What Can You Buy with a Dime?
Nancy and I were chit-chatting yesterday when a coworker walked over and handed each of us a dime. We looked at him, confused.
"Small change," he said with a grin.
Haha, very funny. Don't spend it all in one place. Ba dum dum. But it got me thinking: What is a dime worth these days?
So I set out to see if I could spend just a dime. All of the food in our vending machine is at least $1, so it would get me one-tenth of a bag of Baked Lays. I went to a deli near our building to see if they had cheap snacks or candy, but the closest I came was a miniature Toblerone for 40 cents. I browsed on Amazon for used books, but even an old paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was going for 79 cents.
I did have some luck finding starter bids on birdhouses on eBay for just a penny. And I put the question out on Twitter (Follow me at ylanmui) and got a response from a friend who searched Google products and found axle washers and old baseball cards. But I figured shipping charges would put me over the limit.
But surely a dime is valuable. When I was a kid, a dime could get you Laffy Taffy at the snack shop at school. It can add precious minutes to the parking meter.
Consumer Reports is devoting its next issue to an even smaller piece of change: the lowly nickel. In "How to Squeeze a Nickel," the magazine looks at tips to help readers save every possible cent. One of my favorite tips is to flatten the toilet paper roll so that it doesn't spin so quickly and waste paper. It also recommends white vinegar and baking soda as a cheap, homemade alternative to pricey cleaning products.
So I want to know: What have you bought for just a dime?
As for the coin from my coworker, it's staying on my desk as a souvenir. Perhaps it could be the Small Change mascot!
May 8, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Ylan Q. Mui
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