Ever wonder what you can do with your spare change?  Check out this great Guest Post Courtesy of Debra Muccio, author of AFrugalFriend.com!


It seems I’m always at the grocery store. With a 4 year old in the house, we are constantly running out of fresh fruits, veggies, milk, and yes, toilet paper. Anyone relate?

So, it was time for another trip, this time to a store I haven’t visited in a while, Albertsons. With more stores moving away from Double and Triple Coupons, this was a great opportunity to ask questions about their coupon policy in person.

I also had another idea for the shopping trip. I rarely use cash anymore. It’s true. We charge everything and pay it off every month. I’m not sure my 4 yr old will really understand the concept of money by seeing me use a credit card. So, it was off to Albertsons, where I had it on good authority they had a Coinstar kiosk, from which you could access your PayPal account. I was going to need cash for this trip. No need to stop off at an ATM. Great!

I loaded up my helper and headed out to Albertsons. When I pulled in the parking lot it was clear from the Paypal and Coinstar sign, that I had come to the right place. Grabbing my coupons, grocery list, and sweet 4 year old, I headed into the store.

Oh, and did I tell you how someone had to bring her very first handbag with her? She even made a cute little shopping list and put it inside. Adorable! Albertsons had these smaller mid-size carts, perfect for a quick trip to the store…..she had to help push! She even found the bright green Coinstar kiosk all by herself….you can’t miss it.

The sign outside along with the signs all over the kiosk, made it clear that you could utilize PayPal right from this spot. So convenient. I know many people who have moved to a “Cash System” to try and save money each month, instead of utilizing credit cards or checks. This would be so helpful for them, especially with an unexpected visit to the store (and we all have those).

You don’t need to use coins at all in order to take advantage of Coinstar. That’s something I didn’t know and never would have expected.

There were many options available when you first started using the Coinstar touchscreen, one of which was to deposit or withdraw funds with PayPal. I chose that option. The next screen quickly came with three options. You could add coins, you could add bills, or you could withdraw funds. As expected, there was a fee for each option. For withdrawing funds, it was going to be a $3 flat fee no matter how much I was withdrawing.

I then was asked for my PayPal email address, which I entered. Then followed a screen for your password (with a warning to be aware of your surroundings). :-) Always be alert! Those were the only 2 pieces of information I needed to key in. Terms and Conditions (legalese) came up next. I would need to withdraw a minimum of $8 and maximum of $200, while noting the monthly limit of $500.

I accepted. It took a few minutes to search for my account. Easy enough, or so I thought. A message next appeared that they were unable to complete my transaction. I thought that maybe I had entered my password incorrectly, so I started over from the beginning, only to get the same message. I had plenty of funds in my account, and I hadn’t withdrawn any money. PayPal listed several reasons they might not be able to complete the transaction, including the catch-all, “PayPal can’t process your request”. So, with technical difficulties, and several people waiting in line (WOW, Coinstar is popular), we were off to shop.

We started down the Easter aisle, because well, that’s super fun. We found oatmeal on clearance, cucumbers, mushrooms, asparagus, and yes, even toilet paper. I chatted with the cashier about their coupon policy AND then discovered that not unlike McDonald’s, Albertsons had a version of Monopoly. I received game pieces just for shopping.

Wish me luck! :-)

Be sure to follow Coinstar on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll also want to follow Paypal on Facebook and Twitter.

Be sure to check out the entire shopping experience on Google +.

(I have been paid (at Coinstar’s request) to try and blog about Coinstar’s products/services as part of a Collective Bias shopper insights study. All opinions are my own.)


ADayinMotherhood.com proudly presents this compensated guest post in conjunction with Collective Bias.  Images and text were used with permission from the original author.  Please see my Disclaimer Policy for additional information.