Have you ever had to pay for purchases with pennies?

@gemini_rose (16193)
April 22, 2008 4:29pm CST
I reckon that the vast majority of us have had, been through or going through hard times. I know that I had hard times when I was a single parent with my eldest son, but have you ever been so low on money that the only way you could buy something was to use a stash of pennies and change that you had in a jar? I had to do it more than a few times I must admit, I would go into the shop for bread and milk and sometimes even for tins of beans and spagetti for us to have a meal and then paid for it with pennies, and the amount of times I stood there counting it out, holding up a queue, holding my head high yet knowing that people are looking on in pity. I am lucky in that I have not had to do that in a long while now, but those days are as fresh in my memory now as if they had just happened, but I reckon that they made my son into the decent kind boy he is today, so it probably was not all bad, although it certainly felt that way at the time!!! So has anyone else had to do this? When was the last time you did? Why, and what was the thing that you had to buy using pennies? If you have never had to do it, please just come and tell me this too!!!
10 people like this
30 responses
@kiran1978 (4137)
• Australia
23 Apr 08
Yep that's my life at the moment, lol. But only for this year, not working at the moment as you know looking after bubs and my partner is also out of work right now. So life is tough at the moment. Living week by week, penny by penny. But we have a roof over our head, food on the table and bills are just getting paid. We are surviving. So there have been lots of times lately I have had to scratch up some pennies around the house. But I am looking at the bigger picture, this is only short term, when my partner finds work again and I return to work I won't have to worry about searching for pennies, lol. I know there are alot more people worse off then me, so I am grateful living in my country.
@gemini_rose (16193)
23 Apr 08
Your country is beautiful, a lot of us Brits seem to be flocking over to you, maybe we should join them!! It is hard when there is no money around, but it is funny how we always seem to scrape through, I sometimes think to myself that I should keep being frugal and scrape by even when I do not need to!
2 people like this
@ruby222 (4848)
23 Apr 08
Boy lol you by no means arent the only one that has ever had to do that Rose...when the kids were small and times were har it was a regular occurence..but i think its things like that that make you a stronger and more determined person.I had friends who were well off and had never known what it was like to be short of money..but i was perpetually short of money!!!...my hobbies always were things that needed little or no money..and what we did have to spare obviously went on the children!!..as we had three ..it was the constant round of shoes and coats and school uniforms etc....but we got through it ...and can laugh about it all...I cant think of the last time as such that i did pay in pennies...but hubby always takes money for the papers using the correct coinage...he is totally obsessed with it!!!...as much as i am of not wasting any money that is so hard to come by !!!
2 people like this
@gemini_rose (16193)
23 Apr 08
Oh no I can imagine that I am not. I am sick of buying school shoes this year, I have bought my 7 year old at least 3 pairs so far, and I need to get them polo shirts and jumpers, never ending!!
2 people like this
@lingli_78 (12845)
• Australia
23 Apr 08
i am fortunate that i had never had to do that before... and i hope that i never have to in my life... but if i have to, there is no shame in it... pennies are still money and the shop have to accept it... i work in customer service and i have many customers paying me with pennies... they don't look ashamed at all and they are fine counting them slowly while other customers are queing and waiting to be served... so i think it is OK...
2 people like this
@gemini_rose (16193)
23 Apr 08
No you are right although there is no shame in it, I was always sad because I had a child to support and I was working full time and more and struggling to pay for neccessities like food and having to count pennies out of jars, it was depressing.
2 people like this
• United States
23 Apr 08
LOL I cleaned out someone's vehicle before, like vacuumed and washed it, and they payed me $50 in change, most of which was pennies and nickels. And me and my sister went and bought groceries at Wal-mart and I payed for it with the change. We went to a self checkout and had to put them in one at a time. LOL All money is spendable. If you have to use change just be thankful that you had any money. That's the way that I look at it. As long as you have some change you Cannot say that you do not have a penny to your name.
2 people like this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
23 Apr 08
I have used pennies even to get on the bus, but now they won't accept it anymore. I have taken pennies to the grocery store but again they don't accept them here now, you have to go and exchange them at the bank. I am still poor, about the poorest and the sickest that I have ever been in my life now, and I pray to God that this will change for me.
2 people like this
@Breath (1297)
• United States
22 Apr 08
I have always had to save change.Growing up poor that jar with those pennys was our treasure.I saved every cent along side of my family because that was our food money,gas money,ect...I have to use change many times even as an adult my self to get what I needed...No shame in it as I see.Money is money and even pennys look good when your broke.I just hated it when a line of people would have to stand behind me and wait for me to count out the change.So it can be a little uncomfortable.I still save my change and keep it rolled.Cash it in for extra money.I am helping save change this year to go to the beach...Just wanted to share:)
2 people like this
@minnie_98214 (10574)
• United States
22 Apr 08
I have not done that since I was a kid. I do save my change to cash in at a later date. I dont know something about carrying around pennies I just dont do it but I have paid in nickles and dimes its funny they look at you all weird.
2 people like this
• Bahamas
23 Apr 08
Yes i have.I even have a coin jar that i keep just in case.I had a situation where i was raising my three eldest kids alone and i was in the store getting diapers for the youngest.Well i didn't have enough cash and started rummaging through my bag for some coins that i had.The gentleman who was behind me told the cashier that he would pay for my diapers{guess he heard her sucking her teeth}and felt sorry for me.It's been a long time since then but i still blush when i think about it.
1 person likes this
@gemini_rose (16193)
23 Apr 08
That was nice of the man to do that, you do not see that happen very often.
2 people like this
• Bahamas
23 Apr 08
Yes it was. And thats what motivates me to do it for others when i can, you know sort of paying it forward.
1 person likes this
@plumwish07 (4060)
• Indonesia
23 Apr 08
honestly i oftenly shop with using pennies. especially in the end of the month when i am waiting for my next paycheck. in the early month, when i spending money and have pennies in return, i will keep it. no matter how small amount of those pennies. in the days before end of month, i tend to use this pennies to buy anything that i need, as like food. and its okay for me to count each pennies that i have, infront of the cashier to pay whay i already bought
1 person likes this
@gemini_rose (16193)
23 Apr 08
I used to be like this too, when it was just me and my son, I would get my monthly wage which I would work like a dog for and then within 3 weeks it would be gone and so I would have to get by on pennies for that last week.
2 people like this
• Indonesia
24 Apr 08
gee, your situation just like my self dear friend. my paycheck will be run out immediately in three week and in fourth week, i become use my pennies to buy stuff that i needed. i don't think its embarassing to count our pennies in front of cashier cause we still have money ti buy, right?
@Hatley (164654)
• Garden Grove, California
23 Apr 08
Oh I had to do that too and it was a long time back but I never forgot. my husband was disabled due to a colostomy from colon cancer and I was only working part time so bertweetn the rent and everything we were down to change and pennies by the end of the month.we had everything but milk and bread and I had to count out the cost of that in two dollar bills and pennies, nickels and dimes while people behindme werefrowning and shuffling in place I feltso emabarrassed but I did not get paid til the next day and this was just an imperson chain grocery store not a place that would give you credit at all. so we finally did servive and now I am a widow living with my adult son and things are a lot better of course.
@gemini_rose (16193)
23 Apr 08
It would seem that most of us have been through it then. I am glad that things are better for you now.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Apr 08
I am on accidental disability retirement and only get paid once a month. I can tell you that the money does not go as far as it should go. I had some unexpected expenses this month so for these last few days of the month (we have enough food in the house) I have been using my change to buy my paper. I have several rolls of pennies and I will take one of them and the rest (the paper cost $0.75) I have enough change so that I will be able to get my paper for the rest of the month.
1 person likes this
@gemini_rose (16193)
25 Apr 08
No I know it does not, I do not claim it, but I have seen others struggle on it. It is not fair that people who are genuinly disabled get penalised in this way.
1 person likes this
@queenofarms (1665)
• United States
23 Apr 08
My husband and I had to do that when we first married. We go to the store for milk,bread,soft drinks,chips...etc. I have had to do it about a year ago. I used rolled change for gas. It was a couple of days before payday. I feel it all spends the same.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Apr 08
I've had to pay with change before and not just pennies, change in general. I've been shopping with my mom when she's had to buy things with nothing but change. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. My grandfather pays a lot with change anymore. He's a coin collector and what he has that is not of good quality gets taken to a store to spend. If he doesn't spend it, I get it so I can spend it.
1 person likes this
@teison2 (5924)
• Norway
22 Apr 08
We had to use our small change for food after I had gotten no money freom social security for 26 months. And I was so ill that I could hardly leave the house. Our local bank will exchange with no fee so we did not have to stand there at the store with pennies. There is no shame in paying with pennies, but it still feels better not having to.
1 person likes this
@Jemina (5783)
6 May 08
Oh yes, I did. In Thailand, these pennies are not accepted in buses and other shops. But if you go to 7/11 or tesco and other big stores they accept them. But I don't always go there. So in time these pennies accumulate and soon enough the glass if full of them. One time I wanted to get rid of them so I took them to tesco and paid for my grocery with them. It took me several minutes as the sales clerk had to count them one by one. The queue went very long.
@gemini_rose (16193)
6 May 08
I can imagine, I just glare at everyone in the queue behind me and dare them to say anything!!
@Jemina (5783)
7 May 08
What are you looking at? If you don't want to wait for me counting my pennies you can pay for my grocery. Just kidding!
@moneyandgc (3430)
• United States
23 Apr 08
Last year while I was gone a few months my husband used my rolled up pennies to pay for gas. I have paid in change many times for things. A couple of years ago the military sent my husband on a deployment and when he got home we didn't get paid 3 paychecks in a row. They emailed him about an Air Force loan that was given to us after Hurricane Katrina; but he was NOT at work! He was out of the country. Apparently since he didn't respond they decided to take all the money back at once. It was not a fun time.
@gemini_rose (16193)
23 Apr 08
I can imagine that it was not a fun time, how awful.
1 person likes this
@enola1692 (3325)
• United States
23 Apr 08
yes I have an when I was a cashier I treated the folks that came in with respect an thanked them telling them I can always use the change cause when I had to do it the cashier was rude about the whole thing an my coins were rolled so i never didfigure out what her problem was but she made me feel very tiny
@gemini_rose (16193)
23 Apr 08
Some people seem to take great pleasure out of making others look small.
1 person likes this
@ruby222 (4848)
6 Jun 08
This is an old topic I know Rose,but it just made me think..hubby has to have his money for his papers aorted out the night before..and he has to have the right amount ..bang on..and he rifles through my bag to get the od pence!!!and one day he was most put out,he went in the corner shop with his handful of pennies to find that the paper had gone up in price!!!!OMG...well the lady in the shop knows him well and she obviously let him just have his paper..but what funny habits we have dont we !!!
@schulzie (4064)
• United States
6 Jun 08
Yes, many times. The last time was last week. I used to get embarrassed but I don't care anymore if people moan in back of me because I am taking so long. I don't care if they think I'm poor or take pity. Whenever I see others doing the same thing and I have money in my pocket to pay for my groceries I am thankful for the money I have and I can appreciate that other person's position. When I use my pennies for groceries I also try to combine it with my coupons. I have never been what is called "well off" and even if I am ever lucky to be that I will always try to economize with coupons, rebates, sales, clearance, thrift stores, etc. Every cent counts.
@nangel78 (1458)
• United States
6 Jun 08
I did that when I was a teenager and wanted a cd, but did not want to use my account to buy it. I had saved up pennies, rolled them, and went to get bills for them from the bank. These days though with prices going up on everything, you do what you have to do. Nothing wrong with using change saved up!