Where to Find Loose Change: 26 Best Places to Find Lost Coins


So you want to know where to find loose change and coins? Grab your piggy bank because were' going to tell you the 26 BEST places to search for loose change, lost coins, bills and even jewelry!

Right off the bat, we suggest a metal detector. Checkout some great metal detectors, (Sorry, we're a metal detector manufacturer...We had to)

You don't have a metal detector or can't get one? No worries, we have your back, no metal detector needed for any of the following places we are going to tell you about.

26 Places Where You Can Find Loose Change

1. Your House

That's right your very own house probably has at least $5 in loose forgotten change lying around. Look in the couch cushions, washer and dryer, old coat pockets, pants pockets, dresser drawers, backpacks and suitcases, old wallets and purses as well as tool and toy boxes.

2. Your Car or Truck 

You can always find dropped coins in any automobile. Check in the seat cushions (front and back seats), under the seats, in the ashtray, wedged between the window and the dashboard, under the floormats, in the glove box, cup holders, arm rests and be sure to check the visors for any bills that you might have stuffed there and forgot about.

3. Vending Machines 

Check the coin return slot, check on top of the machine and especially under the machine. Retrieving coins from under the machine is difficult and that's why you're sure to find coins there. Bring a meter stick or a wooden dowel to help sweep coins out from under the machine.

4. Drive-Thru Windows 

Check the ground where the vehicles pull up to the window. Most times then not a motorist will just drive away from dropped change rather than get out and pick up the dropped coins.  Nowadays there are drive-thru windows everywhere and not just fast food restaurants. You'll find them at liquor stores, pharmacies, convenient stores, coffee shops, ATM's and bank teller windows. 

5. Cash Register Checkout Areas

You can always find dropped coins on the ground around the checkout area of any sticks and bricks shopping center. I had a friend who worked as a cashier at a grocery store who told me she would find up to $30.00 a week in dropped coins and even bills on the ground by her register.

6. Coin Operated Car Washes

Check on top of the control box, around the change machine, all the empty bays, vacuum area and if you can access it, you are sure to find a ton of change in the vacuum storage cannister.

7. Coin Operated Laundromat

 Check inside the washers, dryers, inside the change machine cup, on top of the washers and dryers and like the vending machines underneath the washers and dryers. 

8. Shopping Center Parking lots

You can always count on finding loose change in parking lots. Sometimes you can find bills and even jewelry. Be sure to check ALL envelopes and folded up receipts as you may find cash folded up inside the receipt. Also look for cigarette packs that might have cash tucked inside. 

Aldi's is a great shopping center to check because they require shoppers to deposit a quarter to receive a shopping cart. Once shoppers return their cart, by clicking a lock from the cart in front of their returned cart they get their quarter back. This return is all the way in the front by the entrance and many times shoppers are too lazy or in a rush and just leave their cart in the lot and their quarter for the taking.

9. Coinstar machines 

You'll find Coinstar machines at many shopping centers and these coin return machines can payout VERY well. Most US silver coins are automatically rejected by Coinstar machines and spat out into the coin return bay. You can also find valuable foreign coins like the  Canadian toonie which is a two dollar coin.

10. Bus Stops

How often have you heard someone say "I lost my bus money"? It happens all the time and it's usually right there at the bus stop, making bus stops great places to find loose change.

11. Movie Theaters 

You'll want to check the parking lot but the most productive place to look for lost money and other items in a movie theater is the floors under the seats. Coins will fall out of pockets or are set down between the movie goers legs forgotten and then when the movie goer stands up the seat automatically flips up and the coins and anything else on the seat slides down on to the floor. Most people leave during the credits when it's still dark in the theater and are unable to see or even hear what has just happened. All you have to do is wait until the credits are over and the lights come on and do a quick scan of the floor around you. 

12. Sporting Event Bleachers

Sporting bleachers are great places to find a lot of coins. At many hometown softball fields and other sporting centers snacks and drinks prices are divided in quarters (1.25, 1.50, 1.75) to make change figuring quick and easy for the vendor and purchaser. This means almost all of the coins you'll find under the bleachers are going to be quarters and quarters make dollars fast! 

13. Around Fences and Structures

Bad, windy weather blows bills all over the place until they hit a structure where they sit until someone like you finds them and picks them up. Like in the parking lots be sure to check any folded up receipts, envelopes and cigarette packs.

14. Any Public Seating Area with Cushions

Just like the cushions of your couch the cushions of the couches and chairs at the mall will gather loose change. The best time to check would be later in the day, because you count on the fact that the custodians know where to find all of this loose change and they will check and remove all of the loose coins at the end of the business day, making morning time less profitable. Restaurant booths can be very profitable too...just be sure to wash your hands before you eat.

15. Public Bathroom Stalls

I know it can be icky but coins and the contents of the pockets are often time dropped and left on the floor inside the stalls. Again, be sure to wash your hands!

16. Locker Rooms 

Check all of the floors for dropped coins. You can also check inside any unlocked or unused lockers as many times coins will fall out of clothing and then are abandoned. 

17. Bars 

Be sure to check the parking lot but also check the floors around the bar, tables, booths etc. Check on top of and underneath pool tables, jukeboxes, video games and the dance floor. If the bar has outdoor volleyball courts and you own a metal detector, it might be worth your while to ask if you could detect the courts after hours. If they say no, you can always offer your services to locate any reported lost rings or jewelry. Many times this offer will immediately reverse a no answer into a yes. Even if it doesn't do it immediately, the first time you come to the rescue of a patron who lost a piece of jewelry you more than likely will receive open access to metal detect the courts.

18. Public and Hotel Pools  

Just like at the beach or swimming holes rings and coins will fall off or out of pockets and end up at the bottom of the pool. Keep an open eye and you may find them. 

19. Thrift Stores

Look behind picture frames, between the pages of books, on the underside of drawers and shelves. Check the hidden pockets and crevices of old purses, wallets, backpacks and luggage. Also check the pockets of jeans and coats. Pay special attention to any pockets that might be hidden or not immediately noticeable to the casual observer.

20. Melted Snow Piles

When the snow plow clears large parking lots they push all of the snow (and everything else lying on pavement) into large piles in one location of the parking lot. This location doesn't change all winter long, which means this pile is fed new snow and new drops all year long. I suggest checking the melting snow pile multiple times as it will slowly shrink leaving new goodies every warm day. I've found tools, coins, jewelry, keys and bills from 1.00 all the way up to 20.00.

21. Fair Grounds

This is more of a when rather than a where as these fairs and carnivals are often times held in large parking lots or fields. Pay attention to any ride area that flips the riders upside down. Gaming areas are always great especially the ones that have customers flip coins onto or into something to win a prize. Be sure to check the food stands and parking lots too.

22. Renaissance Fairs 

Renaissance fairs can be AMAZING places to find loose change and especially jewelry. Scout out the area during the fair and look for all of the jewelry stands and any costume changing areas. Return the day after the Ren. Fair ends and you have an excellent chance of finding loose change and dropped jewelry.

23. Outdoor Swap Meets and Markets

These markets and swap meets are full of people buying and selling crafts, fruits and veggies and wares. With all of that exchanging of cash, there is bound to be dropped coins lying about. 

24. Self-Checkout Areas

Check the floor around this area just like at a manned cash register but also check in the change return and even bill return. I've found a $20.00 bill hanging out of the bill return, presumably from someone who selected cash back upon check out but forgot about it and walked away without their money.

25. Curbside Gutters

People get in and out of their cars in this area providing the perfect opportunity for loose change to fall on the ground. Heavy rains can sweep these lost coins away and redeposit them all in the same spot, usually in a turn or bend of the curb so be sure to check corners and such for small coin caches after any heavy storm. 

26. Known Ice Cream Truck Stops  

Keep an eye out for the local ice cream truck. Often times they will stop at the same spot in any given neighborhood attracting a pack of excited kids and adults with coins and cash in hand. Check this area after the truck and the kids move on and you might just find enough coins to buy your own cone next time the ice cream truck passes by.


Did we mention getting a metal detector? Sorry, we're a metal detector manufacturer...We had to. But in all seriousness a metal detector like the Teknetics DELTA 4000 will help you find more loose change, lost coins and jewelry then you will ever find by "eyeballing" alone.

Happy treasure hunting everyone we look forward to chatting with you in our next metal detecting and treasure hunting blog post!