April 13, 2007


You don't need the register to tell you how much change a customer is due. Just use this simple technique:

  • Start with the total for the bill -- $3.06, for example:
  • Put pennies into your hand, adding them to the total, until you come up with an even nickel amount. Four pennies gets you to $3.10;
  • Add nickels and/or dimes until you get to an even quarter amount. $3.10 plus a dime and a nickel brings you to $3.25;
  • Add quarters until you reach an even dollar amount. $3.25 plus three quarters is $4;
  • Add bills, starting with ones, until your total equals the bill the customer game you. Four dollars plus a single makes the total $5; adding a five makes it $10; adding a ten makes it $20.
If the customer owed you $3.06 and gave you a twenty dollar bill, you'll hand them 4 pennies, a dime, a nickel, three quarters, a one dollar bill, a five dollar bill and a ten dollar bill. Their change is $16.94. With practice, this is as fast as just pulling out how much the register tells you to, and it is a lifesaver if you accidentally ring a customer as having presented exact change when they didn't. And if you announce your calculations aloud as you make them, the customer won't feel the need to count his change for verification.

Posted by Matthew at April 13, 2007 7:52 AM