Paying for art school with spare change.

Can't see this video in your email? See it on YouTube here.

This past week, PayPal announced in my email that I could now upload my spare change to my PayPal account thru my local Coinstar machine. Now, typically when I get technology-loaded emails like that one, my eyes glaze over. Drool starts to run out the side of my mouth.

But not this time.

I happen to have a PayPal account. I find it very handy for shopping on-line.

Not only that, I have used a Coinstar machine. Several times. This was not a foreign concept either.

Now I can access PayPal thru Coinstar? How lovely! How convenient! *smacks forehead* Geez, why didn't anyone think of that before?

See a penny, pick it up? Yessirree Bob. And I can now see myself digging in the couch on a regular basis. Too bad that my friend Peter who throws money on the ground behind him doesn't live near me any more. I could make a mint off him.

So the tiny worn-out gears in my mommy brain started cranking and came up with a brilliant idea: use that big jar of pennies in the bedroom to pay for Quinn's next art class at Oil & Cotton. Oil & Cotton is a fantastic progressive art school and store in my little neighborhood. I say progressive, because you sign your kid up and pay for an art class *on-line*. With PayPal.

Excited about my new idea, I poured all my pennies into a Ziploc bag. (Because hauling a giant glass vase to Albertson's is NOT very chic. Or easy.) I had to travel to another neighborhood ten minutes away, because this new technology had only rolled out to the hipsters in Uptown.

It had not rolled out to my neighborhood Tom Thumb grocery store's Coinstar. Yet. I don't typically shop in this Albertson's, not for lack of wanting is quite fancy, and clean, and my favorite: there was no one in the store on a Wednesday morning. So it was also rather zen.

Coinstar machines are typically in the front of the store, so once I got to this particular Albertson's I had no trouble locating it. In fact, it was covered with PayPal signage.

How do Coinstar and PayPal work together?
1. Choose the PayPal button.
2. Type in your email associated with PayPal.
3. Accept the terms and conditions (and the 5.9% fee for the counting and upload).
4. Let Coinstart count and convert your coins.
5. Get a receipt AND an email telling you the amount that was just upload to your PayPal account.

I did wish that the screen where you type in your email address associated with your PayPal account would turn the letters into black dots (encrypted) like my iPhone does. It makes me feel a little anxious to have my personal email address displayed so BIG. Otherwise, I'm sure I'll be doing this again. And again.

When I got home from the store, there was already an email in my inbox from PayPal telling me that I was $6.73 closer to paying for Quinn's art school.

Easy, huh? I thought so. Quick too. Took less than 5 minutes. Yet another cool way to use the Coinstar machine, I'd say. If you'd like to see my entire shopping trip shown in a photo essay, visit my Google+ album here.

Keep up with Coinstar on Facebook here, and Coinstar on twitter here.
Be in the know with PayPal on Facebook here, and PayPal on twitter here.

Mommy's Wish List Disclosure: 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.

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