Sunday, April 29, 2007


Well so far my one man dollar coin guerilla movement has gotten two responses. I used several to buy 2 hot dogs at a sheep shearing festival and got a very positive response, "Wow, those are the new Washington Dollars!" I also used some to buy a magazine at Waldenbooks and the lady said, "Curses! We don't like those here. I guess, you'll want to use those." I got no response at a restaurant or at church.

I also had my second paper money find in one week! This is some sort of record for me. I found it lying on the floor near the checkout line at my local supermarket.

During the same shopping trip I found these three coins that were bent all to hell. The bend in the nickel is hard to see, but it is quite severe.

Thanks to Bailey and Brian I've been alerted to the beauty of drive-thrus (as far as coin hunting goes anyway) - it was very fruitful yesterday.

Found: 21 pennies (12 at McDonald's, 6 at Shaw's, 1 at Waldenbooks in Lexington, 1 on the street in Lexington Center), 2 nickels (1 at McDonald's, 1 at Shaw's), 3 dimes (1 at McDonald's, 1 at Shaw's), 1 dollar bill (at Shaw's)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Golden Dollars

Just as I believe in cheapness in my own life, I believe the government should be cheap. I'm a proud Democrat, so no I'm not prepared to see the roads go to hell or kick mentally ill people out onto the streets for the sake of cheaper taxes, but I do believe government has a duty to run as efficiently as possible. And so in the sake of efficiency I'm firmly in favor of higher demonination coinage. I'd like to see the dollar coin used as much as possible. Not only will the U.S. Treasury make loads of money from coin collector's with these coins, but if they ever replaced the dollar bill tons of money could be saved simply because a coin lasts longer than a paper bill. According to this article the U.S. would save $500 million a year if the switch was made. Let's make a five dollar coin for that matter!

To promote the dollar coin I have decided to launch a one man effort to get the thing into circulation. I'm going to try to use the coin as much as possible. I think I will get a lot of questions about it.

Today I also redeemed some more My Coke Rewards points for another year of Popular Mechanics. They've expanded their program to every Coke product, but the "price" of a magazine subscription went from 96 points to 120 points.

Found: 5 pennies (4 at Shaw's, 1 outside Sovereign Bank), 1 dime (near vending machine at work)

Redeemed: $3.05

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Yesterday I heard some good news ... soon Canada will ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs in favor of compact fluorescents by 2012, joining Australia and perhaps California. I've found CFLs to work great. We got two packs of them at Costco about a year ago and by putting them in every lighting device we significantly brought our electricity usage down, thus saving us a money and helping out the environment. (They use about 25% of the electricity old style bulbs do for the same light output.) I once read in National Geographic that over the lifespan of one CFL could save 1300 pounds of coal from being burned. The picture below shows just how much 1300 pounds of coal is.

My mother also told me that Boston is considering banning all plastic bags! Here's the story.

Now if only someone hadn't rear-ended me on the way home today!

Found: 13 pennies (1 under a vending machine at work, 2 at the Mobil Mart, 1 under a newspaper machine at McDonald's, 9 near Fenway Park), 1 nickel (under a newspaper machine at McDonald's), 1 dime (near Fenway Park)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Reducing Trash

For the past two years my wife and I have been trying hard to reduce the trash we produce. We've gotten it down to less than one kitchen bag a week. (I wanted to weigh our trash for a year to see how low we had gotten - she said that was too far, not sure if I can blame her - I'm crazy enough.) We reduced our trash, by recycling everything we can and just trying to buy and use less wasteful items. Recently I thought of two more things we can do. One is to buy items in containers that can be recycled - why buy styling mouse in a non-recyclable metal tube, I say, when we can buy hair gel in a little jar. Two I'm going to try and use a cloth to wipe my glasses all day instead of tissue paper.

Also ... last night there were two good programs on PBS. One was a Nova episode about solar power. It was a bit lightweight, but the last fourth of it detailed Germany's effort to increase their use of renewal energy to 20% of their total by 2020. Currently they are on track to reach 30% or more by 2020! Why can't the US do that? A Frontline episode on why the US government has failed to act was aired right afterwards. Wake up America!

Found: 6 pennies (1 at work, 4 at Shaw's, 1 on the street near my house), 1 dime (on the street near my house)

Monday, April 23, 2007


Big Find! Driving to Costco for another cheap lunch, I looked over to my right and spotted some bills. So I pulled into a nearby hotel parking lot, jumped out of the car (left it running ... sorry environment) and ran to the grassy knoll. I found three one dollar bills! (Don't worry the area was scanned thoroughly for more.) Better yet, my friend Chris videotaped the whole experience. Stay tuned the video will be here soon.

Found: 1 penny (liquor store), 3 one dollar bills (off street, near Costco)

Redeemed: $4.60

Happy Earth Day!

Everyday is Earth Day on this blog, I suppose. Everyday's a good day to save too.

This weekend I was disappointed to discover that my local Best Buy no longer has a receptacle at the front of their store for used batteries. I've thought for a while that its presence was a great way to remind people that they shouldn't be throwing their used batteries (especially laptop and cell phone batteries) into the trash. The service counter took my battery, but I'm sure waiting ten minutes to get rid of a battery is too much bother for most people. I hope they get rid of it properly. I think I should write the store an e-mail.

Found: 3 pennies (2 at Shaw's, 1 at The Carriage House Restaurant), 2 quarters (both at The Carriage House Restaurant)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Plastic Bags

For about a year now my wife and I have been trying to not use plastic bags. We've got some cloth shopping bags we keep in our cars and use them at the grocery store. I've tried hard not to take any bags from other stores as well. I've found I have to say, "No bag, please" as soon as I get to the counter in order to avoid the store clerk immediately placing whatever in a plastic bag. I get strange looks, but I don't care. God gave me hands and I don't mind using them for my walk to the car and into the house.

It is worth the effort. On ABC last night we heard that only 3% of plastic bags are recycled! Furthermore, they last 5-10 years at the dump and over a lifespan the average person uses 18,000 of them. That's crazy! Most are used for such a short while. I hope more municipalities will ban them like San Francisco. For more information about them check out this link.

Found: 8 pennies (5 outside Dangelo's, 1 at work, 1 at Best Buy, 1 under mall candy cart), 1 nickel (near mall soda machine), 2 dimes (1 outside Best Buy, 1 at Shaw's), 1 quarter (outside Hotel Commonwealth)

Friday, April 20, 2007

(Nothing But) Flowers

Earth Day is near so I decided to list the things I've been trying to do to save the world. Conveniently most also have saved me some money (a small amount though - we need to be acting for the environment's sake ... not just for our wallet's). Right now I'm compiling the list.

Found: 7 pennies (3 near vending machine at work, 4 near cash register at work cafe), 1 nickel (near cash register at work cafe), 1 quarter (near cash register at work cafe)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Costco Yields

Mmmmm, nothing tastes better than something cheap. The best lunch in town, value-wise, is certainly Costco. For $1.56 one can get a hot dog and a soda with free refills, better yet for $3.66 one can get a dog, slice and soda. Unfortunately the ambience is a little lacking.

Found: 1 penny (outside Costco), 2 nickels (inside Costco)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Free Kashi - No Eggs

Hey on TV I heard about a good offer. By going to you can get a free box of cereal. The best price is free!

Alas my search for discount Cadbury Creme Eggs failed. Looks like none of these special treats for me this Spring. I'll have to eat 2 next year.

Found: 6 pennies (1 at Shaw's, 3 at CVS, 2 at Stop & Shop), 1 nickel (on the sidewalk outside Papa Gino's), and 3 dimes (1 on the street near my house, 1 at Shaw's, 1 at church ... not in the collection basket)

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Fan Request

Hello. Yesterday was a bit of a bummer. I'm turning against my idea of getting a metal detector. I did some research and found out one can't MD in State Parks, State Forests and my town. :(

On the plus side ... I sold another book via Amazon. Getting and selling used books on Amazon is something I highly recommend. I've saved a lot of money buying used books from them and have now sold $334.75 worth of books on the site.

Another good cheapo activity is collecting Coke points. To date I have redeemed enough points for 8 years worth of magazine subscriptions, 5 years of Smart Money, 2 years of Popular Mechanics and 1 year of Country Living (for my mother). If you're collecting redeemables like me check out this site.

Found: 4 pennies (2 at my office, 1 at Burger King and 1 outside my post office)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Metal Detectors

Although many would find it strange of me, I've decided to get a metal detector. I think it'd be fun to use one and fulfill some sort of archaelogy dream. To this end I went to White's Metal Detector store in Watertown. It was very interesting. They have everything. This weekend, if I can fit it in, I'll try and check out Henderson Metal Detectors in Taunton.

Found: 10 pennies, 2 dimes, 2 quarters

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Found Some Silva

Well it has been awhile, but I finally found some "silver" ... and a quarter to boot!

Found: 1 penny, 1 quarter

Redeemed: $4.35

Monday, April 9, 2007

Good Stories

During my family's Easter celebration I heard a great story. A friend's brother found almost $7,500 in an old Sanka container some time ago. The previous owner of his house had been hiding away twenties and fifties for years. Now that's a good find. It reminded me of a recent NPR story I heard about $17,000 in coins and bills being found under a bunch of old slot machines.

Today I also found out that someone already wrote my book!

Found: 4 pennies

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Beloved Antenna

Today is an anniversary of sorts. It has been 2 years since we ditched DirecTV and decided to get our programming using only the antenna (and Netflix). We saved approximately $1000! :) If you're not a big TV watcher and aren't too into sports I definitely recommend it. Don't assume you can't live without it. With an HDTV tuner we get 14 channels and a perfect picture - what more could one want?

Found: 3 pennies, 2 foreign coins

Friday, April 6, 2007


Hello. Today I decided to create a blog. In this blog I intend to detail the little things in life that make me happy, finding coins, redeeming cans, getting a good deal, etc. Perhaps others like me are out there.

Yesterday I received a new toy, a Kill-A-Watt. I bought it on Amazon for $24 (w/ shipping) from some place in Hawaii. These things are great. With it one can see exactly how many watts each appliance uses and how many kilowatts any appliance uses over time. I discovered that my HDTV receiver and DVD recorder waste 29 watts even when they're turned off! This morning I put them on their own switchable power strip so that my wife and I can power them only when we really need them. I estimate this will save us about $26 a year. More importantly we'll reduce our energy consumption a bit more. This weekend I'll monitor the refridgerator to see if we change the settings on it and save more.

Found: one penny