# Creating change with the smallest number of coins

This is a basic algorithm that creates change with the smallest number of coins. How can this be better written? It works perfectly, but I just imagine there is a cleaner and shorter version of this.

const generateCoinChange = cents => {
let quarter = 0;
let dime = 0;
let nickel = 0;
let penny = 0;
let remainingChange = cents;

while (remainingChange >= 25) {
remainingChange -= 25;
quarter++;
}
while (remainingChange >= 10) {
remainingChange -= 10;
dime++;
}
while (remainingChange >= 5) {
remainingChange -= 5;
nickel++;
}
while (remainingChange > 0) {
remainingChange -= 1;
penny++;
}
console.log(Quarters: ${quarter}, Dimes:${dime}, Nickels: ${nickel}, Pennies:${penny})
};
generateCoinChange(94);
generateCoinChange(100);
generateCoinChange(23);


## 5 Answers

So .. you're repeatedly subtracting a number from another number, and seeing how many times you can do that without going negative? There's a word for that: division.

EDIT: Since you want the actual code

const generateCoinChange = cents => {
let quarter = Math.floor(cents/25);
cents -= 25*quarter
let dime = Math.floor(cents/10);
cents -= 10*dime
let nickel = Math.floor(cents/5);
cents -= 5*nickel
let penny = cents;
console.log(Quarters: ${quarter}, Dimes:${dime}, Nickels: ${nickel},Pennies:${penny})
};


You can also do:

 const generateCoinChange = cents => {
let counts = [0,0,0,cents]
let denominations = [25,10,5]
for (i=0,i<3,i++){
counts[i] = Math.floor(counts/denominations[i])
counts -= counts[i]*denominations[i]
}
console.log(Quarters: ${denominations}, Dimes:${denominations}, Nickels: ${denominations}, Pennies:${denominations})
};

• sounds good, write it up. I understand there are many ways to do this, thats why I'm asking to see others solutions – Robert Amato Nov 29 '17 at 0:48
• That looks great! Very clean short and simple to read. I used your second code, but adjusted it just a bit to log counts instead of denominations, and added the penny value! Posted it to answer my question below. Thanks for the help! – Robert Amato Nov 30 '17 at 15:45

## Spend a penny get a warning.

Just for fun a warning not a rigorous answer

### The common approch

Many places have a different system than have removed the smaller coins for convenience. Thus there is a need to round the change to the nearest coin value before doing the calculation. Also you would do the calculation in the actual unit eg dollars not cents, and you don't give counts of coins, you tally and give the total. Eg not "2 tens" but "20 in tens"

The following calculates change in $rounding to the nearest lowest coin and does not work, the logic is sound just the number system that cant. The function will display a warning if it can not balance the books. When dealing with indivisible units using division, be careful. function getChange(sum) { var coins = [100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, 1, 0.5, 0.2, 0.1, 0.05]; var coinIndex = 0; sum = Number((Math.round(sum / coins[coins.length - 1]) * coins[coins.length - 1]).toFixed(2)); log("Change for$" + sum.toFixed(2));
log("-----------------------------");
while (sum > 0 && coinIndex < coins.length) {
const value = coins[coinIndex++];
const coinChange = Number((Math.floor(sum / value) * value).toFixed(2));

if (coinChange) {
log("$" + coinChange + " in$" + value.toFixed(2))
}

sum -= coinChange;
}
if(sum > 0){
log("-----------------------------");
log("Balance $"+sum); log("WARNING WARNING rounding error. What are you doing using doubles for cash!!!!!!"); } } function log(str) { if (str === undefined) { till.innerHTML = ""; return; } var div = document.createElement("div"); div.textContent = str; till.appendChild(div); } function randSpend() { log(); // clear; getChange(Math.random() * 1000); log("-----------------------------"); log("Click to spend more. :) "); }; document.body.addEventListener("click", randSpend); randSpend(); <div id="till"></div> Your code has a structural repetition. The same cycle is written for every coin nomination. What you could do instead is create a coin registry, and use it in a generalized loop. const coins = [ { name: 'quarter', value: 25 }, { name: 'penny', value: 1 }, ]; const coinCount = { }; function generateCoinChange(remainingChange) { let indexOfCoin = 0; while (remainingChange > 0) { const coin = coins[indexOfCoin]; if (remainingChange >= coin.value) { remainingChange -= coin.value; coinCount[coin.name] = coinCount[coin.name] == null ? 1 : coinCount[coin.name] + 1; } else { indexOfCoin++; } } const text = Object.getOwnPropertyNames(coinCount) .map(coinName => coinName + ": " + coinCount[coinName]) .join(, ); console.log(text); } generateCoinChange(123); generateCoinChange(2); generateCoinChange(423);  Notice, you can add more coin types very quickly now. You just need to "register" each coin as one that has a name and a value. Update It is indeed much better to avoid unnecessary loops. I'd still use a "registry" of known coins to keep code generalized: const knownCoins = [ { name: 'quarter', value: 25 }, { name: 'penny', value: 1 }, ]; const coinCount = { }; function generateCoinChange(remainingChange) { let indexOfCoin = 0; while (remainingChange > 0 && indexOfCoin < knownCoins.length) { const coin = knownCoins[indexOfCoin]; const numberOfCoins = Math.floor(remainingChange / coin.value); coinCount[coin.name] = numberOfCoins; remainingChange -= numberOfCoins * coin.value; indexOfCoin++; } const text = Object.getOwnPropertyNames(coinCount) .map(coinName => coinName + ': ' + coinCount[coinName]) .join(, ); console.log(text); }  • Nice looks good! I will go over it a bit, and then go through my code and clean it up. – Robert Amato Nov 28 '17 at 21:52 • @RobertAmato glad you like it. Just please don't change the code in your original question. This is against the rules of this site. – Igor Soloydenko Nov 28 '17 at 21:53 You can do it without any loops using Math.floor() calling a method within scope automatically reducing the remainder in the outer scope by the previous number of coins multiplied by the coin's value, similar to: const generateCoinChange = cents => { let quarter = 0; let dime = 0; let nickel = 0; let penny = 0; let remainingChange = cents; const getNumberOfCoins = (coinValue) => { let numberOfCoins = Math.floor(remainingChange/coinValue); remainingChange = remainingChange - (numberOfCoins * coinValue) return numberOfCoins }; quarter = getNumberOfCoins(25); dime = getNumberOfCoins(10); nickel = getNumberOfCoins(5); penny = getNumberOfCoins(1); console.log(Quarters:${quarter}, Dimes: ${dime}, Nickels:${nickel}, Pennies: ${penny}) }; generateCoinChange(94); generateCoinChange(100); generateCoinChange(23); @Acccumulation here is his second code which I adjusted just a bit to run what I needed. I adjusted it to log counts instead of denominations, and added the penny value! const generateCoinChange = cents => { let counts = [0, 0, 0, 0, cents]; let denominations = [25, 10, 5, 1]; for (let i = 0; i < 4; i++) { counts[i] = Math.floor(counts / denominations[i]) counts -= counts[i] * denominations[i] } console.log(Quarters:${counts}, Dimes: ${counts}, Nickels:${counts}, Pennies: \${counts})
};
generateCoinChange(94)
generateCoinChange(22)
generateCoinChange(175)
generateCoinChange(87)