For most banks, cashing in your penny jar is something they do only reluctantly. You have to manually sort the coins into single denominations. You must manually bag them into precise quantities. Even though they have the high-tech, industry-precision, scales to do it automatically.
There are some machines in supermarkets which will process your pennies automatically... for a 10% fee. This, to me, is as bad as cash machines which charge you �2 for access to your own money. So I always sort and bag my own penny jar.
This Instructable details some ideas, tricks, and tips, on how to this quickly, efficiently, and accurately. For example, I recently sorted 3650 coins into money bags totaling �242, in an hour and a half... without miscounting a single penny!
Step 1: Prepare your area
This is fairly simple, but has some common-sense rules:
- Find a flat surface - this ensures each pile is equal in height, making it easy to spot missed coins. Carpets are generally not good for this. Kitchen lino is good, and large enough.
- Tip the coins from the jar/bag/whisky bottle onto the surface, and make it fairly flat - this ensures maximum visibility.
- Put on a good LP. Don't use an MP3 player! An LP forces you to get up, and change posture, every 20 minutes giving you body and mind a quick break.
- Plan additional areas for:
- shiny new coins you want to keep/display
- foreign coins (there will always be some)
- stacks of sorted coins
- empty bags (usually behind you)
- full bags (these don't need to be close, as they can be thrown)
- large denomination coins. There's not usually enough in a penny jar to make up a full bag, so don't waste time sorting these out until the end.
- one empty bag, with the coin legend visible. i.e.. �1 of 1p or 2p
- Sit in the middle of these areas, with each section in easy reach.