President Obama's budget says that it costs 2.4 cents to make a penny because copper and assorted raw materials are so expensive now. He wants the Treasury Department to use cheaper materials in order to save money.
President Obama's budget says that it costs 2.4 cents to make a penny because copper and assorted raw materials are so expensive now. He wants the Treasury Department to use cheaper materials in order to save money. - 

This final note today, which comes to us from page 165 of the president's budget the White House released today.

You know that saying "A penny saved is a penny earned"? How 'bout this: A penny made more cheaply can save the government a whole boatload of money.

The president wants Congress to let the Treasury Department use cheaper -- the actual phrase is "more cost-effective" -- materials to mint our coins. It costs, the budget says, 2.4 cents to make a penny because copper and assorted raw materials are so expensive now; 11.2 cents to make a nickel.

Total potential savings? $50 million.

Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal