Count Out Change

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Before calculators and before the computerized cash registers, people actually had to count out change by themselves. Counting backwards ensures the return of accurate change. It is also important to count this way in your own mind when someone is giving you change from a purchase. If you do not know how to give or receive change from a large bill, you will never be sure that you were given the correct amount, or if the other person might have made an error or tried to cheat you. It is not difficult to do and is quite an easy and accurate method of counting change out.

Give change without using any math, except counting.
Note that there is no need to add, subtract or multiply.
Understand that if you are handed a large bill, for a smaller purchase amount that you always count forwards from the purchase amount.
Start counting with the smallest change, to the highest bill, until you reach the total amount you are make change for.

Hand Out Change

  1. Say that the purchase was for $5.22. The customer hands you $10.00. Immediately think, 5.22 out of ten.
  2. Count to yourself.....starting from the purchase amount with the change.
    • Start with each penny and one at a time say, 23 cents, 24 cents, 25 cents. Then take a nickel and say 30 cents a dime and say 40 cents then another dime say 50 cents, then take two quarters (50 cents) and say 6 Dollars.
    • Taking out one dollar bills, one at a time, say 7 dollars, 8 dollars. 9 dollars, 10 dollars.

  3. Notice that you have just counted forwards from the purchase amount to reach the 10.00 that was handed to you.
  4. Understand that if they had handed you $20.00, you would give them another $10.00, and you would say, "and 10 is 20 dollars".

  • Being proficient in math is not required to be a good cashier. You are not adding, only counting.
  • The same method is used when someone hands you back change. Start with the small change and count up to the total.
  • Practice this by getting a lot of pennies, nickels, dimes and use monopoly money if you do not have bills. Then make believe you are buying for different amounts, and count backwards, until you learn to do this easily and fast.


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