It used to be that you need coins all the time.
If you used a laundromat, you needed quarters to run the machine.
If you went on a toll road, you needed coins to pay the toll.
If you parked at a meter, you needed coins to pay the meter.
Nowadays, many of those places accept credit cards. You can buy a coke and pay with plastic.
But sometimes it's just faster to pay with some coins. So when we get coins, I throw them in a box in our junk drawer or a special container in our car.
We love going to this local dim sum place. We probably go about once a month. The only thing we dislike is that there's on-site parking so we have to find street metered parking. Those meters are the ones where you have to text a phone number or pay with an app. It's just faster to feed it coins. And it's more fun for the kids.
But what if you don't have quarters? Where's the best place to get quarters?
Going to a bank (preferably where you have an account) is the best way – just walk into your bank and get change.
If you have a bank account there, like a checking account, then they will always give you change. You can even withdraw money from your checking account and request that it be as coins.
Some banks will make change for anyone but usually as a one-time courtesy so you shouldn't make yourself a regular. (if you know which branch you will head to, call and see if they'll do it to save you some time)
If you need to get change, try to go during the day when foot traffic is the lightest. If a teller is going to balk at giving you coins, it's usually going to be when their busy and to avoid having to get more coins later.
If it's not your bank, only ask for what you need.
Otherwise, if you're there to get more than a dollar's worth of quarters, try to calculate how much you need in terms of coin rolls. Each quarter roll is $10. Avoid asking for like $5 in quarters, that'll only be annoying.
Head to the customer service desk of any major grocery store and they'll likely be able to make some change for you.
Avoid going to a register because cashiers have a limited number of coins, it'll be hard to do more than a dollar or so. If you tap them out of coins, they'll need to get more and that may involve paperwork, delays, and everyone starts getting annoyed.
Head to an arcade, like a Fuddruckers or Dave & Busters, and you might have luck getting quarters using their change machines. Movie theaters that have arcades may also have coin change machines you can use, hopefully without buying a movie ticket!
If you are going to use one of the coin change machines, make sure it dispenses quarters and not some kind of token only usable in that arcade. That would not be useful. 🙂
One trick that may work, especially in a pinch, is if you put a dollar into a soda machine and then immediately ask for your money back. The older machines can't return the dollar and will instead just cough up four quarters.
Make a Small Purchase
Finally, if all else fails, head to a store and buy something small. When you make that purchase, ask if you can get change for a dollar.
When you need quarters, where do you go?
Are there any great places not on in this list?