Would You Like Your Change? Well, Ugh, Yes… Metropolitan Market

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    It’s happened twice now at Metropolitan Market. I have always found it distasteful for a cashier to ask me after a transaction if I would like my change. I find it unusually distasteful coming from cashiers at a grocery store. Is this the new normal that we are supposed to accept? Is my hard earned dollars and cents less worthy at some stores? If I were a business owner, would I want my business being represented as a change skimming storefront? Do they not reconcile the till at the end of their shift?

    I find it appalling. Yes, I want my change, thank you.



    That’s weird. The only time I’d expect that question to be asked at a grocery, or other type of store is when they are taking donations for a cause, and only for a set time, and the reason for asking would be given.




    Bizarre – and inappropriate.



    It’s possible that enough people have started saying, “No thanks, just keep it,” that they’ve started asking. I often decline my coin change; it’s not worth the trouble it takes to deal with it, and since I use cash so rarely anyway, it’s a bit pointless to carry all that heavy, nearly worthless metal.

    I would prefer to donate it, though, if there’s a box nearby for a good charity (although it begs the question: does it actually cost a charity more money than it’s worth to deal with a ten-pound box of loose change that might be worth $30?) I’ll give it as part of a tip too, but only along with some real folding money.

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could just eliminate coin change altogether!



    Hmmm… “nearly worthless metal.”



    lallen – Hmm since it is worthless to you. I’d suggest saving it in a jar and donating it to a charity on say a monthly basis. I’m sure it would be valuable to them! You might be surprised how quickly loose change adds up.



    @22blades…I as you wonder don’t they have to reconcile their till???

    we put our change in a bowl and when it’s full we turn it into one of those coin star machines and get a Starbucks card…yum



    There’s a store across the street where your hard earned dollars will go farther and they always give you your change.



    Dear lallen…if you’d like, I would be glad to take all that worthless heavy metal off your hands. I have a personal relationship with Coin Star. :)



    also…do you have any idea how much a food bank can get for that 30 bucks in a jar? Good grief…it’s money that you might not care about, but, boy, it adds up for people who have less than you.



    Meanwhile, back at the register…

    I sense a disconnect of our values. The disconnect between our fruits of labor (if you’re an employee) or man-hours (if your an employer). They say time is money but we don’t make the connection between true earnings or cost with our actions. There’s big money in “little” cents; just ask how the internet “industry” monetizes their products. 99 cent apps. The meager click count for ad revenue. The guy who brought to mass market, the hot beverage sleeve (I met him!). There’s big money in cents, but we either don’t see it or, worse yet, value it.

    Think if every employee had to stay another 15 minutes after work to reconcile the man-hour value of not reconciling their till. I don’t know about you, but I don’t work for free. Every penny.



    I work in a seasonal store that caters to children and am always surprised at the number of people that don’t want their change. We use it for the kids that come in without an adult and don’t have enough money (they never think about the sales tax) and if there’s any left at the end of the season it’s donated to charity.


    Wes C. Addle

    Strange. I go there all the time and have never been asked that. There are the occasions when they’ll ask if you want to round up for a charity or Disaster relief or something. Never have I been asked to donate physical monies though.



    For those of you who addressed me directly: as I said pretty clearly in my post, I would rather drop my change in one of those little clear boxes for charity. If not, I’d rather not deal with it. I’ve never been asked at Met Market if I wanted my change, but I have on a couple of occasions told them to keep it.

    For me, giving up my coin change probably amounts to me losing less than two or three dollars each month. As I also stated fairly clearly, I rarely use cash. Yes, I will pay a $3 a month fee to *not* have to carry loose change or drive to the Coinstar machine!

    It’s totally worth it to me. I grew up in a family of Depression-era hoarders who would spend $10 worth of gas and three hours driving across town to buy toilet paper in bulk, just to save $2. It made no economic sense- “penny wise, pound foolish,” basically, but you couldn’t tell them that- and so I got into the habit of actually placing a monetary value on certain small, seemingly sensible acts. Saving change is one that just doesn’t add up…at least for me.



    ” If not, I’d rather not deal with it.” I think you still don’t understand some of the replies. My depression era dad would throw his cane at you.

    Look, I don’t care how you handle your money, but how I handle my money is my business. Not the cashier’s. The issue is having to ask for what’s due to me. I shouldn’t have to. The issue is about a quiet lowering of the bar for etiquette. The issue is about maybe I’m just a grumpy old man. ;-)



    i too grew up with a depression era parent who was penny foolish in many of her choices.. and as a result i grew up to be the woman who could survive a natural disaster with her well stocked pantry.. restocked by sales at the market i visit that day for other purchases… i literally don’t leave the store without checking the sales and the managers close out bin.
    I get it.

    i also get that change adds up.. which is why i contribute to change jars by cash registers whether they are charity driven or not… but.. that change hits my palm first.. because I think it should.

    i wish more stores had jars or cups or whatever next to their tills because what i carry home from those that don’t weighs heavily on my shoulders.. and quickly accumulates in the change jar..

    we are doing well financially right now… but i have never forgotten the times when that change jar was literally the difference between eating.. and not. When it’s full it serves that purpose.. for someone else.. and i start over.

    i think i have found a balance between my parent’s foolishness and gifting the local merchant with additional and unexpected profit… but it is my balance.

    if yours works for you.. it works for you.



    blades: I’m curious, was it the same cashier both times? I agree with anonyme… bizarre but I’m wondering if it’s not some rogue employee who’s found an easy passive stream of income and nothing to do with how MM has asked cashier’s to respond. Easy to reconcile the till if it just goes in their pocket instead of yours.

    I too always want my change although my husband can’t be bothered with it like lallen — he hates it jingling in his pocket and always hands it over to me to “hold”. And I do, happily… put it in my change jar to fill my kids’ piggy banks that then go into their savings accounts.



    I do agree with you all: they probably shouldn’t ask someone that. It is a bit rude and intrusive, if nothing else. It’s never happened to me, but again, I don’t pay with cash often at all.

    It’s funny how something like pocket change can get turned into an ideological issue, isn’t it? It’s also sort of refreshing to have a reasonably reasonable debate about something that is as arguably trivial as a few cents. :-)

    I truly don’t mean to be insulting. I also had a change jar for years. Some tiny part of me enjoyed getting change to add to it, and it was certainly satisfying to see it add up. My financially savvy husband taught me something when we married, though: put everything on a credit card and pay it off at the end of the month. When your credit rating goes way up, the 2.5% you save on your mortgage will be worth more than all the change jars you could accumulate in a lifetime.

    I guess that’s what I mean by learning to shift my attention from small, relatively unimportant things like change to things would have a greater impact on my financial life. Nobody has unlimited attention, and using it up on tiny stuff often means the larger picture goes unseen. It was a profound financial lesson for me, one my penny-saving family was never able to teach.

    I honestly wish I’d known how to do this sooner. Sometimes I want to start a club for mentoring young women on *real* healthy lifestyle behavior. “Pamper yourself! Start a Roth IRA!” “Empower Yourself: Understand Compound Interest!”

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by lallen.


    jissy, It was not the same person. If it were, I would consider it just an individual staff issue. The reason I bring this topic up is that not only at Metro’ do I see it, but elsewhere too. I’ve had baristas take my change and toss into to tip jar without batting an eye (Buckstar no less). I guess my post is about the practice as much as Metro’. For me, it’s about service, courtesy and respect for OTHER people’s patronage and money, however small. It’s not about the nuisance of the sound of money.

    lallen: it’s really not about the change…

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by 22blades.


    22blades, that event you described at buckstar would have made my blood boil and had me asking for a manager or contacting corporate. I always tip my baristas but that is my choice not theirs. As for Met, I’ve not noticed what you describe but I’ll start paying more attention.

    Finally, lallen … what a great idea to start a club offering financial mentoring to young folks I’d do it except I’m justadumbguy which makes me not such a good source.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by justadumbguy.


    lallen, I have to agree with not-so-dumb, above. Your last paragraph was brilliant. “Pampering” involves an activity that creates comfort, reassurance, and stability. An IRA will help to accomplish that – a manicure will not.

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