I did our weekly grocery shopping Friday. I stopped at two Evansville Supermarkets and got the same story--they need coins. At one of the locations I saw a penny on the floor in front of the checkout clerk. I casually asked "If you find a penny on the floor-is it worth the effort to bend over and pick it up?". The answer was a quick, "We need those"!

As it turns out we can blame it all on the Covid 19 outbreak. Surprised? Basically the problem stems from folks staying home and running their fingers through their horde of coins instead of spending them. It's vending machines that we depend on to keep our change circulating.

For one thing, there's a serious shortage of SKI soda here in Evansville. Our machine in the break room at the Fifth Third bank building was out of  SKI (my favorite beverage) last week. I was standing right there with a hand full of quarters but to no avail. So there was a bunch of coins that didn't get into circulation. And that's just one example.

You'll see more than a few signs in businesses in Southern  Indiana asking for you to pay with correct change. They really mean that. Something else you can do to help is turn your coin collection in. You know, the one that's taking up space in the empty flower vase or oversize bottle.

You can use the coin counter located in many stores. The website mybanktracker reports that the COINSTAR machines that are located in over 50,000 locations charge a hefty 11.9 % fee for turning your coins into folding money.  At that rate, if you put in $500 in coins, you'll get $445 in green. They have several locations in the Tri-State including Wal-Mart.

Since there is such a shortage of coins, your bank may make the exchange at no charge. It might be worth a phone call to check.

In the meantime, you'll make some local merchants very happy if you use those coins to buy stuff.

This may be the time for me to get rid of that roll of John Adams dollar coins. And that Susan B Anthony dollar.


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