There is a change in the way City Market will give you change on your purchase.

You may have heard the rumor that, beginning Friday, City Market stores in Grand Junction will not be accepting or giving back change. I spoke with a store manager, and we have confirmation. However, you will still get your money.

The fact is, there is a nationwide coin shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With many businesses closed for several weeks, it slowed the movement of coins in the system. For many weeks, people were shopping less and spending less. On top of that is the fact that the production of coins at the U.S. Mint was reduced because of measures put in place to protect employees during the pandemic.

While the initial reaction may seem like the sky is falling, the ramifications of this policy are not that bad.

For one, this policy applies only to coins, not paper money. For another, it doesn't mean that shoppers can't buy groceries with cash. There will simply be a difference in how the change is dispersed.

There are two different ways of dealing with the issue of change.

The first option is simply to round up your grocery bill to the next dollar for charity, which is not a bad idea.

I've encountered several businesses that give you that option. I always think, why not? It's going to be less than a dollar. I can at least spare that for a worthy cause. I understand that some folks may believe in being charitable but shutter at the idea they are being forced into such a transaction. In this case, when you round up your transaction to the next dollar you will be helping the local food bank.

Another option for those who pay for their groceries with cash is to have the change loaded on to your loyalty card as store credit. That way, you still get every penny you have coming to you. While it's probable most City Market shoppers have a value card, anyone who doesn't have one can get one free of charge.

Obviously, this new policy does not affect shoppers who buy with a credit or debit card. I would be shocked if I heard the news that the majority of shoppers aren't using debit and credit cards to pay for their purchases. Most transactions I observe seem to involve plastic. Occasionally I will see someone write out a check, and, yes, there are few folks who just like to deal in cash. But, the fact is, this policy will not affect the majority of shoppers.

Alarmists on social media may ring the bells of panic on this, but there is no reason for it. While the world may or may not be headed for a future cashless society, this action by City Market will have no impact on expediting that process.  There is a coin shortage that is likely affecting other businesses as well, and this, too, shall pass.


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