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 What can you buy for a penny?

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P. Gordon Kennedy
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PostSubject: What can you buy for a penny?   Sat Oct 18, 2008 12:32 pm

I did the calculations (here I am having fun with math again) and found that for one penny, you can buy:

1 sheet of 20lb white typing paper
enough ink to print 1 4x6 black and white photo on a laser printer
5 BBs for your BB gun
enough memory space to store about 3 one megapixel digital photos (based on average memory card prices in local stores)
about 1/3 of a milligram of gold (assuming a gold price of just over $900 an ounce)
about 1/4 ounce of baking soda
You could afford to drive an average car a little more than 100 feet
You could run a 100 watt light bulb for about 2 hours
You could get 1 1/4 gallons of tapwater where I live

Here it can be seen how little the penny can actually buy. There once was a day long before my time when a penny was worth something, but today the copper and zinc used to make a penny is worth more than the penny itself!


Last edited by P. Gordon Kennedy on Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:59 pm

You've come up with a longer list than I could, Gordon. When I was a kid you could send a postcard for a penny or buy a variety of candy. Can't recall spending them for much else.
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Pam
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:07 pm

I remember penny candies, so they have not been gone for that long...I even saw some recently but they were really teeny. And probably nothing but pure sugar -- ha ha!
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:31 pm

Dear Gordon,
You are so very nice! I read your posts and marvel at your heart. Like a Star @ heaven

I remember all the stuff that used to be a penny. There is very little left in the way of buying anything for a penny. But, there are still things that are free. Sky above to look up and see, small creatures that can enchant the mind, wonders all around that are free for the observing. Not a one of us is poor when it comes to the wonders of the earth.

Not everyone has the luxury of looking at life that way.

Love,
Betty
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Pam
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Gordon I just heard about a store here that no longer uses pennies, and others are talking about following suit. They autmatically round down to the nearest nickel. I thought it was something noteworthy since I had just read your post. Our local dollar store (a place I love to check out for deals on all kinds of stuff) is now putting in a "$2 and up" section. I wonder how long the $2 section will be smaller than the $1 section... Question
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zadaconnaway
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:12 pm

Gosh, I remember walking to the neighborhood store and buying a huge licorice whip (Real black licorice about three feet long--or so it seemed to me) for a penny, and large candy bars went for a nickel. Imagine my surprise when the candy bars doubled in price, and diminished in size by one half! And penny candy has gone the way of the Dodo bird, except for the teeny ones Pam mentioned.

Our dollar stores are still all at $1.00, and I sure hope they stay that way.

Pennies are still used here, but mainly just for when the tax makes a purchase an odd number like $1.07. But you find them just laying around, on counters, floors, in the dirt, etc. Old habits die hard; I still stop to pick them up!!

Thank you for the walk down memory lane and the lesson on inflation!


Last edited by zadaconnaway on Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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P. Gordon Kennedy
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:18 pm

I wonder how long it'll be until dollar stores are a thing of the past. Prehapse they'll have $5 stores or $10 stores. Another thing you could do with a penny is make a 5 second phone call. That's enough time to say 10 or so words!Very Happy
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zadaconnaway
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:21 pm

That reminds me, they used to have five and dime stores. They fell by the way side.
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P. Gordon Kennedy
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:23 pm

Correction: earlier, I said one penny could buy 3 3/4 ounces of baking soda. That was a miscalculation, in actuality a penny will only buy 1/4 ounce of baking soda. I corrected my earlier post.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Sat Oct 18, 2008 11:22 pm

So what can 1/10th of a cent buy you? You know, the $4.50.9 you pay at the gas pumps?
What do you do with the penny you save on a list price of $9.99?
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:38 am

Those five and ten cent stores mentioned by Zada were great. Many had a lunch counter and in the rest of the store you found a clerk at every counter. Today you can go into an upscale department store and find that the only employees are at the "customer service" area, meaning the place where you can hand over your money. Actual service is only a memory.
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JoElle
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:00 am

zadaconnaway wrote:
Pennies are still used here, but mainly just for when the tax makes a purchase an odd number like $1.07. But you find them just laying around, on counters, floors, in the dirt, etc. Old habits die hard; I still stop to pick them up!!

Thank you for the walk down memory lane and the lesson on inflation!

I pick them up too. And I keep my change.
One cent goes a long way if you collect enough of them.

I keep a handful of change in my jeans at all times. When I go somewhere and the price rings up at $3.57, chances are I don't hand over a five dollar bill or four ones. I will give the clerk three ones, a quarter, three dimes, and two pennies.

Do you know this actually confuses some of them???


My husband and I keep a change bucket on the truck. I keep the quarters for doing laundry on the road or for unmanned toll booths.

But I spend the dimes, nickels, and pennies.

I used to just keep them and let them add up, then I'd take them to the casino cash cage when I went home and had them converted into bills.

My change has added up to over $60.

But now instead of handing over the one dollar bills to pay for the cents part of my totals and getting change back .... I give the clerk the change part in change.
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:33 pm

Pennies and change saved for 2 years bought a big screen tv for our new house. Pennies totaled 700.00. I pick them up, too. I look to see what year is on them and put the wheat pennies in another place. Very Happy

My dear friend, Carol Troestler knows how I loved the Five & Dime. I think that some of my drool is still on those counters. I told Carol how I longed for Evening in Paris Parfume when I was young, just knowing that it would make me beautiful if I had a bottle. She sent me that lovely blue vial that she had from her aunt. What a kind and loving person is Carol.

There are so many nice people here. I am glad to be here.

Love,
Betty
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P. Gordon Kennedy
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:53 pm

It would take more than a quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) pennies to pay the United States national debt! Over the past few months people have lost about 830 trillion (830,000,000,000,000) pennies in the stock market. Think, a $100 barrel of oil costs 10,000 pennies! A $900 ounce of gold costs 90,000 pennies and building a new house will set you back about 21,000,000 pennies!
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Pam
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:20 pm

Jeez, that is a lotta pennies Gordon. I too save and pick up pennies. It would be interesting to know how many are in circulation. That might do something incredible for the debt.

I think the current name for the five and dime stores would be "50 and 100% interest".
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P. Gordon Kennedy
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:05 pm

Saving pennies is a good thing to do. if you saved 10 pennies a day for 10 years, you would end up with over $365.Smile
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martin
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PostSubject: Pennyshopper.co.uk   Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:36 am

I found lots of things you can buy for a penny on this site:

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P. Gordon Kennedy
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:47 am

What site? The link isn't showing up.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:54 am

Gordon,
I think the guest benefited by coming here.
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madhatter
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:02 pm

You're overlooking one important thing one penny can buy: good luck...especially if you find one heads-up.
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P. Gordon Kennedy
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:17 pm

Pennies also make good element collection samples.

Pennies minted after 1982 are 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper
Penies minted 1944 - 1982 are 95% copper 5% zinc
Pennies minted in 1943 are made of zinc plated steel, which is mostly iron, with small amounts of carbon and, of course, zinc.

Therefore, you can use differnt pennies to represent zinc, copper, and iron in an element collection.

Another interesting fact: nickels are only 25% nickel, the balance is copper. Maybe they should be called "coppers" instead of nickels.
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: What can you buy for a penny?   Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:24 pm

Pure copper is now 2.45 a pound at recycling junk yards. That is clean copper, mind you.

I remember when cast iron was sold for enough to buy something.

This thread had brought me back to Dick Stodghill and to all the five and dimes and to Carol and the Evening in Paris Parfume.

I thought the other day that the Dollar Stores have tried to take the place of the five and dime but they cannot. All the little stuff you could get then is not the same now and is form China or elsewhere. Back in the hayday of the five and dime, it was a lovely smorgassboard of stuff, bejeweled and decked out in sparkles, littlle metal replica's of trains that the engine was a pencil sharpener, little paper mache dolls with painted eyes, lovely hankerchiefs. and the crystal glasses are now collector pieces. 10 cents a piece.

Back then, 25 cents would buy a loaf of bread and a nickle would buy a candy bar......five pop bottles for a candy bar. Junk was Good!

Thanks for the memories.

Love,
Betty
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