A Penny a Day
Image Source: Maahoo Studio / Getty Images via AARP.org
Of all the things made scarce during the pandemic (toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer, sanity) never did it cross my mind that “coins” would somehow end up on that list.
Yet here we are.
Recently it’s come to light that the U.S. is facing a major coin shortage due to the fact that coin circulation decreased drastically as businesses across the country shut down for months and consumer purchasing shifted online. Add to this the fact that the U.S. Mint also cut staffing, resulting in less cold hard coin being produced on a regular basis, and what we’re facing now as stores reopen is a good old fashioned case of demand outweighing supply (guess that economics degree came in handy after all!).
So what do businesses do when they’re short on heavy metal? Get creative with the incentives, natch. In order to rustle up spare change, some fast food chains have begun to offer customers a tangible benefit to coughing up their coinage. One Chick-fil-A location in Virginia recently offered customers a $10 bill and a free entrée in exchange for $10 worth of coins brought in. A Taco Bell location in California has offered to give away a free taco to anyone paying for their meal with rolls of coins. And a Wawa convenience store in New Jersey has been offering a free beverage, ICEE or hoagie to anyone bringing in $50 worth of coins to exchange at the shop.
With so many goodies on the table in exchange for unused pocket change, it just might be time to shake out the piggy bank and hand over those pennies…all in the name of doing your patriotic duty of aiding currency circulation, of course!
Posted by Karen