Making Change

I ran out to the store today to pick up a new air filter for our furnace. I saw a report on The Today Show once that said you shouldn’t spend lots of money on the expensive air filters that are really tightly woven to block allergens, that it’s better to get the cheap, generic ones and change them out more often for better air quality in the house.

(This post is not about air filters but I thought you might enjoy learning something here today.)


I only had the one item so I walked over to the Self Check Out registers and scanned the code. My total? $4.32.

I thought to myself, “I think I have change!”

Truth: I don’t enjoy carrying change in my purse. (It’s too heavy.)
When I can find an occasion to use up some of my change, I do a little happy dance. This was one such occasion.

Being at the Self Check Out, I was going to have to put one coin in at a time. No biggie: there was nobody behind me. I paid with:

2-one dollar coins

Seriously, I did.
While I was methodically inserting the coins, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that an older gentleman was sitting on a bench beyond the registers, just watching me. I think he was amused. It’s okay: I was amusing myself!

Had Jim been with me, he would have given me a hard time about the coinage. It’s one of his pet peeves. He’d rather use the debit card or just put a five dollar bill in the register, only to get MORE change back. I’m the one who pulls up to the drive thru window and digs through all of the compartments in the car to find four pennies. My argument: it’s still money! Change adds up, you know? (Remember how D cracked open his piggy bank on his nineteenth birthday last summer and we counted nearly three hundred dollars?)

What about you? Change or no change? Would you stand there at the Self Check Out (with nobody in line behind you) and insert thirty-three coins so you wouldn’t have to spend your paper money or use your debit card?


  • TheNextMartha

    Hmm. I will take a few moments for change when it’s like an odd number. So like 22 cents. I’d rather give little change so I don’t get a lot back. Does that make sense? Probably not

    • Melisa

      It makes sense if you’re saying what I think you’re saying: like giving more pennies and nickels in order to get, say, three quarters back? If that’s what you mean, I’m ALL OVER THAT and was just too lazy to try and explain it.

      If that’s not what you mean, then…no, you aren’t making sense to me. 🙂

  • Brandie

    A. Our hvac company told us the same thing about furnace filters and to change ours at least monthly.

    B. I like to use change. But always have people behind me and don’t want to annoy them so I don’t. That said, we have a milk gallon jug that we store change into, so I empty it out of my wallet into that often. If I can’t use, I don’t want to carry it around!

    • Melisa

      Your hvac company must also watch The Today Show! (or they’re experts: haha)

      I’m with you on not annoying folks behind me in line…too much. I think there’s a fine line between taking an extra second or two to grab a few coins and standing there for a whole minute. Wouldn’t want to cause someone to go postal! I do make great use of the change compartment in my car when my wallet suddenly feels like it weighs a lot from the change!

  • Ally Bean

    “Would you stand there at the Self Check Out (with nobody in line behind you) and insert thirty-three coins so you wouldn’t have to spend your paper money or use your debit card?”

    My answer: Yes. In a heartbeat. Without a second thought about how weird it might be. Money is money.

    • Melisa

      Yes! Money is money!
      Once when I was a kid I remember paying for a McDonald’s cheeseburger and fries with pennies. ALL pennies. I think the adult in line behind me was pretty ticked, but hey…I paid for my lunch with money I mostly found in the couch! 🙂

  • lceel

    I keep a small basket in my car and whenever I get change I throw it in the basket. Once a month or so I take me and my basket to the bank and they count out the change and give me real money back. It becomes my “mad money”.

    • Melisa

      haha, it’s ALL real money! 🙂
      I have a jar in the laundry room where I put coins that I find in the washer and dryer. I’ve done this for years, yet whenever I go to get the coins out of the jar, it is empty. Hmm. I’m guessing one of my kids was using it for hot lunch.

  • Heather

    I use change alllllll the time. Mainly because I hate carrying it around. I have seriously paid for groceries in change before (at a self-checkout! ha!). That being said, I’m with everyone else here- I hate being the person who holds up the line. So I keep most of my change at work in my drawer so I can use it in the vending machine.

  • DaddysFishBowl

    Definitely a no change kinda guy. I don’t even like carrying dollar bills. I get so angry when an establishment does not accept cards. I refuse to shop there anymore!!! lol, kinda harsh I guess now that I think about it.

    • Melisa

      Yeah, a LITTLE harsh. 😉
      I don’t carry dollar bills much either; we do use our cards for almost everything. That said, I always somehow have coinage!

  • Kat

    I’m definitely all FOR change. I’m one of these annoying people that is counting out exact change with the cashiers. Nothing worse than a bulky wallet…

    • Melisa

      It also prevents wear and tear on a wallet! I have ruined two wallets in the past because of too much change.

      In fact, maybe that’s why Jim doesn’t get it: he’s never ruined a wallet before! 🙂

  • Grandma W

    I agree you should use your change when ever you can. I don’t like using the card if I have cash and change. But I also don’t like to have people behind me taping their feet. Most people do understand when you want to get out the change so you don’t have to break another bill.

    • Melisa

      MOST people. It’s always good to see if you can determine the mood of the person behind you, I guess! 🙂

  • Therese

    Yes, yes, yes! All about the change. I know exactly what you mean about the weight of the purse with added change. And if I can’t use up the change, I try to clean it out of my purse frequently. Then I pick up the purse, and say, Hmmmm, I must be forgetting something, it’s so light!

    • Melisa

      Isn’t it funny how getting rid of that added weight makes such a difference? Sadly, sometimes I even carry so much PAPER in my purse that it’s a noticeable difference when I clean it out! oops.