The national coin shortage caused by the pandemic is getting worse.
As a result, Kroger has instituted a new "no coins" policy when it comes to handing back change at the register.
But some shoppers are not sure they are happy with it.
Sandra Senner, who shops at Kroger's Beckett Crossing store in West Chester, said she would want to receive actual change when paying for groceries.
"I think when people come in with money and they don't get change, it's bad. I don't want that to happen to me."
Dan Puckett said he was shocked to see signs at the register stating that the store is no longer handling coins and that he would not get his 80 cents in change.
"The cashier said if you use your Kroger Plus Card, and you pay with cash, you will get no change back," Puckett said.
Puckett was not happy that Kroger wants to put his change onto his card to be used toward a future purchase.
"Even though it is a small amount of money, it can add up," he said. "And that didn't fly with me."
Puckett said he doesn't think grocery stores should be acting like a bank.
He also wonders why there is no shortage of paper money, just coins (coin shops believe people are saving coins at home, worried about the risk of pocket change carrying the virus).
Why stores are changing policy
Kroger spokeswoman Erin Rolfes said this is only a temporary move due to the coin shortage, and Kroger is not profiting from the policy.
In fact, the store suggests shoppers apply the money to charity.
"Coin change from cash transactions will be applied to our customers' loyalty cards, then automatically used on their next purchase. But we always encourage our customers to round up to support our Zero Hunger foundation," Rolfes said in a statment.
In this time of COVID-19, however, other shoppers told us they are OK with the policy, saying they try not to touch coins at all.
"We try to avoid them," a shopper said, "so if we get handed coins, we just tell them to keep them."
When will it end?
Just like with other pandemic shortages, coins may be in short supply until shopper habits go back to normal.
As always, don't waste your money.
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