a roll of quarters
I honestly think if all USA-based vending machines accepted 50¢ and $1 coins, the world would be a better place. Alas, the highest value accepted is 25¢.
The most convenient way to get quarters is in a 10-dollar roll. It's getting that roll that's a pain in the ass.
Here's my short tale on that:
The best place to usually get a roll a quarters is at the supermarket. You go with cash in hand, march straight to the customer service desk and get your roll. Simple, right?
I went to not one but two Publix supermarkets in search of a roll of quarters. Both times I was lied to. At the first one I was told "Sorry, we don't have any quarters to spare." The second one told me "We don't have any quarters." I'm not kidding. She actually said that.
I can understand it if a convenience store doesn't have quarters because of the store's small size. But at a Publix, there are at least 8 cash registers - including two more at the customer service desk. And they don't have quarters. Yeah, sure. Right.
If you're asking "Why didn't you go to a bank?", the banks are closed today because it's Sunday.
Out of desperation I headed into a Walgreen's. And they had my roll. I was happy. Walgreen's once again kicks ass in all the right places.
I use quarters for two things; laundry and road tolls. It's mostly laundry because my GPS routes me around toll roads. I've always loved that feature, but I digress.
I said all vending machines should be made to accept 50¢ and $1 coins and I stand by that.
As far as the $1 coins go, the ones we should be using are the Presidential Dollar Coin, introduced in 2007 (yes, this year.) They're just the right size, will have good circulation and vending machines could be easily made to accept them.
Per the 50¢ a.k.a. half-dollar coins, unfortunately we don't have anything ready for vending machines because those coins are just way too frickin' big. No one carries them around because of their size. Something needs to be done to create a smaller half-dollar coin.
And I've got the perfect solution for that. We've got presidential dollar coins, why not vice president coins in a 50¢ flavor that are smaller and usable in vending machines? Makes perfect sense to me.
. . .
As an aside, I am one of the people who think pennies shouldn't be used anymore.
This video says it best:
...and I completely agree.