Feb 04 2011

Look after the pennies…

…and the pounds will look after themselves. At least, that’s what my Grandmother always told me. I discovered last month that London Underground have a scheme for issuing refunds for delayed or cancelled Tube journeys. In simple terms, if you’re delayed by more than 15 minutes, and it’s not due to security alerts, third-party action (such as, I presume, industrial action) or bad weather, you can claim a refund for single journey. At £2.20 a time, my two successful claims won’t turn me into a millionaire anytime soon, but it’s all about looking after the pennies.

Claim forms should be available at stations (it’s a FREEPOST address to send the completed form to, so it won’t cost you anything), or, of course, you can do it all online at TFL’s website.

I’ve also used something called Coinstar – it’s basically a machine (there’s one at Sainsbury’s in South Ruislip) – where you tip in your loose change, and it sorts it, counts it, and then prints a voucher to the value (less an 8.9% handling charge) for you to spend in store or redeem for cash. I’d always liked the idea, because I could never find the time to sort, count and bag my spare change, and then go to the bank to pay it into my account, but I’d never liked the handling charge. I noticed recently that Sainsbury’s in South Harrow have installed self-service checkouts, and you can pay by as however much loose change you want.

So far, I’ve worked my way through £2.80 in pennies, £3.16 in two-pence coins, and around £12 in five pence coins – and the best bit is, there’s no handling charge! It might take a little longer than Coinstar, but these days when ever penny counts, it’s an easy way to change your spare coins into real value: shopping.

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