Change Due

Change is the money a customer receives back when they have made a purchase. Often the customer gives the merchant more money than the amount due because the customer may not have the exact coins and bills that are needed. The merchant determines how much extra was paid and returns the excess which is called change.

How to find the least number of coins to give in change:

  • Determine the total amount of change due.
  • Start with the highest denomination of coins or bills
  • Use as many of this coin as possible without exceeding the amount of change due
  • Repeat this process with the next lowest denomination of coin or bill

Example of making change for purchase of $2.11 and customer paying with a $20.00 bill

  • Determine change due -- $20.00 - $2.11 = $17.89
  • Get one $10 bill but two would be too much -- have $10.00 for change
  • Get one $5 bill but two would be too much -- have $15.00 for change
  • Get two $1 bills but three would be too much -- have $17.00 for change
  • Get 3 quarters but four would be too much -- have $17.75 for change
  • Get 1 dime but two would be too much -- have $17.85 for change
  • Get 0 nickels - even one would be too much -- have $17.85 for change
  • Get 4 pennies - 5 would be too many -- have $17.89 for change
  • Say the original amount before giving any change
  • Count the change from the lowest denomination to the highest denomination
  • The final count should be the same as the amount the customer gave you
  • You should say: "Two eleven" -- before starting to give change back
  • "two twelve, two thirteen, two fourteen, two fifteen" -- as the pennies are given
  • "two twenty-five" -- as the dime is given
  • "two fifty, two seventy-five, three dollars" -- as the quarters are given
  • "four dollars, five dollars" -- as the one dollar bills are given
  • "ten dollars" -- as the five dollar bill is given
  • "And twenty dollars" -- as the ten dollar bill is given

This process accomplishes the following:

  • The customer has the least possible coins in their purse or pocket.
  • The amount of money returned is double checked, when it is gathered and when given to customer.
  • The amount of change due is double checked by counting change.
  • The possibility of a misunderstanding is eliminated.
  • The merchant and the customer are both treated fairly by making sure the change is exact.

Determine the fewest coins needed to make the correct change.

  Ten Dollar Bills
  Five Dollar Bills
  One Dollar Bills