Let's be perfectly clear: The penny is not going away — at least not yet.

A House Subcommittee met in Washington last week to discuss the high cost of making our spare change. Last year alone, the U.S. Mint lost — that's right, lost — $105 million just producing pennies and nickels.

According to the Mint, it costs 1.8 cents to make a penny, and 9.4 cents to make a nickel. Those are the only U.S. coins that cost more than face value to make, and that has revived the debate over keeping them in circulation.

At the Salty Dog Lunch Spot in Flagler Beach, it's cash only, and Tim McCarthy would love it if the penny and nickel were retired.

"I have no use for them, really," said McCarthy, adding, "and I've never won on a scratch-off ticket with a nickel, either!"

Down the street from the Salty Dog sits Vic's Airbrushing Shop, whose owner, Vic Clontz, is no fan of the penny.

"I don't think doing away with the penny would bother me very much," says Clontz. "I think it's due and should be done."

But when it comes to the nickel, Clontz wants a little more information, "to see if it's really something they should do," he explains.

Clontz, along with most of the business owners we spoke with Monday in Flagler County, think customers would have no problem seeing prices rounded up a penny or two.

But do away with the nickel, and you may see prices round up to the nearest dime. That's the kind of "nickel-and-diming" Clontz thinks customers would protest.

So, how did we get to this point? In 1965, the U.S. Mint actually changed the makeup of most of our change, going from higher-priced silver to the lower cost of copper. Today, copper prices are skyrocketing, and that has the Mint looking at new alternatives to the copper base in our change.

The Mint is actually investigating a possible zinc-steel combination for the nickel. But as for the penny, not much more can be done to reduce their production costs.

Over the last few years, many countries such as Canada and Great Britain have phased out their smallest coin denominations.

Here in the U.S., part of President Barack Obama's 2015 budget calls for the development of alternatives to the penny and nickel.