83 Things You Can Do With a Penny

what you can do with pennies

Many people assume that the penny is no longer good for anything, but not according to members from the forums – there are still a lot of things that you can do with a penny. Here are 83 of them (Disclaimer: Some of these activities involve defacing pennies which may be illegal):

1. Clean dirty pennies instantly by dropping them into a saucer of vinegar with table salt stirred in.

2. Use for leverage to pry off the lid from a difficult “line-up-the-arrows” childproof medication bottle.

3. Slip one under a vase that sits a little wobbly to steady it.

4. Tape one to the tail of your kite for a little more stabilizing weight.

5. Teach your toddler to count with them.



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66 Responses to 83 Things You Can Do With a Penny

  1. A Tentative Personal Finance Blog says:

    If you’re a coin collector looking to sell… DO NOT clean that penny. If you do, the value of the coin actually decreases a lot! Coin collections are a dirty bunch.

  2. poundwise says:

    “Snap a penny in your fingers and make it shoot like a projectile. A well-placed hit can sting quite a bit.”

    Ah yes, school days. Good times.


  3. Last time I went, there were penny slot machines in the downtown Las Vegas casinos.

  4. cheetahwoman7 says:

    Use a penny as part of a science experiment to show how water tension works. With an eye dropper, see how many drops of water each side can hold. Think about and explain why one side (heads or tails, you figure it out *smie*) can hold more drops of water than the other.

    I use this simple experiment every year and the students are always amazed that each side doesn’t hold the same amount. They really enjoy seeing how high they can get the “bubble” of water to stand over the edges of the penny before the “drop that breaks the penny’s back”. :)

  5. aname says:

    Some of these are really bad ideas. Using a penny instead of a fuse? Throw them at spectators in a crowd? Lots of superstitious stuff as well.

    Save them, and exchange them for cash. Very little can be bought for a dollar, let alone one hundredth of a dollar, but a few thousand pennies would be nice to have for nothing.

  6. viola says:

    Every night I take my cash out of my purse and sort the pennies into a little bag and give them to my 21 months old grandaughter. You be amazed how the penny’s add up :-)

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  9. Josh More says:

    “19. Put one behind a fuse in the fuse box.”

    This is a good way to burn down your house. Fuses exist for a reason.

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  11. Roxanne says:

    You can check the tread wear on your vehicle’s tires. Just insert the penny between the tread, if the top of the Lincoln’s head is visible, it’s time for new tires!

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  13. Laura says:

    You can add one to tulips in a vase and it will prevent them from drooping (really works!).

  14. wildeyes says:

    Put a penny on the top of the needle of a record player to make it follow the groove better.

    Bears repeating; Please do NOT put one in your fusbox!!

  15. Valerie S. Johnson says:

    About the fusebox … as indicated, these suggestions were taken from SavingAdvice forum readers. I didn’t test each one and apologize if someone contributed an unsafe activity. Sounds like the fusebox is no place for a penny!!

  16. floriduh! says:

    NEVER give to a todler to use for anything. Bet you (a penny) you’ll soon be missing a few. Too easily swallowed.

    Also, what about using it for table top football. A great time killer, especially at a restaurant (w/o tablecloths)

  17. Coolpop says:

    I convert pennies into nickles, dimes, and quarters by using the appropriate amount of cents to round down a cash purchase to the nearest $.05 amount. The resulting “silver” change from the paper money given to the merchant goes into a jar for the grandkids to dip their hand into for some “fun” money when they visit.

  18. ben says:

    Actually, it’s not illegal to deface coinage unless it’s done with fraudulent intent. (e.g. trying to make a dime out of it)

  19. Tina D says:

    Toss several pennies on your each side of your house roof. The copper oxide will remove black roof stains and keep others from appearing. Difficult to do on steep pitched roofs, but this is where it is needed most because you can see so much of the roof.

  20. RealityBytes says:

    My grandfather used to work retail. He would check the till for older coins each night. He had an impressive and valuable collection.

  21. Celeste says:

    Thanks. I needed this page. 😀

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  23. bob says:

    this is great!
    how about this:
    try super-gluing a penny to a busy sidewalk. stand on it inconspicuously for about 5 -10 minutes to let the glue dry. then hide and watch the fun as your unsuspecting victims try to pick it up!



  25. dr.lucky says:

    use penny to scratch the burned milk or curry from the sauce pan.Also put a hole and wear it as a pendant.

  26. BARRY COHEN says:


  27. c taggart says:

    What happen to putting a penny in your penny loafers.. Very entertaining article.

  28. John Kennedy says:

    Am curious about nickles, dimes, quarters, pennies, and dollars that I have had for a long time, and wonder if possible to get something concerning ones that I have had since 1961. Please let me know.

  29. Tyrell says:

    How do u snap the penny???

  30. Candace says:

    You snap a penny by putting it slightly in between your middle finger and your thumb like when you snap your fingers, than snap. You aim with your elbow, so your fingers end up by your face. It should go flying if you do it correctly.

  31. Duane Ausherman says:

    I have been entertaining children for many years with pennys. Hold your arm up so that at your elbow is a sort of flat spot. Put a penny there and quickly lower your arm and reach out with your hand to grab the penny before it goes far. It will probably be almost at waist level, so aim there. Once you have that down, add in a penny and keep practicing. Have each penny overlap the other by about half. I can do about 24. Do this in an area where there is room for them to fly around and not hurt anyone.

  32. philip dinoto says:

    i have a silver and gold penny

  33. Sean says:

    I keep my pennies and change in a large jar with a handle and use it as a weight to exercise with. Everyday it get’s a little heavier.

  34. joe says:

    spend it :)

  35. patricia says:

    most of these things were helpful but idk who would be dumb enought to trade a penny 4 a nickel unless the penny was rare

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  37. lazaro says:

    use a penny to buy thing ans when you get to the cashier take all of them out n see how they look at u 😛

  38. Mike says:

    The best! At beach concerts it never fails there is always metal detectors roaming around trying to find lost or dropped jewelry. We throw pennies out in front of them to ruin his night of digging a hole for a penny.

  39. mike h says:

    you can make a special friends neckless using one or two pennies a lanyard or chain.
    put one of them on put one in a keychain ring or those leather tab holder -things. also use them as weights in curtains.

  40. misa says:

    Penny can
    a game were you take pennies and toss them in to an empty coffee can. person with the most pennies in the can win all the pennies:D

  41. molly says:

    This is great! you can also use them as tiles!! super cheap and looks great.

  42. Tammy says:

    You can use pennies in scrapbooks to mark the dates of special occasions. Like a baby born in 2012 would have a 2012 penny on that page.

  43. Dougus says:

    You can put them in your nose so you can smell copper all day.

  44. Lauren says:

    When you are eating outside, and there are a lot of wasps swarming around you and your dinner, put 5 or 6 pennies in a glass of water on your table. I’m not sure why, but the wasps hate it, and they will fly away! It totally works!

  45. Cliff says:

    A really good idea’s, when the pennies are gone peoplle will weigh alot less?

  46. Shelley says:

    Colour the edge of a penny with a pencil and have someone try and roll it from their forehead to their chin. It leaves a line down the middle of their face and it’s funny to see how long it takes for them to find out why everyone’s laughing. Used to do this to my brothers, Great Fun!

  47. mike says:

    if you live in canada keep em because as of friday may 4th 2012 the canadian penny stopped being made so keep them and wait in a few years collectors might want them or bring them into a scrap yard (you need hundreds like me for this to be worth it) and sell them because as of today (may 6th 2012) its about 3 dollars per pound and if you have alot bring em in

  48. Mathematitian says:

    #65 is mathematically incorrect.
    In a die, there are 1/6 chance of getting any one of the 6 numbers.

    In your example, using 5 coins, and counting up from one, adding one per head, does not satisfy the 1/6 chance.

    There are 2 outcomes per coin, so 2 to the power of 5 = 32 outcomes for 5 coins.

    There is only 1 way you can “roll/flip” a 1: by flipping all tails. There is only 1 way of flipping 5 tails in 5 coins.

    Therefore, the probability of “rolling/flipping” a 1 is 1/32 =/= the 1/6 previously stated.

    Similarly, the probability of “rolling/flipping” a 6 is 1/32 =/= 1/6.

    Of course, for the mathematically challenged, you can trick them with this math trick.

  49. dingle nutts says:

    Pay the alimony

  50. chad says:

    some of the 1982s are also only 2.5% copper.
    its 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper.

    if you throw the 82s on a table the higher pitch ones will be 95% copper.
    they are worth over 2 cents.

    1982 and older, iv been hording them. hopfully someday copper skyrockets.

    copper pennys are 3.11 grams (95% copper, 5% zinc)

    zinc with copper plate are 2.5 grams (97.5% zinc, 2.5% copper)

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