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Easy way to change large euro notes

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I take out cash from the ATMs from time to time; usually fairly large amount and then use as needed.  But it sometimes feels 'awkward' handing over a 50 euro note for a fairly small purchase.   Last week I used an express automaated check-out in our local supermarket - first time here in France. Didn't use before now because I thought one needed one of the supermarkets' loyalty cards.   Or credit card - but silly to use UK credit card for small purchases.

I have discovered that I was wrong (unheard of !!).  I needed a tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush - and there were long queues at checkout.  Went to customer services trying to 'jump the queue' in an attempt to pay for items at that counter.  No luck - was told to use express check-out.   So thought I'd go and look.  Worked out what to do, with help from assistant, and paid for 2 small items costing just over 10 euros, put in my 50 euro note - and received in change - several small denomination notes - and cash.......

Bingo - I've discovered how to get large notes exchanged, how to have several 2 euro coins (for tips for delivery drivers etc) - all very easy.   Cross with myself for not thinking of this - or trying - before now.   Don't like express checkouts, prefer to have a bit of a chat with real person at the till - but if I need large notes changing in future - then will remember this 'trick'.



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Many years ago we came off the A10 near Niort and went through the cash/cards only line,   the personned (see what I did there) kiosk having closed some months before.    Mrs W was driving (right hand drive) so I was in the passenger seat battling the machine.    Put in a €50 note and - with much triumphant clattering - about 37 euros worth of one euro coins piled up in the sick-bowl provided for the purpose.    Mrs W had placed the car conveniently close to the machine to carry out the transaction,    but this positioning rendered picking up the coins both difficult (question of angles) and time consuming.    Inevitably I dropped several trying to scoop them up,   and then found I couldn't open the door because we were so close to the machine.    Thankfully there was only one car behind us,   but he was adamant that he wasn't going to reverse to give us room to manoeuvre away from the machine.    We couldn't go forward because the boom risked coming down again,   and the car behind then immediately taking our place and making crawling about on the ground difficult.  

In the end the man behind backed - with very bad grace - and I was able to get out of the car and grovel. 

Is there a limit on the size of note usable at a supermarket self-checkout?

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