Don't Break the Bank When You Break the Bank

People are cashing in coins in tough times

More people are breaking open their piggy banks these days -- and holding onto all the money after it gets sorted by a machine.

"We've noticed an increase of about 13 percent this year from what we normally see," said Patsy Adair, branch manager of Pacific Trust Bank in San Diego. "We see anywhere from $100 all the way up to $1,500."

At Stumps Market in Point Loma, the Coinstar machine is seeing lots of action. Ryan Brizendine brought in a plastic bag filled with $62 worth of coins. 

"Bills are higher, everything is more expensive, so you start thinking about the little things," Brizendine said. "The pennies and quarters and dimes and nickels all add up."

Coinstar charges nearly 9 percent of the total amount for the service, but customers can keep the full amount if they take their money in the form of a gift card. Coinstar issues cards for such companies as Amazon and Apple's iTunes.

Margie Galindo with Stumps Market has watched more people coming in this year than last and cashing in more coins. What are they doing with the extra cash? 

"Fifty percent go and buy groceries with the money," said Galindo.

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