Instead of minting as many new pennies, begin a gradual phase out of the penny as it costs more to mint than the coin is actually "worth". Take a clue from the UK and consider minting two cent pieces. This could reduce the cost per coin to mint, perhaps even to or below break even point. To make change of a dime, a two cent piece can be used to make change in even increments ($.02, $.04, $.06, $.08) as well as with a nickel to make $.07 and $.09; cents would only be "absolutely needed" to make $.01 and $.03 fractional change.
Idea No. 562