Valdosta Daily Times

March 16, 2014

Pennies don’t make a lot of cents

Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times

SAVANNAH — I recently found a piggy bank in my closet. Yes, you read that correctly. I am 25 years old, and I still have a piggy bank that is pink, and shaped like a pig. Anyway, this piggy bank was shoved in the back of my closet and I got really excited when I found it, because finally I had stumbled upon some money! Imagine my disappointment when I opened the little porker up and there was nothing but pennies inside.

The only thing that makes me madder than being in possession of pennies is getting back a Canadian penny after I pay for something. It’s like a kick in the shin, eh? Apparently, I was feeling mighty productive on this day so instead of throwing the pennies in the trash, I decided to find practical uses for my pennies. So, you guessed it, I took to my trusty Google for answers.

Here are 20 uses for your not-so-useless pennies.

1. Use as a screwdriver in a wide-slotted bolt.

2. To make an old lawn mower easier to start, rub a penny between the points (or condenser) on the engine to help them conduct better. I hate that I have to mention to do this while the mower is off.

3. Check your car’s tires by placing Abe’s head down between the tire tread grooves. If you can see Mr. President’s entire head or any of the “In God We Trust” letters above his head, it’s time for new tires.

4. Use to open up battery compartments, like on a remote control.

5. Increase the pH of soil for hydrangeas.

6. Put them around garden seedlings to repel slugs.

7. Place them in the hems of your draperies to make them hang smoothly.

8. Use as a spacer when laying tile.

9. Got a wobbly chair or table? Insert a penny under one of the legs to restore balance.

10. Toss pre-1982 pennies into your birdbath to ward off algae. The high copper content retards growth.

11. Make an ice pack. Throw pennies in an old sock and place in the freezer. The best part is it stays colder longer and never melts.

12. Have you ever re-arranged furniture on a carpet or rug and a pesky carpet dent sticks out? Remove it easily by using the edge of a penny to rub out the dent. The friction removes the dent.

13. Make fresh flowers last longer by placing a penny in the bottom of a vase. Copper is a natural algaecide and will kill mucus-type algae that make your flowers wilt and die.

14. Open a medicine bottle much easier by sticking a penny as far as you can under the lid and apply pressure.

15. If you have a lot of pennies, go to a Coinstar in the grocery store and dump them in. They take an 8.9 percent cut, but dollars are still better than cents.

16. Make wall art. Glue pennies to a piece of cardstock and frame it. There are really cool examples of ombré penny art on Pinterest.

17. Make a charm! Simple, dainty necklaces are really in right now. Drill a hole through a single penny and hang it on a chain.

18. If you have a dress or skirt that keeps rising in the back, insert a penny or two into the hem to weigh it down.

19. If you lost a game piece, use a penny to replace it.

20. It can be a little tricky, but if you need to measure something and you don’t have a ruler, you can always know that one penny is 19 millimeters which is slightly more than 3/4 of an inch (I had to really think for this one).

 Don’t forget to like me on Facebook at and on Twitter @BDenneyMcClure. Yes, I changed my Twitter name again ...