I never spent my change in the US. Only the quarters were used for anything, and that was just the laundry machine. The pennies, nickels, and dimes just piled up in little containers I set aside for each of them. Then I rolled them up and took them in to the bank in exchange for "real money" - paper, of course.
Learning to spend even just the 1 and 2 Euro coins was a big change for someone used to dumping it all at the end of every day. It took a few more months to start spending the 50, 20, and 10 cent coins too. But the copper - 5, 2, and 1 cent coins - is still building up on my bedroom windowsill, while every day in the store the cashiers want to know if I have exact change instead of that 5 EUR bill I'm about to hand them. The last 5 people before me paid, painstakingly, in exact change, and now it's my turn. I really need to get this process down. First, how to store the change? A coin purse? I don't want to replace my wallet, but it's of the small American variety, and has no coin pouch like the German wallets I always see. Then, I will have to start finding the prices of things I buy so I can count up my exact change before I get to the front of the line and back everyone up sifting through all those little coins. Maybe this is why tax is already included in German prices.
Blogger seems slow this evening and I am short on time again, but I swear the other topics I mentioned will soon be addressed, in addition to some info on finding a doctor!