for five minutes because I was ten cents short and I only had pennies. I hoped someone would come behind me so I could panhandle for a dime, but I eventually just ended up driving away!

  • change in my pocket

    Oh, Harv, if you promise not to throw them away, I will promise to use them.

  • change in my pocket

    Mister Anonymous- I was originally going to ignore you, but I’m going to send positive vibes your way instead. I find your view of the female gender intriguing.

  • Jen Allyson

    Anything is better than writing a check! I always stay out of grocery lines with old ladies in them because without fail, they pull out the checkbook *AFTER* everything has been rung up and then ask “what store am I in?” several times before they start to write out the check that will take them at least 5 minutes to fill out. So carry on with your change!

    We just keep a coin jar for all our spare change (we mostly pay for stuff with cards anyway), and when it gets full we go on a “stay-cation” paid for by our change.

  • sstreet43

    Isn’t the motto “it is better to give than to receive”? :)

  • change in my pocket

    sstreet43- Absolutely. That’s why I give a lot of attitude..uhh…i mean pennies.

  • RollerScrapper

    Do you want to know what I do? I save most of my change for when I go to home depot or walmart at an off hour. I look around and then my husband and I quickly feed as much change into the self checkout as possible to pay for our purchase. I think one time we loaded about 12 bucks into the walmart one before someone got in line behind us…it was awesome :) You clearly feel like you’ve gotten away with something, when there’s nothing wrong with spending change…well not if no one is waiting behind you :)

  • Anonymous

    If you have extra change, and don’t want to inconvenience the cashier, ask them if they need it, sometimes they do and it is much easier to buy $1 or $2 in quarters from a customer than to open a whole new roll. I try to give exact cash whenever possible. I don’t want to carry that much extra weight around, and I don’t want to pay a fee for the privilege of using my coins (at coinstar.)

  • Anonymous

    TD Bank doesn’t charge a fee to use their coin sorting machine and they give away cherry lollipops! How awsome is that?