Get Rid Of Excess Coins At Self-Serve Supermarket Checkouts

Get Rid Of Excess Coins At Self-Serve Supermarket Checkouts

Get Rid Of Excess Coins At Self-Serve Supermarket Checkouts The question of what to do with the inevitable clutter of spare coins is frequently discussed around these parts. Reader Lee reminds us that the rise of self-service checkouts at supermarkets provides another potential outlet for excess coinage.

Picture by Jaap Stronks

Here’s Lee’s take on the excess coin problem:

I have recently discovered a great way to get rid of all my spare change collected. With Coles and Woolworths now mostly having self-serving checkouts, I now bring all my change when I go shopping, and when it comes time to pay, dump it all in the coin chute, let it calculate how much there is, then pay the rest on card.

This tactic received brief mention in the comments on our recent post on what to do with excess coins, but I figure it’s worth a separate mention. As with ticket vending machines, you might encounter an upper limit of coins that will be accepted, but since supermarket machines are serviced with cash more regularly, that’s not likely to be a problem too often.


  • Or, rather than carrying a whole lot of coins every time you want to go shopping, you could take it to your bank every 6 months/annually and have it deposited into your account. I would expect the bank auto-counters would be more accurate than at checkouts, and you also miss out on frequent flyer points if you pay cash at the checkouts.

    • Isn’t this the method that we’re trying to avoid – I think everyone knows you can take it to the bank – it’s standard protocol, but who the hell wants to do that…?

      I think the supermarket is an awesome suggestion, and unlike a bank, the supermarket doesn’t ask you to pre-count it and put it in little bags.

    • Not all banks have auto-counters for coins. In my home town there are several banks and a credit union. None of them have auto-counters. Apparently the Commonwealth has one but it cycles between all of the towns in our region and the odds of it being at the bank when you want it are slim.

      The next-nearest town to mine is 300km away, so that coin-counter travels a lot of miles. I’m grateful for less painful ways to get rid of coins.

    • Actually I just tried to deposit my rolled coins into my credit union account and they wouldn’t take them! I would have to pay to use their coin counter.

  • who the hell wants to stand at a self service checkout pumping coin after coing to pay for $20 worth of shopping, aside from it being a pain in the ass you are also pissing the people waiting to use the self service checkout off as well.

    how hard is it to get change bags from the bank (which are free by the way) and spending 30 minutes spliting the coins into the denomination groups and then counting up and bagging. much better way to spend 30 minutes at home, than 30 minutes at the checkout.

  • Relax kids

    My local bank Commbank Bentleigh – has a great machine which counts all my coins for free (I’m a customer…) and spits back the detrius; you know, buttons, pound coins, Aldi trolley coins….

    THERE IS NO EXCUSE TO USE SUPERMARKET SELF SERVE REGISTERS…why should I do their work and not get paid for it!

    • Exactly!! This is how my father & I see these checkouts & the fact they fuck up more often than the normal registers at my local Coles & Woolworths.

  • Take them to the pub.. they LOVE you to hand over a handful of coins!
    (no joke!)
    I sell fundraising chocolates for my sport club and keep the coins and transfer the money to the club from my bank. Saves the club treasurer going to the bank and counting coins.
    A few rounds of beers with coins properly counted up and stacked and it’s all gone, publican is happy cause their till stays full of change and I’m happy cause I’ve had 10 beers!

  • Not every town has a coin counter or a Safeway with a self-service checkout, so the bank is still the way to go for me. But be careful, as bank staff can get rather irritated if you just dump a whole bag of coins on the desk and say “Go”. Sort them into bags (you can get a whole roll of them from your bank for nothing) and deposit them that way. They suggest you put set amounts in each bag (e.g. no more than $10 per bag) but they weigh them, so it’s no real drama.

  • Firstly to those going on about change sorting at banks – re-read Gus’ article, he’s already linked to other discussions on this front including banks, this article is supposed to be about the alternatives to that.

    Here’s another neat hack for self serve checkouts too, they’re worth using for cash out.

    My local Woolies (when I was living in Sydney) was my first local place to go to get cash. The registers did not require a purchase to withdraw cash, and I could withdraw ANY denomination from 5-cents upwards, all without incurring ATM fees.

  • You can upgrade your smaller coins into bigger ones by putting the smaller coins into most vending machines and just pressing refund. It will return 20s and 50s for all your 10s. If you can find a machine that takes 5 cents even better

  • Seeing as how I am childish and Woolies won’t take my visa debit card anymore, I have found that nothing infuriates the checkout ladies more than either giving a huge amount of change or giving a 50 note for a small purchase.

    Childish I know, but I only have a Woolies near my work…..Wonder if they will ban large notes or small change next?

  • You drive to woolies to buy groceries. You have about 30 coins sprayed around your car. I love the opportunity to avoid splitting notes, and clean my car in one go.

    This technique is meant for heavy pocketfuls of loose change, not the buckets of accumulated change you will inevitably take to the bank once a year or so.

  • Remember that they are also great ATM machines. You don’t have to buy anything, just walk up to one of the machines and press the EFT Cash out button. The advantage is that it doesn’t charge any bu!!$h!7 “your using an ATM at another bank” fees because it’s EFTPOS and also which bank will let you take out $29 from an ATM?!

    BTW This also works at any Target store too. You don’t need to buy to Cash out 😉

  • I did this at my local coles, took $25 worth of 50c coins to top off my shopping for the day. $75 worth of groceries and the machine had a fit at my coin input, after the attendant tried to fix it a few times i got an extra $10 worth free, from my actual out of pocket.
    overflow the machines with coins I say, they rip us off at grocery prices enough as it is

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