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Easily get rid of change, 10 coins at a time

Everyone has coins they want to get rid of. I randomly thought of an easy way to carry change and always have enough change for a purchase. For the sake of this article, I consider change to be less than $1 of coins. To be able to make any change combination, you need to carry $0.99 of change through 10 coins:

3 quarters
1 dime
2 nickles
4 pennies

These amounts will add up to $0.99 of coins. Given any “change” value, you can come up with that amount with these coins.

$0.55 = 2 q + 1 n
Left over = 1 q + 1 d + 1 n + 4 p

$0.79 = 3 q + 4 p
Left over = 1 d + 2 n

No matter what change value you need, you can come up with it. So, if you want to start using up your coins, just carry these 10 coins with you. Say you buy breakfast every morning and pay with cash. You will always be able to give exact change for the change part of your order, even if you buy different stuff each day. This method obviously only works per transaction, meaning once you use some coins, you can’t guarantee you will have exact change for another transaction.

You no longer need to carry a handfull of change when you want to get rid of it — just carry 10.

I tried to come up with an even smaller amount of change but I don’t think one exists. If you figure one out, let me know.

UPDATE: It seems as though my intentions for this are being misunderstood. This is just a simple, but usable way to get rid of some change. If you prefer to just keep change in a jar (as I do), then fine. All I am saying here is if you are going to go buy something and you have change you want to get rid of, you can do this. You can also just grab a handful of change — that’s fine, your decision. You can also just never use change and always break bills. Fine. I am in college, thus…I don’t want to waste bills of a few cents, so if I know I’m going to buy something with cash, I can bring change.

Published in general time savers


  1. Kermit Kermit

    Wouldn’t you also manage with just 9 coins?

    1 Half-dollar,
    1 Quarter
    1 Dime
    2 Nickels
    4 pennies

  2. Idragon144 Idragon144

    An half-dollar? I don’t think every currency has those, I sure never seen one.

  3. Mark Stafford Mark Stafford

    In other words, to have exact change, carry $0.99 in change?

    I suppose the wording makes it seem like a more noteworthy tidbit.

  4. I used to carry 4 pennies in my pocket. I couldn’t make exact change, but I could always overpay 0-4 cents so I would never get pennies in return.

  5. But as you mentioned, if you always need to carry $0.99 then you would still need more change to replenish the ten coins… Thus, this is a temporary solution for a non-cash person and a perpetual cycle for a cash person…

  6. In good old Europe you need only eight coins to make any amount between 0.01 and 0.99 euros:
    one 50, two 20, one 10, one 5, two 2 and one 1 cent coins.

  7. GG GG

    Get rid of change easily — send it to me!!

  8. lauren mearles lauren mearles

    i’m interested in finding a credit card sized change holder that would hold

    3 quarters
    1 dime
    2 nickles
    4 pennies

    • Mike Mike

      good idea but i don’t think its possible. they won’t all fit in a single layer..if you double it will be very thick for a wallet

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