What’s a quarter worth to you?

Today I went to my local Price Chopper (like an Aldi for those who are familiar with that chain) to pick up a few things. The Price Chopper is very bare bones grocery shopping and because of that fact, you need a quarter to get your shopping cart. It always amazes me how many people will leave their carts in the parking lot, losing that quarter. This phenomenon has also created a group of folks who gather carts for money. While I was at the store today, I saw a gentleman with at least 5 or 6 carts, returning them to the front of the store for his quarters. He then walked around the lot offering to take people’s carriages back for them. He was very smart about it. He generally approached men and people who looked rushed.

He did not approach me. I think I give off the “I’m cheap” vibe. In the short time it took me to put my groceries in the car, this man probably made $2 or $3, a quarter at a time. At that rate, during busy times, he could probably make upwards of $10 an hour in quarters. I have a great amount of respect for this man. I wish others respected quarters as much as he does.

So are you the type of person that would walk back to the store to get your quarter back or would you leave your cart for someone else to pick up for you?  I always walk my cart back to the corral or back to the front of the store anyways. It’s one of my pet peeves when people leave carts all over the parking lot so I can’t find a space. Drives me nuts.