For any cheapskate, change collecting is a must. To begin, search your house for loose specie. Pockets, purses, and drawers are common places to find spare change. Under, behind, and within furniture is also a good place to check (as is the washer, dryer, and vacuum). When searching for money in public, the obvious places like drive-thru windows, self-service checkouts, and vending machines are good places to start. However, money can also be found in more unusual places. Cigarette packs, folded up receipts, and envelopes should always be checked, just in case there’s a hidden treat inside. It is also wise to check used scratch cards. On rare occasions, people throw away a winning ticket, believing in their mind that it was a dud.
Bars and nightclubs are also great places to search — especially in countries which large coin denominations. Just keep your head down and your eyes on the ground, you’ll be bound to find at least a bit of spare change.
Metal detecting, and the more dubious practice of dowsing, are definitely worth a try. Use your metal detector at old homesteads and search around trees, rocks, or landmarks of any kind for buried caches. Look basically anywhere people exchange money or riffle through their pockets (i.e. car parks or gutters). Under bleachers and behind park benches are good places to search, as loose change tends to fall like rain from people’s pockets as they sit. Movie theaters are even more lucrative because the dim lighting and reclining seats. If you live near a ski slope, detect under the chairlifts for dropped cell phones, Go-Pros, jewelry, or any other valuable that became swallowed up by the previous winter’s snow. On a similar vein, check the thawed piles of plowed snow that accumulate in parking lots as well as the vacuum trailings at car washes, people accidentally drop or suck up valuables all the time when exiting, entering, and vacuuming their vehicles. Old ghost towns and garbage heaps can sometimes be lucrative, but there are usually heaps of scrap metal and numerous pull-tabs that you must deal with.
Beaches (as well as playgrounds and sandy volleyball courts) are perfect for metal detecting. Not only is sand incredibly easy to dig and sift through, but people loose things in it all the time. When it comes to beaches, wait for low tide and your search area will expand dramatically.
While you’re out scanning for buried treasure, keep your eyes peeled for other valuables such as arrowheads, fossils, gems, and even gold! If done right, prospecting for gold can earn you a pretty penny. Most people begin by panning for gold in rivers and streams, but more experienced gold hunters use manual or battery-powered sluice boxes. When prospecting in rivers or dry river beds, look for bends in the stream where the water takes sharp turns, as this is often where the gold (which is denser than water) settles — along with black sand.
Thrift stores and estate sales are good places to find the occasional cash hoard. Sometimes, money can be found inside picture frames, within hollow curtain poles and bedsteads, or underneath large clocks or heavy ornaments. People also like to hide money in battery components (such as the ones in cell phones), books, and old, unused, shoes.
Peak around the wallet and purse section at local thrift stores, you can sometimes find money or credit cards that were left behind by the original owner.