This past week, I have stumbled upon so many coins while diligently cleaning out cabinets, drawers, coat pockets, toy bins, car seats, and purses. I was searching for anything that might not be Kosher for Passover (Passover starts at sundown on Friday, April 6). My goal was to remove any food products that are fermented or can cause fermentation. I even got my kids involved. What started as a search for food soon became a coin collection.
My kids had fun finding as many pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters as they could. Since I was just invited to participate in a fantastic opportunity by #CBias to shop the #NOFEECoinstar at a local Stop & Shop, this was the perfect opportunity to cash in on these new found treasures.
This is especially exciting because there is a special NO FEE offer at select, participating Stop & shop stores when you cash out onto a Stop & Shop gift card via the COINSTAR kiosk (normal fee 9.8%). Whenever we can save an extra penny, we spend an extra penny!
So, we piled in the car with our treasure of coins and headed over to the nearest Stop & Shop in Glendale, NY. I also wanted to go to that particular Stop & Shop because they have a Starbucks in the store. Also, they have a very nice Kosher for Passover food section. This particular Stop & Shop has a parking garage that is covered. When my kids were infants, I so valued the convenience of not parking too far from the store and schlepping them in the cold and rain!
We were all excited about this because you can cash in your coins and apply that credit in a couple of different ways at the Coinstar kiosk. Again, that NO FEE benefit had me really excited! Maybe I would take advantage of the Stop & Shop gift card. The shopportunities were endless!
Well, the good news is that the COINSTAR kiosk is very, very easy to locate. When you walk in to this store, you can either turn left to go into the produce section, or turn right at hit the Strarbucks. If you walk straight ahead, the customer service desk, a DVD rental machine, and the COINSTAR kiosk is conveniently located in a row. The pretty green machine has coins on the outside of it. My youngest loved calling out each coin as we looked at the machine. I really liked how, if I wasn’t so into that Starbucks credit, I could apply my coins towards a charitable organization.
I also really liked how easy the machine was to navigate and how it was also available in Spanish as well. I approached the machine with my supply of coins in various Ziploc bags and saw the following message on the screen.
Really? I toggled between screens to see if maybe it was an error. Nope, sure enough, the machine was full of coins and we could not use it.
The kids were disappointed and confused. Since the customer service desk was conveniently located near the COINSTAR kiosk, I asked for help. The Stop & Shop customer service representative was very friendly and walked over to the COINSTAR kiosk to investigate the situation. Mission unaccomplished. This COINSTAR kiosk was full to capacity. My next question was “can you empty it?”. The answer was no. The customer service representative informed me that a representative from Coinstar would have to come out and empty the machine. She wasn’t sure when that representative would be in as the machine automatically sends a message to the company and Stop & Shop is not involved.
I think I was just as disappointed as my kids. The Stop & Shop representative suggested I visit another Stop & Shop location down the road about 10 minutes. Unfortunately, I did not have that time on my schedule. Furthermore, every bit of gas we use at $4 per gallon adds up. We also had to get back to the house and continue our Passover preparations. The Stop & Shop representative added that the COINSTAR kiosk was utilized a lot and fills up all the time. I think that the COINSTAR people should be there more frequently to empty the machine. Maybe next time I should phone first?
Even though I wasn’t able to cash in my coins, we did purchase some Matzo. As I mentioned, this Stop & Shop has a nice selection of Kosher for Passover products. My kids were especially excited when they saw our personal friend, Mama Doni, on the box of Streit’s Matzo!
I would definitely use the COINSTAR kiosk again. I do think that I would phone first to make sure that the machine was not full and could accept my treasures. We took our coins back to our house and inserted them into our Tzedaka (for people in need) box. Maybe that is what we were really supposed to do with our treasures this time.
For more information on how you can enjoy the convenience of a COINSTAR kiosk check out their website. You can also LIKE them on FACEBOOK and follow them on TWITTER. See if there is a Stop & Shop in your area, or in an area you might be visiting a Stop & Shop.
DISCLAIMER: 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.