helping you save cash

What To Do With Spare Change?

I recently got given a LOT of spare change. My son emptied all his piggy banks and put it together with the last of his birthday money so he could buy a Lego Fire Station set. He had enough, so I bought it on my card for him, of course, leaving me with loads of coins to deal with.

What do you do with loads of coins? Spend it?

Well, did you know the following?

Shops can actually refuse to accept your money if the following rules are not followed:

  • You can only pay for 20p worth of goods with pennies or tuppences

  • You can only pay for £5 worth of goods with 5ps or 10ps

  • You can only pay for £10 worth of goods with 20ps or 50ps

  • £1 and £2 coins can be used for any amount


I never knew that, but it’s interesting to keep in mind for the future. So what else can I do with loads of spare change?

Some banks have coin machines which are free of charge to use and make paying coins in a lot easier. Mine doesn’t.

Most banks only accept 5 bags of coins at a time, so I got popped into my bank and collected a handful of coin bags to fill and take in whenever I’m walking past. It’s the most cost-effective way to pay into your bank because ALL of your coins go in, but it does take some time.

You need to collate into the following:

  • £1 in coppers

  • £5 in 5p or 10p coins

  • £10 in 20p or 50p coins

  • £20 in £1 or £2 coins


Coinstar machines are available in most supermarkets these days and they automatically sort your change and convert it into either a voucher for cash that you can exchange at the customer services counter or a voucher for money off your shopping. This costs though, just under 11%. Meaning that for every £1 you put in, you’ll only get around 90p.

If you do want to spend it yourself, take it out in small amounts and use it for small transactions. Treat your kids (& yourself!) to some sweets from the corner shop or use a self-service machine to check out. That way you don’t really hold up the queue and a machine does all the work for you. Easy!

Bag it up ready for a trip to the beach. Everyone loves the 2 slots!

You could always consider giving your spare change to charity. Either at a shop itself or one of the coin collection tins we see dotted around towns at tills. It will do a lot more use as part of a charity rather than sitting in your drawer or down the back of the sofa! Change can make change!


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