Should We Keep Pennies?

Every year, more than thirteen million pennies are made in the US. That’s around 35 million pennies per day! Even with so many pennies being produced, they are rarely used. Many people agree that pennies do not benefit anyone. The US should stop producing pennies.

Pennies cost more than they are worth. According to, “Producing the penny costs taxpayers money and adds to the national debt. In 2017, the penny cost 1.82 cents to make and distribute. The actual production is 1.56 cents, admin costs are 0.24 cents, and distribution to Federal Reserve banks costs 0.02 cents. The U.S. Mint made 8.426 billion pennies, costing taxpayers $68.8 million.” Citizens pay the extra money in their taxes. People could save a lot of money, if they didn’t have to pay for something that is practically useless.

There isn’t anything you could buy using a penny. On, it says, “Today, there’s literally nothing you can buy with a single penny – and you can’t do much else with it either. Vending machines don’t accept them, and neither do most parking meters. Even automatic toll booths won’t take them – except in Illinois, the home state of President Abraham Lincoln, whose face adorns the coin.” When they were first introduced, you were able to buy a lot more with a penny than you could now (which is literally nothing). Sure, you could use them when the total cost of an item isn’t a multiple time, but as stated in the next paragraph, that wastes time.

Getting rid of pennies could save a lot of time. On, it states, “Citizens to Retire the U.S. Penny cites a study done by Walgreens and the National Association of Convenience Stores showing that handling pennies adds an average of two seconds to each cash transaction. That doesn’t sound like much, but a 2012 study by three Federal Reserve Banks shows that the average consumer makes 23 cash transactions in a single month – and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 316 million consumers in the country. Add it all up, and it comes to more than 48 million hours wasted each year.” According to this source, searching for pennies waste two seconds per person. That may not seem like that much at first, but when it’s added it up become a ridiculously large number!

If we got rid of pennies, the time that is saved could save everyone’s money. According to, “Rather than drop the practice completely, however, the stores decided to simply round all bills down to the nearest $0.05, since losing a cent or two on most transactions was cheaper than paying clerks to count out pennies.” If there are no pennies, employees won’t have to waste time either waiting for a customer to find them in their purse or to give them out as change. In the time saved, employees could get more work done and earn more money for their business. Since people would complain if prices were rounded up, most stores and restaurants would round down. This saves the customers money. In this case, both sides would win.

The US should stop making pennies.