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If you are like most people, you probably have a lot of Euro coins laying about in drawers, bowls, handbags, coat pockets, piggy banks, under sofa cushions, etc. With all good intentions, you are expecting to use them one day... either to pay parking meters or take to a bank to cash in. But when was the last time you did just that? If the answer is never, then you will be delighted with the EuroCycleur machines dotted about across the border in France.

These machines are wonderful! All you need to do is take your coins, dump them in the machine, and hey presto... out comes a voucher to use at the accompanying supermarket. You can look up addresses at this link but we know for sure there are two in the area we have seen with our own eyes. Carrefour Poterie Ferney-Voltaire and Migros Thoiry. Some other markets such as Migros Etrembières, Carrefour, Leclerc, Cora, Intermarché, Super U - Hyper U, Brico Leclerc, and Géant Casino are also offering this service.

The supermarkets are charged a fee for this machine but you, as the client, are not. The only criteria is that you must use your voucher for the supermarket where the machine is located. The voucher is valid for 2 days from the date you print it out and you must use the entire voucher at once. No change is given for purchases where the price is less than the voucher. You must also only use this at a cashier and not at the self check-out counters.

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These machines were invented in 2005 by a French start-up but in 2018 the concept was taken over by Coinstar and has now gone nationwide all over France.

At Migros Thoiry (located at the exit of the self check-out area next to the photo booth), we took a small coin purse filled and dumped in the slot as shown in the photos.

The machine accepts all coins (€2, €1, and centime pieces of 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and even 1 centime coins). A few coins didn't agree with the machine and were rejected but we didn't insist. However, we were thrilled to print out the voucher for €23.65! It did feel like we had won the money even though it belonged to us anyways!

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The machine counts how many of each coin so you can see that we had 26 of the twenty centime coin and 22 of the ten centime coin... even 4 of the one centime coin! It was very interesting to see how many of each. 

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Once we were finished we pushed the yellow button to get the print-out.

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I think I have a piggy bank somewhere and now am eager to crack it open... maybe it will cover a bottle of champagne? Who knows? But I encourage each of you to get rummaging.

I will be looking forward to the same kind of machine that will translate my Swiss coins to vouchers too but there are no plans for this at the moment.