As a six year old, one of my favorite things about visiting my grandparents in their small, southern Illinois town was the thrill of splitting the pile of change from my grandfather’s piggy bank with my brother. It wasn’t a piggy, actually, but a portly, tonsured monk, complete with fake fur for hair. The classic Friar Tuck, really. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be an image of frugality or a critical commentary on medieval monks. But either way, we were glad that my grandfather was frugal so that we could feel a 6 year old’s version of gluttonousness.
We don’t have a piggy bank these days, but the change abounds. Which is why I loved seeing Kelly Hodgkins short piece at TUAW.
You are probably familiar with the coin-counting service Coinstar, which offers cash in exchange for your loose coins. Instead of receiving a cash voucher next time you turn in change, select an iTunes gift certificate and you will receive a receipt with an iTunes redemption code.
The funds will be added to your Apple ID and you can use it to buy iOS Apps, OS X apps, music, movies and books. Coinstar waives the coin-counting fee with these gift certificates, so you will walk away with your full balance. The coin-counting service occasionally offers an iTunes promotion thatll give you an extra $10 when you redeem a minimum amount usually $40. You can find promotions on Coinstars Special Offers webpage or be alerted via email when you sign up for a Coinstar account.
I’ve never used Coinstar machines because they charge that fee. But this looks like a great way to put that change to good use while bringing back the thrill of the coin pile.