Collect Loose Change
In the hunt for a quick money, coins should be your new best friend. Those nickels and dimes trapped in your couch cushions and jeans pockets are worth something. By one estimate, the average U.S. household contains $90 in loose coinage [source: Lipka]. Other smart places to check: bottom of the washing machine, under car seats, car glove compartment or armrest, pockets of seldom-used coats and pants, and of course, your children's piggy banks (last resort).
Once you've collected your treasure, you can either spend it as is -- and risk dirty looks from cashiers when you buy $20 of groceries with nickels -- or convert it into cash. Many banks will still give you empty coin rolls that you can fill and redeem for free, or you can use those green Coinstar machines. Note that the machine charges a fee -- 9.8 cents per dollar in the U.S. -- unless you have the money placed on a gift card with one of Coinstar's partners like Amazon, Old Navy and Starbucks [source: Coinstar].