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Financial and Health Benefits of Saving Pennies


Don't Despise Small Beginnings

There is an old adage that says: "Despise not the day of small beginnings." This comes from the first line of Zechariah 4:10, which says in the King James version, "For who has despised the day of small things"? In our modern society, however, most people seem to have a different view when it comes to copper coins, and some actually have expressed an aversion to and hate for pennies. Pay attention as you go along in your daily routine, and you will probably see more pennies lying on the ground or in the seat of a vehicle than any other denomination of money.

Saving pennies can add up; just ask Otha Anders, who held on to his one-cent coins for 45 years. He took the money to the bank in 15 five-gallon plastic water jugs. When counted, Mr. Anderson had more than $5,000. That averages to a little over $100.00 each year. That's not a big deal to those who live the high life, but for those struggling to make ends meet this is pretty impressive. I recall a relative who had several hundred pennies stashed in a number of socks in his bedroom. I'm sure when he cashed them in he had an impressive sum of money.


Pennies Spend Like Dollars

While we no longer live in the days of penny candy, the copper one-cent coin still spends. One hundred pennies will purchase the same item as four quarters or one-dollar bill. For whatever reason, most people ignore the old adage of "Find a penny, pick it up, all the day you'll have good luck. This is more than likely because pennies are the lowest denomination of American money and are seen as an indication of poverty. This brings to mind the song "Christmas Is Coming." The lyrics are:

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man's hat
If you haven't got a penny, a ha' penny will do,
If you haven't got a ha' penny, then God bless you

The words hay penny are actually ha penny or a halfpenny, which was associated with the very poorest in the land. The rich did not desire to use the same coin as the least among them, but don't let this deter you. Pennies allow you to purchase items with the correct change, so you don't have to break a larger bill.

Pennies can turn into big money

Pennies can turn into big money

Find a Penny, Pick It Up

I have noticed that as I walk, I can always count on finding a penny or two. One day, I was about a block from home, and there were a large number of shiny copper coins in the middle of the street. I picked them up, and when I counted, there were 28.

Someone obviously dropped them, but no one would have left 28 quarters or dollar bills on the ground. Since then, I have made it a mission to pick up all the pennies I find and put them in a jar. I have even on occasion gone to the local convenience store and paid for purchase under $1.00 entirely with pennies. I have seen others do the same, and both customers and clerks often roll their eyes as if pennies should be shunned.

Save pennies in a jar

Save pennies in a jar

One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure

Saving copper coins can truly be considered pennies from heaven when you appreciate their true value. While others see one-cent coins as a nuisance, you can be blessed to find the hidden treasure of their true value. Instead of walking by pennies, pick them up and put them in a jar. Once the jar is full, you can take them to a change machine that can be found in Kroger stores and exchange them for paper money.

You can also get the paper penny holders from your financial institution that hold 50 of the coins. Save them to give to children or grandchildren or cash them in in a time of need. I recall family members who had saved ten or twenty dollars worth of pennies they took to the bank. You could even use it to open an account for a young child in your family.

There are also other financial benefits of owning copper coins. Certain pennies have a higher value than one cent. I remember collecting wheat pennies as a young adult. I sold them one day, along with other rare coins to give my son gas money to make it back to college. I recall one penny by itself as worth $2.50, so pay attention; you may have a true gem among your change.

Copper coins have health benefits

Copper coins have health benefits

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Read More From Toughnickel

A Penny for Your Health

There is an old saying: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Perhaps this should be modified to include copper pennies. According to Science News For Students, two teenage researchers discovered that the copper in pennies may stop the growth of unhealthy bacteria related to certain infections. The research indicates that this is only true of pennies made between 1962 and 1982 that had over 90% copper.

This might explain why men and women of older generations insisted on putting pennies in your shoes or inside your socks. When I was growing up, people soaked pennies in vinegar to combat ringworm on the neck and face. There were also individuals who said placing a penny inside your bra or on your forehead for a few moments allowed the copper to help relieve stress.

I recently had extreme pain in my right foot after walking in flip-flops. The bones on top of my foot ached like a toothache, and the sole was sore also. I put a few pennies in my sock on the top and bottom of my feet. I went to sleep, and the next morning, the pain was gone.

The widow's mite

The widow's mite

Pennies Add Up

The next time you see a penny on the ground and are about to walk by it, don't. Pick it up and utilize it. If you do not want to collect or save them, consider dropping them in the change holder at convenience stores. The customer behind you could be a few cents short of his or her purchase, and your small donation may make the difference,

Never believe that pennies are beneath you because Luke 21:1-4 says otherwise. In the Berean Bible, it reads: "Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, "Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." If you have ore to give, you should do so but, if pennies are all you have, think of the widow's mite.

Over time, whether you collect them, put them in the change cups in stores, drop them in the Salvation Army Kettle, or give your copper to charity or a church, it adds up. Now that you have read this information, you may become esoteric regarding copper coins. You might start seeing them everywhere, and begin picking them up and begin putting those pennies to good use.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Cheryl E Preston


Farrah Young from Lagos, Nigeria on June 05, 2020:

We don't use pennies here in Nigeria, but I get your point and it is a great one.

My husband stores lower denominations of my country's money. He says it's for rainy days. I used to tease him about this habit until the day we were a bit low on cash and this same savings i mocked was able to cater for our needs.

I have since seen the importance of saving pennies.

Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on June 05, 2020:

Thank you for reading.

Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on June 05, 2020:

Very thoughtful and neat hub ! :) I look at pennies as money and each one could represent hope in buying something you really want one day :) I was also thinking why are we buying cooper fit when we can literally get the same relief with pennies on the dollar :) Thank you for sharing :)

Angel Guzman from Joliet, Illinois on July 19, 2019:

Thats amazing Mr. Anderson had $5,000. I always pick up change, lol. Good inspiring read Cheryl

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