Coinstar machine at our local Giant Eagle.
According to Coinstar, the average household has $90 of loose change in their house. So I took this challenge to see what we had lying around. I collected all the coins that were semi-rolled in our cabinet. I emptied out all the change that was in our change jar (aka old cake frosting container) in our kitchen. I also gathered all of the change in our 2 change holders in both vehicles (old baby food containers work great for this purpose).
On our shopping trip I stopped at the Coinstar machine first. You can either choose to cash out your change, (however a 9.8 cent fee applies to every dollar) or you can get an eCertificate to many retailers for no fee. I choose the certificate to Amazon.com since I know I could use this for upcoming birthdays and Christmas.
So after emptying all of my change, plus what was in my wallet, I got a $65.52 gift certificate to Amazon. Not too bad! It was also super easy to do and I had no issues. The whole process took about 5 minutes start to finish counting my $65.52 in change.
There are many certificates that are available, but they vary by region. The retailers include, Amazon, Amazon MP3, Borders, CVS (my machine did not have this option), Gap, iTunes, JCPenney, Lowes, Old Navy, Overstock.com, Regal Entertainment, and Starbucks.
This is a great way to save for Christmas without even realizing you are saving money. Start your change jar now and put all of your change in it, then you will be able to cash it out for gifts!