20 Great Places to Find Coins

places to find coins

I like to walk and when I walk, I am always on the lookout for coins. I don’t really consciously do this — it has become a habit over the years. What I do know is that most years I add over $100 to my savings (you would need to keep over $10,000 in your local bank to earn the same amount in interest) simply by keeping my eyes open and knowing where to look.

Here’s the funny thing about finding coins. If you are doing this to try and make extra money, it’s not likely to work. While it may be hard to understand, finding coins really isn’t about the money although it never hurts to add what you do find to your savings. I have had a lot of friends in the past that have heard about how I am able to find money and decide they are going to try it too – and invariably, they come back in a week’s time saying that they haven’t found anything. The truth is, you won’t find anything most days. That being said, if you are not looking, the days that you do find money you probably wouldn’t had you not been looking. The people that are successful at it view it more as a game and treat it as such. Here are some of my favorite places to find coins in no particular order:

Car Wash

Coins come out of pockets at car washes and a fair share of them end up on the ground where they can be found. Pay special attention to the areas around the vacuum stations. It seems that a lot of people that are cleaning out their cars don’t think that the change is worth keeping and throw it out with the rest of the trash they find under their car seats and car mats.

Highway Rest Stops

People that have been on long road trips have made numerous stops and gathered up a pile of change in their car and pockets. They are tired and not paying as close attention as they might at other times and it seems a fair amount of those coins end up slipping out of the car and staying in the rest area. It’s also a great place to check vending machines.

Melting Snow

If you live in an area of the country where it snows, you’ll love spring if you become a coin hunter. When people drop coins in the winter, they often find it too cumbersome to pick up the coin, or the coin falls into the snow where it’s difficult to find. That leaves an accumulation of coins that appear in the Spring when the snow begins to melt off.

Fast Food Dive-Up Windows

When people hand over money to people at the drive up windows and receive their change, the exchange of coins doesn’t always go perfectly and a coin may fall from time to time. Many people aren’t willing to make the effort to open their car door and search around for where the coin ultimately landed. That means that a quick glance in the area of fast food drive-up windows can put a few coins into your pocket.

Self Pay Parking Machines

Much like the fast food dive up window, I always pay special attention when I walk past a parking lot that has a self pay machine as the person is exiting. People are leaning out the window putting coins into the machine and sometimes a coin drops. Most of the time when this happens, the person isn’t going to get out of their car and look underneath it for the coin. Instead, they will write it off as a loss and just leave. When this happens and the timing is right, that coin will become yours.

Bars, Waiting Rooms, Transit Areas, Etc

It seems that there are a decent number of people that wear pants that simply don’t hold their coins in too well. If you scan around bars, waiting rooms, transit areas and the like, there is a good chance that you will be able to add a few coins to your findings. This is especially true if they have sitting areas with couches or the like where coins can hide.

Your Own Home

I don’t actually count the money that I find in my home toward the total amount of money I find each year since I consider it already to be mine, but that being said, you probably have a decent amount of coins lying around your house that you don’t know about or have forgotten. Decide to do a Spring cleaning and you’re likely to end the day with more money than when you started. Check pant and coat pockets from time to time and you’ll likely find a forgotten bill or change.

At the Beach

There is a reason that you see people on the beach with metal detectors scanning the sand. People go to the beach and coins get dropped because bathing suits don’t have pockets when people are changing. Those coins often get covered in sand so that the person that lost them doesn’t even notice they are gone. While it can be more difficult to spot these coins, they are definitely there for those who have a keen eye.

At Parks

With the fourth of July weekend coming up, it will be a great time to keep your eyes open in the parks. With all the commotion and large number of people, a few coins always seem to get left behind. This is also true after any holiday weekends or events.

Wherever crowds have gathered

If there is a crowd, there is a good chance that coins can be found, especially directly after the crowd begins to dissipate. Places where money transactions take place outside like art fairs and other community events are also prime locations to find a few extra coins lying around on the ground.

Copy Machines

This isn’t as good of a place to find coins as it used to be when nobody had a home computer and printer in their house, but it is still a place to check the coin slot or credit count when you walk past them. It seems that a fair number of those that use copy machines are in a hurry and simply forget the extra money they have put into the machine.


Much like the copy machine, this used to be a great place to find coins, but with everyone now carrying around a cell phone it’s becoming more difficult to find coins around phone booths. Still, it’s worth a look since money does drop and people do forget the coins they are feeding into the phone from time to time.

Coinstar Machines

When people put their money into change counting machines, there are often a few coins that get spit out into the coin slot because the machine couldn’t decipher the coin properly. Some people don’t realize this or forget and leave the coins there so it’s always worthwhile checking when you pass them.


When people walk, most of them don’t look at the sidewalk. It’s surprising the number of people that walk right on by money simply because they never have seen it. If you keep your eyes on the sidewalk whenever you happen to take a walk, you are sure to find some coins.


When you are walking on the sidewalk, stay to the street side. While you may find a few coins on the sidewalk, you’re likely to find even more in the gutter beside the sidewalk during your travels since people are even less likely to be looking there when they walk.

Intersections / Crosswalks

I’m always on the lookout for money when crossing the street. For some reason, coins seem to gather there more than on the sidewalks and gutters along the main portion of the street.

Train / Subway Stations

Public transportation stations are a good place to find fallen coins. People are taking out money to buy tickets, sitting and standing quite a bit and invariable a coin drops to the ground here and there.


People are at stores to buy things so they are taking money out of their pockets to pay for items they want. Coins get dropped and not all of them get found. Keep your eyes open along the sides and corners and you will find a stray coin from time to time.

Parking Lots

If I have an opportunity to cut through a parking lot, I don’t do it to save time or distance, but to look for coins. I tend to park as far away as I can from the store to let me walk across parking lots when I go shopping. Parking lots are one of the better places to find coins.

Around Vending Machines

If there are vending machines, there is a good chance that there is a lost coin around. This is especially true in winter when it’s cold outside and people are wearing gloves (I find far more coins in winter around vending machines than I do in summer). They don’t have a feel for the coins and are more likely to drop one without noticing. Of course, don’t forget to check the coin slots as well.

(Photo courtesy of newseamus)

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68 Responses to 20 Great Places to Find Coins

  1. Max Lam says:

    A long time ago, when I was at school, I was just looking around on the floor, and I saw something green on the floor, I thought it was just trash, but then when I picked it up, it was 2 $20 bills! And it was the day when my school had a carnival at the night. I was so lucky! :)

  2. MrGlidden says:

    A single dad had just cashed his paycheck and took his kids shopping, after seeing how everything was a little too over-priced for his measly paycheck…he decided to leave. His kids were very upset because they wanted some stuff so they were crying..As he was rounding his two children up and putting them in their booster seats the envelope fell out of his pocket. He swung by McDonald’s to get the kids a Happy Meal to cheer them up, at the drive through he discovered he lost his money. The kids were crying as they didn’t understand why they could not eat. The dad rushed back to the store to search the parking lot and the store. Inside, he told an associate he had lost an envelope and if anyone turned it in, to please call him as he needed it as he planned on paying his electric bill at the City Hall that day..He was already a month late and planned on paying the bare minimum as his kids needed to eat…Needless to say. His kids had no heat or power or food. The father went hungry and starved to death as he wouldn’t let his children go hungry. His children fed on his remains for 5 days until they too died of starvation. Hope it was worth it!

  3. Mike M says:

    If you look around bushes and leafy greens outside stores and restaurants (especially in disneyland) You’ll find the paper. Out side some breakfast place at Disneyland I found a $100 bill. outside a place by the bay i found a 5, a 20 a couple of times walking down the street. It’s always in the bushes!

  4. sergio says:

    thank you thats what i always tell my boyfriend.

  5. Brian says:

    Good list and comments.

    I also find that people drop coins in gyms, especially around benches. I suppose the coins fall out when they lie down to do the exercises. Best part is that the macho guys there don’t want to be seen picking coins back up even if they notice them. Coins also end up in the drink holders on the exercise bikes, treadmills, stair masters, etc.

  6. Steven says:

    Yesterday I parked near an old tree with a hole, when I looked at the hole..bingo! There was a $ 10 inside! What a lunatic put money inside a tree-hole! Just look everywhere, folks! They are everywhere! Not just coins, bank notes also! After all, there is no difference, they’re all MONEY!

  7. MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

    When I was a little girl, my grandfather could not walk by a phone booth without checking for coins…and they did not drive so he walked everywhere!i picked up this habit and find money in vending machines etc all the time.

    Every single time I have started a new job and moved to a new to me desk, I have found TONS of change. People leave it behind when they leave! One time there was over $200 left in the top desk drawer!

    I put all change I receive and find into my girls’ piggy banks and twice a year they are full, generally $600/year that goes to their savings accounts, half each. It is this high bc we do cash envelopes but I never put the change back in the envelopes.

  8. Rebecca says:

    Thanks for all the great ideas! My boyfriend and I started collecting change when he was working as a bartender and was getting change by the handful in tips, now we have other great places to look, I can’t wait to get started!

  9. john says:

    I lived in a town where a college town was, the kids were always just tossing out jars of coins pennies mostly ! well over the year I am sure I have cashed in a $100.00 or more of pennies that most treat as trash!

  10. bullshita says:

    lol. Me too

  11. Dan+Amanda says:

    My wife and I have found the best place to find coins are at the drive thrus, seems like ppl are just to lazy to open the door and pick up their change. We found some at the yesterday in the parking lot which we were like let’s just take a look and boom .51

  12. Josah Ruth says:

    Im big coin collecter and have found many coins at the local swimming pool next to the concession stands.

  13. michaela says:

    I tried doing that at MC Donalds the other day but the lady was so rude and was like that our property so I was scared so I gave it to her

  14. bob says:

    I love coin hunting

  15. Yahaira says:

    Omg I love finding coins I use to work at McDonalds and every time in drive-thru they just left there coins there all the time on the floor or just drove off so I’d keep it and at the end of my shift i’d go by the drive thru and pick it all up from the floor I had like $5 I love getting coins people think theres no significance but it adds up I have $50 so far in coins and I just started back up a month ago. To bad im not working at mcdonalds no more it’d put a jump on saving my coins, but i dont mind pulling up to mcdonalds drive thru lol

  16. Will says:

    Yes, all of these spots are great. But honestly the best spot is amusement parks. If you ever take a family trip, be on the lookout. Not only will it be a fun day, but you can put a serious dent in the money you payed to get in. In total from 2 different parks I’ve found 43.72 in change!!!!

  17. My husband an avid coin and bill collector and I the 1/2 dollar and Susan B Anthony fan noticed how lucky little kids,preteen, and young couples luckiest finding money. Seniors not so much.

    Adults and teenagers forget it we couldn’t find money robbing a bank. Although coins are often tossed more than we imagine.

    We remember as kids, finding money all the time, everywhere. Like it grew on trees and blew off for us.
    As adults I cant remember the last time I found money, coins here and there. Paper money, only when I was a kid. Now all my kids find money all the time & my youngest loses money in wal-marts bathrooms 3 times.

    2 times The person was dishonest and just took it from my kid who left it sitting and walked out & walked right back in. 1 of 3 adult men in the bathrooms pocketed his little baggie of small change and 2 $1.00 bills. And lied to him saying he probably lost it somewhere else.

    Thanks for this story. It will give my 7 year old son, trust back in fellow man and finding money on the street. Just not too much money because that belongs to someone who will be missing it soon. but don’t leave it for someone else to take.

    I cant wait to see if my youngest becomes the luckiest of the family in finding coins and paper money with the bullish adults who kept his change bag in wal-mart.

  18. Bill says:

    Like Chips, I had been “silver mining” for years but have not actually recorded how many coins and bills I found per day until I seriously did so beginning June 1, 2013.

    As a result, I collected $768.42 as of December 31, 2014. I am just amazed how it all added up!

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