I wasn’t sure where to file this, but I guess “Frugal Living” will do. That’s mainly because I do not equate frugal with cheap or stingy. Frugal to me means living simply and doing smart things with your money, not stealing or stiffing people working hard.
As suggested by a reader, I thought I’d go over my thoughts on tipping. First, there are a bunch of websites that offer tipping guidelines, such as Tipping.org and this one and this one.
I’ll break it down by situation:
Waiter-involved – 10% for horrible service. I never completely stiff waiters. Hey, I’ve been there. Bad waiters usually don’t last anyways.
15-20% for average service, I usually just double the tax and round up to the next dollar
20%+ – you did something I’ll remember, or I’ll be back multiple times at this place.
Buffet – 5-10% of bill. At least $1 per person.
Counter-service – Usually nada, those tip jars are annoying. Only if I’ve been there so many times that you know me. I used to go all the time to a place and tipped occassionally. They’d give me a double order every time I got fries. Too bad I moved.
Usually about 15%. Of course these days you basically can’t tip less than a dollar every time you look at the bartender. So if it’s happy hour and drinks are cheap, I only buy whole rounds for everyone and tip accordingly. It’s simply more economical! =) Then hopefully someone will reciprocate. After about 5-6 rounds if you tipped well you’ll usually get another one coming your way for free.
( Tip: This works awesome at casinos if you want to get lots of drinks, or just want to try a lot of different ones. If all your buddies are at a table, every time the cocktail waitress comes by, everyone orders a drink, preferrable the same one (ex. Bud or screwdrivers). Then tip her $2 to $5 depending on how nice your casino is and how busy it is.) Basically let her know, every time she comes by, she’s looking at $5 easy money. And if you order everyone the same drink, it’s easy on her, and easy on the bartender. You’ll be getting drink service like clockwork! )
Valet Parking – $1 to $2 per car, given to the guy (never seen a female valet – why is that?) who retrieves it. Tipping the guy who parks it can get your car closer to the entrance, if you tip enough.
Taxi ? 10% to 15%, rounding up to nearest dollar.
Limos ? never been in one in my life. According to others, 15% to 20%.
Ok, this is getting long. Next time: Airports, Hotels, Sporting events, Salons/Spas, etc.
(This is continued in Tipping guidelines: How much do you give? (Part 2))