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Don't Bust The Budget This Holiday Season

Instead of Cutting Back to Purchase Holiday Gifts, Pouring Loose Change and Cashing in Unused Gift Cards Can Help Bridge the Gap

BELLEVUE, Wash.Nov. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As the holiday season draws near, the secret for American consumers trying to stay on budget could be hiding in their coin jars, wallets and cup holders, according to a new holiday shopping survey released today by Coinstar. The survey revealed that 66 percent of Americans shopping for holiday gifts go over budget, typically by an average of $116. Parents fare even worse: 78 percent of respondents with children are especially vulnerable to busting the budget.

Don’t bust the budget this holiday season! Consider Coinstar and Coinstar Exchange to get the most out of all your money.

While 74 percent of holiday gift givers cut back on indulgences like eating out (53 percent) and entertainment (52 percent) to ensure they can check everyone off their holiday gift list, Americans likely have more cash available than they think. In fact, 85 percent of survey respondents report that they have spare change lying around, while 58 percent are holding at least one gift card, with an average of four, in their possession right now.

"The holidays are meant to be a time of joy and celebration, but one thing is certain: We can all use a little extra cash this time of year – for gift giving, holiday meal planning or donating to charity," said Jim Gaherity, president of Coinstar. "Fortunately for many consumers, extra money is hiding all around – whether it is in the form of coins or gift cards they may never use. Our kiosks give people a way to boost their holiday budgets by converting coins and gift cards into cash so they don't have to scale back on other spending."

Find All Your Money
Taking advantage of hidden money can help bridge the gap between what consumers actually spend and the money they set aside for holiday shopping. Coinstar can help consumers maximize their budgets this holiday with two options:

  • The big green Coinstar® kiosks make it simple for consumers to convert coins to cash or no fee eCertificates, and
  • New, bright yellow CoinstarTM Exchange kiosks, now available in select markets, let consumers instantly exchange unused or partially used gift cards for cash.

While survey respondents who have spare change lying around estimate they have just under $21 in coins, Coinstar's own nationwide kiosk data indicates customers cash in an average of $58 when they convert their coins to no fee eCertificates – nearly three times what survey respondents believed they had.

Get the Most Out of All Your Money:

  • Control it with cash. The need to get holiday spending under control might explain why 50 percent of holiday gift givers usually pay for most or all of their presents with cash.
  • Coins are money, too. While 85 percent of Americans report that they have spare change lying around, 86 percent of survey respondents would not feel comfortable buying holiday gifts with just coins.
  • Gift card collectors. More than half (58 percent) of Americans are holding at least one gift card and many of these gift cards might be lying around for some time before they get used. In fact, 48 percent of Americans admit that when they receive gift cards they wait to use them or never use them at all.
  • Money going to waste. Many people look for ways to ensure that they can get gifts for everyone on their list, but only 12 percent sell gift cards to help stretch their budget. That still leaves a lot of money – more than $1 billion in gift cards goes unredeemed annually1 – that could be used to bolster holiday budgets.

To learn more or locate the nearest Coinstar and Coinstar Exchange kiosks, go  For additional survey findings or to request high-resolution images, b-roll of Coinstar or Coinstar Exchange kiosks or a holiday infographic, please contact

*Methodology Note: The Coinstar Holiday Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between October 1 and October 7, 2014, and polled 1,062 nationally representative Americans aged 18 and older.

About Coinstar
Coinstar, an Outerwall Inc. (Nasdaq: OUTR) brand, owns and operates the only multi-national, fully automated network of self-service coin-counting kiosks. With 20,220 coin-counting locations in the United StatesCanadaPuerto RicoIreland and the United Kingdom, Coinstar processes more than $3 billion in coins annually. Coinstar makes it simple for consumers to convert coins to cash, no fee eCertificates or to easily donate coins to charity right from the kiosk with the Coins that Count™ program. Coinstar also operates Coinstar Exchange, a new network of gift card-exchange kiosks that let consumers instantly exchange unused or partially used gift cards for cash. For more information on Coinstar or Coinstar Exchange, please visit and for information on Outerwall Inc., please visit

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1 CEB TowerGroup, "Gift Cards State of the Union 2013," Dec. 2, 2013

SOURCE Outerwall Inc.

Lynsey Kehrli, Edelman for Coinstar, (206) 664-7815 direct,