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10 Uses for Coins

Spare change has other uses than living in jars and getting traded in for cash

Spare Change

Photo by Andrew McCaul

There's more than one way to make your money work for you: Just check out these savvy around-the-house ideas for loose change

1. Hang a Cabinet Door

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Before fastening hinges to a cabinet, ensure there'll be enough clearance along the bottom for the door to swing freely by resting it on a nickel during installation.

2. Tighten a Screw

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A dime is just the right width to drive a standard slotted screw, making it a thrifty stand-in for a flathead screwdriver.

3. Space Tile

Photo by Laura Moss

When setting tile, place pennies on end between the corners of each piece for spacers that are easy to remove.

4. Temporarily Fix a Wobble

Photo by Laura Moss

Set a coin or two under the short leg of a shaky table to keep it from rocking until you can come up with a more permanent fix.

5. Straighten Drapes

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Instead of spending on store-bought drapery weights, tuck some pennies inside the bottom hem of wayward curtains to encourage them to hang evenly.

6. Make a Doorstop

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For a weight that'll keep a door open, empty a few handfuls (or a large jar) of pennies into a small canvas bag and tie it closed with colorful ribbon or twine. Total cost: under $10.

7. Test Tire Treads

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Place a quarter upside down in one of the grooves. If it just touches George Washington's head, the tread's depth is only 1/8 inch, and it's probably time for a new tire.

8. Pop a Top

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Slip a quarter under the snap-on lid of plastic containers, such as those that hold epoxy, patching compound, and drywall, to help pry them open.

9. Take a Quick Measurement

Photo by Laura Moss

Don't have a ruler on hand? A quarter's diameter is just under 1 inch; a penny's is exactly 3/4 inch.

10. Fluff Carpet

Photo by Laura Moss

Steam indents made by furniture, then scrape the edge of a coin across the pile to revive it.