$100 in coins!!!!!!

So as many of you are undoubtedly aware, for the past year or so (okay, okay, it’s been exactly 380 days according to my nerdy detailed spreadsheet), I have been trying to find $100 in coins. Well, actually it started out being just coins but I expanded it to just any found money.

I went into today at $97.76 and then the fam headed to the mall for Cow Appreciation Day. i.e. dress up like a cow and get free Chick-fil-A.

Family going to Chick-Fil-A

Immediately when we got there, we checked the racecar strollers. This has been a good source of coins – at the mall they have these racecar strollers that you can rent for $5. When you return them, you get 4 quarters back. But sometimes people don’t return them, or they don’t put them back in the dock right, or sometimes they try to return them but the bank of places to turn them in is full. So we tested the strollers near the food court and boom – one of them came right out – it hadn’t been returned correctly, so we were up to $98.76. Then it was off to Chick-Fil-A. We ordered 4 #1 meals and 3 #3s – all free!

The manager came out and wanted to take our picture with the cow. We were snapping pictures too – you can see more on FB.
Meeting the Chick-Fil-A cow

We found 2 dimes and a bunch of pennies at the mall that put us up over $99 and I started thinking about how if I had a good day tomorrow that I might hit $100. We were really trying to find a nickel for the 2nd straight day of coin cycle but couldn’t find one. Then, as we were leaving, we spotted a family with a racecar stroller that was heading towards the Miller Family play area (i.e. where Nordstrom is under construction). We had previously noted that the bank that is located by the exit there was full, so we thought that might bear watching. Instead, they turned to go out another exit and left the mall with their stroller. We “discreetly” followed them.

They got into their car and just left the stroller in the parking garage. After a bit of loitering as we waited for them to drive away, we pounced on the stroller and took it back into the mall. We headed down and returned it. Here’s me returning the stroller that put us up over $100.

Me returning the $100 stroller

And here’s the final 4 quarters that did it.
Scott with the final quarters

So now what? I’m not sure – I still plan on trying to find coins and other money but I’m not sure what to set as my next goal. Maybe I’ll try to hit $200 by the end of the year?

So I may have been mistaken for a homeless person

First of all apologies to those of you I’ve already told this story.  But yes, I fear I may have been mistaken for a homeless person yesterday.  I was out at the mall last night with my 2 older children.  I had gone there to walk around because I was in a pedometer challenge (who could take the most steps from the 23rd to the 30th) and it was the last day and I wanted to do my best to help my team to win.  And also to look for coins of course, as the mall is a great place for coins.

So we were walking around the food court and we had spotted a few coins.  We had stopped to get a drink at the water fountain in the corner of the food court when this girl (maybe 10-12 years old) says “Excuse me” to my son.  We stop and turn, and she gives him $1.17 in coins and then leaves.
Now originally I just thought that her mom or whoever had seen him looking for coins and just wanted to make his day by giving him a bunch of coins.  And I still think that’s a reasonable possibility.  But then this morning Carolyn came up with the homeless hypothesis: that the mom or whoever saw us scrounging for coins and thought we were trying to come up with enough for a meal for the kids and thought she would help out.

In any case, I have decided not to count that money in my change quest.  I actually feel kind of bad about it, especially if she really was intending for it to help us out.  So I am going to donate it at church on Sunday and that way it can go for some good.

The weird thing is that we had just come from a (rare!) dinner out at Larosas. We had dressed all the kids up in the hopes that it would cause them to behave better than a typical kid at a restaurant scene. It worked, but that is neither here nor there. I bring it up because I was dressed in my work clothes. The son was dressed similarly in khakis and a button down shirt, and the daughter was in a nice dress. So it wasn’t like we were all lookin scruffy.

But in other news, we did find $1.45 in just run of the mill coins (1 quarter, 9 dimes, 1 nickel and 25 pennies) and also found 3 of the racecar strollers that were not returned to their bases, which we returned for 4 quarters each.  Total is now up to $32.44 found, with an estimated $100 date of Jan. 24, 2010.

In other other news, we got killed in our challenge.  One of the other teams both did 25,000 steps both yesterday and the day before and wasted us.