If you have piles of loose change stashed away in every one of your handbags and purses, then the time has come to dig up your hoard!

You have just one week remaining to spend your old £1 coins before businesses can refuse to accept them.

From 16 October the round £1 will no longer be legal tender after its new 12-sided replacement came into supply earlier this year.

The 12-sided coin was introduced by the Royal Mint in an effort to lower the number of counterfeit pound coins. One in 30 were thought to be fake!

The new coins however are thought to be ‘thee most secure’ in the world according to the Royal Mint.

The Bank of England has previously informed retailers that after that date, they are: “Under no obligation to accept the round £1 coin from customers and [they] should no longer distribute the round £1 coin”.

Money saving expert Martin Lewis suggests spending the old pound coins while you can if you want to avoid the hassle of bagging them up and going to the bank.

He said: “It’s all too easy to squirrel away money in piggy banks and forget about it.

“Carting a bag of coins to the bank is a real faff – particularly if there isn’t a branch near you. So it’s much better to spend them now.”

Now that is financial advice we can get behind!

Places to look for old £1 coins…

  • Pockets of coats, inside and out!
  • Old bags and purses
  • Down the back of your sofa
  • In bedside draws and cabinets
  • Old money boxes
  • Your current purse/wallet (check all the different compartments)
  • Car glove compartment
  • Gym bag

Approximately 1.2 billion coins have already been returned but an estimated 500 million are still in circulation.

Some retailers are struggling to update their machines to accept the new coins. Sainsbury’s and Tesco said that some of its trolleys at convenience and express stores were not accepting the new coins but would do soon.

Transport for London said 27 of its machines at London Overground stations do not accept the new coins.

Budget retailer Poundland has said more than 850 of its UK stores will accept the old coins until 31st October. The store chain’s trading director Brian Williams told the Telegraph this decision was a ‘no brainer’.

He said: “Providing an extra convenience for shoppers to lighten their pockets while doing the weekly shop, rather than making a separate trip to the bank or post office, will come as good news.”

Other money news…

You can no longer use paper £5 notes!

From 5 May the paper £5 notes ceased being legal tender. They can still be deposited at the Post Office or at any main UK banks so don’t panic, your paper notes aren’t quite monopoly money yet!

A Lloyds Banking Group spokesman said: “We’ll continue to accept them from our customers, either exchanging them for the new polymer note, or depositing it into their account, whichever they prefer.”