Home > 90 days of change hunting

90 days of change hunting

October 13th, 2009 at 04:33 am

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.11 (sidewalk, bus stop)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 bagel, coffee + $6 croissant, coffee + $2.50 financial paper
Found money - $0.12 (sidewalk, road)

Well, I took a look at the change-finding blogs around. ZZZZZ. However, most find about $25 - $30 in a year, along with a bill or two. In my 90 days of change hunting, I've found $5.48, or about 6 cents/day. With my lack of bill finding skills, that pace puts me a bit under, coming in at $21 for the year.

In the last 90 days I've found 123 pennies, 4 nickels, 23 dimes, 7 quarters. Lately I've had a string of 17 days straight where I've found a coin. To find money, you do have to be out and about, walking around. Some days change appears within minutes; others, I'm looking hard; for 31 days out of the 90, I didn't find any. My walking habits are very routine, it really is a case of being alertly relaxed.

I've noticed in my routine walks some hot spots. Most bus stops are hot spots, some much hotter than others. The gutter, about 2-10 inches from the sidewalk, is another great place especially along the patches of road contiguous with the bus stop. One can imagine the bus glides in, opens the door, people leave, one or two drop a coin or two, coins land in the road. Often the coins are so beat up that you know it took a rare person to stop and pick them up. (Its safe - look for oncoming traffic, put a foot in the road when the traffic eases, and pick up your profit.) Edges of all sorts - floor overhangs, counter edging, shadowed spots, edges between sidewalk/street appliance (eg wastebasket, parking meter, still alive payphone), sidewalk/grass and sidewalk/road tend to be very fruitful.

The interesting thing, though, are those hot spots. I cut through three parking lots on one of my routes - Greenwood Market, Fred Meyer, the Taproot Theater. Fred Meyer is the hot parking lot, the others - meh. I shop at both the Greenwood Market and Safeway. I never found any money on the Greenwood Market floor, while the Safeway floor can be a veritable ATM. I wonder why the hot spot - is it just more foot traffic (paying in cash), different lighting, ambient noise levels, an environment of distraction?

7 Responses to “90 days of change hunting”

  1. mjrube94 Says:

    That's really incredible that you're on pace to make $20. Had no idea it would add up like that. Way to go!

  2. Petunia Says:

    Wow, interesting observations about finding change. Not many bus stops near my home in suburbia. . .

  3. merch Says:

    I find the oversized coffee cups at Starbucks to be a hot spot. I just go up to the counter and empty it into my pocket. I get some strange looks, but I can usually get a few bills.

  4. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    You sure do better than me! I look all the time when I'm out and hardly find anything but pennies. Not many of those either.

    Merch! Tsk tsk. Smile

  5. monkeymama Says:


    We don't walk that much (but to park, school, track, all within 1/2 mile) BUT the kids always find change in the stores and in their parking lots. That's really LM's only income, besides gifts. But his piggy bank is FULL of change.

    I had to add, we find the most change at the track. No idea why!!! Most we find outside anyway, away from stores. All I can figure is we have seen people selling snacks during football practice and such. Maybe snack buyers drop their change. Maybe it's just easy to lose change while running around a track.

  6. baselle Says:

    merch - HA hah hahh hhhahh hahahahahaha! (gasps for air).

    Of course, the Starbucks change jar is where all the really dinged beyond recognition coins go. Means that they (or you) have the problem of getting the bank to take them. Big Grin

  7. baselle Says:

    Note to self: put the Canadian coins in the Starbucks change jar.

    monkeymama - the pockets in most track pants are terribly shallow - don't want to mess up that line. Not to mention that the track surface is glittery so it can hide a lot of dingy coins.

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