10 unexpected uses for your spare change

10 ways that coins can come in handy - from DIY to gardening

Unusual uses for coins

A survey a couple of years ago found that we don't see the point of small change. Some 5.3 million people end up binning their coppers because they can't be bothered to use them. However, we don't have to resort to this drastic wastefulness, because there are plenty of ways these coins can help around the house. Here are ten to get you started.

1. Check them. We have reported on some valuable coins you may have in your change, so go through your coin jars and check if you have anything exciting in there.

See also: Do you have one of these valuable £2 coins?

See also: Is your £1 worth £30?

See also: 10 surprisingly valuable coins in your wallet: the ones you don't know about

2. Alternatively, according to winkbingo.com, they could come in handy for DIY projects. Coins apparently make handy tile spacers, and are useful for loosening and tightening screws when you can't face the trek to the shed.

3. It also suggests keeping one handy in the kitchen for loosening jars: if you pop one under the lid of a new jam jar and wiggle it about a bit, it will break the seal and make it easier to open.

4. In the garden, some people swear by using buried rings of copper coins around plants to keep slugs and snails away.

5. They also make handy tyre checkers. A 20p can be inserted into the treads. If the outer band is hidden, the tread is fine, if it can be seen, get them checked because they may be illegal.

6. They can also be used in decorative projects. So, for example, for those prepared to put a bit of work in, you can get a copper look on the kitchen floor, by sticking rows of coins down, grouting them and then sealing them. It's backbreaking stuff, but offers an impressively flash metallic finish without an enormous cost.

7. If that sounds like a lot of work, you can superglue circles of coins to make coasters.

8. If your curtains refuse to hang straight, you can tuck coins into the hems and avoid forking out for curtain weights.

9. If you want to spend the coins, but are too embarrassed to hand over oodles of change, try them at the self-service counter at the supermarket. The machine isn't going to make a fuss if you pay for £15 of shopping in 5ps.

10. Perhaps the most rewarding one, however, is to save your change. It may be only 50p a week, but that's more than £25 a year. And if you count it annually and take it to the bank, you can pay for a treat for the family. That has to be a better idea than simply slinging it in the bin.

Changes in price since the 1977 Jubilee

Changes in price since the 1977 Jubilee