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Going shopping? Don’t get shortchanged

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Remember when stores ran out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and face masks? Well, now COVID-19 is cause for a new shortage: coins. Because of business shutdowns and social distancing, people have been spending cash at stores or restaurants at record low levels. Adding to the shortage, the U.S. Mint has slowed down coin production for a few months to keep employees safe from COVID-19. Now, some businesses are running low on coins and not offering change.

Here are some tips to avoid losing money next time you go out shopping.

  • If you plan on paying in cash when shopping, bring coins from home so you can pay in exact change, if you can.
  • If you’re short on change and the store doesn’t have it, ask the cashier if they can offer you store credit or can donate the leftover to charity, which more stores are starting to offer. Or, pay using a credit or debit card — or by check, if accepted by the store.
  • If a store doesn’t offer change, it should clearly state or display this policy. If you find a store that’s intentionally misleading or deceptive about this policy, report it to your state attorney general.

To learn more about consumer protection issues related to COVID-19, check out for the latest updates.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


If you use coin-operated laundries and don't want to get into smartphone money "app-ing," your bank or credit union may have $10 rolls of quarters

I am a retailer and i changed the prices that make it even after tax.For example 0.99 makes $ 1.06 after tax and i changed it to 0.94 and make $ 1.00 after tax.Like this every retailer can help in coins shortage.

Great idea! I wish more would do this.

you can also purchase a store gift card. I carry one in my wallet for small purchases, use a cash back card for larger purchases.

Job well done!
Thank you FTC Consumer Information for keeping us updated And safe with all the issues we are faced with from day to day.


I think your changing prices is excellent. I hope all retailers will adopt that idea at least until the pandemic is over.

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