Have you ever used a Coin Star machine? These are machines found in drug and grocery stores that take all your loose change and convert it to cash.

I throw all my loose change in a big vase. Except for quarters. These go in a special piggy bank. Whenever the vase and the bank get almost full, I dump this all out into a zip lock bag and take it to a Coin Star machine.

Until last time, I always opted for the ‘cash’ payout button. The machines takes almost 10% of your money and the balance is a credit you can cash in at customer service.

Last time I noticed that if you opt to take the ‘money’ in a gift card, you get the whole amount. There were lots of choices including Old Navy and Amazon. I chose Amazon.

When I pressed that button, out came a ‘receipt’ for $38 and a code to use for my next Amazon purchase. Voila.

I simply entered the code on Amazon and the amount was credited to my Amazon account. Then when I decided to purchase shampoo and hair conditioner, the bill came to zero, as they used my Coin Star credit.

Not only on sale, but free shipping to Hawaii. How great is that? (I have used and liked the ‘It’s a 10’ leave in conditioner, and so thought I would try the shampoo and conditioner.)Photo on 2-7-13 at 2.38 PMWhen my son was eighteen, he went away to college. At that time a haircut in Los Angeles was $20. I suggested that he get a mayonaise jar and every day put his pocket change in the jar. By the end of the month, he should have enough for a haircut. Sure enough. That was in the olden days, before coin star.

Now this is a good way to ‘save up’ for that special little purchase you have been putting off because it is frivolous. Enjoy.