Generally I avoid the self service check outs at our local supermarket. It never runs smoothly, for countless reasons: bar codes not being accepted on reduced items, the machine not liking library books already being in my own shopping bag, stuff being accidentally scanned twice, unexpected item in the bagging area...All of which then entails standing around waiting for an elusive shop assistant to come and bail me out.
Instead I prefer dealing with a human. (I am that annoying middle-aged lady in front of you in the queue who likes to chat to the shop assistant and pay with the exact money, spending hours ferreting around in the dark recesses of her purse for that final penny.)
Husband can't be doing with all that. He brings all his loose change home. Some of it goes in our Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal collection box and some of it gets dumped in a pot.
And every now and again, when I'm feeling stony broke and I've got just a few items to buy I empty the contents of the pot into a bag and take it to the supermarket and use it all in one go at the self service check out.
This was the highlight of my day today (I know, I know, I lead a very exciting life). A whole £5 of what feels like 'free' money!
It is not an activity to be done in a rush. I make sure I pick a quiet time in the store so I can savour feeding the money in a few coins at a time. It's like being at the penny arcades on a rainy day at the seaside, especially when the machine spits a few coins out.
Sometimes it all goes smoothly and my small act of defiance goes unnoticed. Other times the machine cottons on to what I'm doing and starts to get annoyed. It puts its cash gobbling conveyor belt into reverse and makes unpleasant mechanical noises because it knows I'm sticking it to The Man, to all those soulless automated procedures everywhere that put real people out of a job, and to all those Coinstar machines that change your coins into notes but take a fee for doing so. I won't be beaten. I always win this particular battle, however many shop assistants I have to enlist onto my side, and you know what? I'll be back with a bagful of coppers another time..