Pennies are so useless as legal tender that there’s genuine debate about whether we should even keep them around. It wastes energy and resources to produce them, they’re disproportionately costly to make (1.7 cents per one-cent coin!), and there’s not a vending machine on Earth that will take them. A lot of people reportedly just throw them away. But they’re still minting the little suckers, for now, so you might as well make them justify their expensive existence. Which means you could dump them in the Coinstar machine … or you could use them to make an awesome, cost-effective copper flooring that is, excuse me, really money.

The image above has been going around the internet without any damn attribution, so please let me know if you’re the originator, but it might have started on the homesteading Facebook page, which posted it with the suggestion to ask hardware stores for the best clear resin to use on top. The Standard Grill in New York also has a floor of pennies, which they say used about $2.50 per square foot — comparable to linoleum. Here’s a slightly cheaty way of doing it, by making individual penny tiles. Those folks said their floor took about 40,000 pennies — $400 for the entire kitchen, plus glue and the stuff they’re using as backing.

Or, if you don’t have the patience for an entire floor, you could always just do your counter. This one’s made of pennies with epoxy poured on top — the epoxy brought the price up to about $7.50 per square foot, still way cheaper than tile — and the maker has put step-by-step instructions up on

The countertop instructions include cutting the pennies to make a smooth edge, which is of dubious legality, but let’s be honest — even the Mint hates these things. Probably nobody more than the Mint, since they’re the ones spending 1.7 cents to make each one. Chances are they will turn a blind eye to your coin-clipping behaviors.