Sunday, June 25, 2006

While ordering a pizza today (Yes, a break from ramen!) and remembering my financial constraints, I decided I needed to be a bit more frugal in my extravagant college student lifestyle. I began thinking about realistic ways to save money. I've already installed energy-saving (and money saving) lights, I always dry the dishes without the heat, I buy ramen all the time, I use my coffee mug if I order coffee from Starbucks. Still, it's not enough. As I continued pondering savings I finally considered, as you can guess by the title, tips as a penitential money saving area. Now, I'm not saying I plan on being super cheap or not tipping at all; however, it has come to my attention that maybe I tip too much.

I investigated further using, what else, google to search for websites detailing proper tipping etiquette. What I found was intriguing. Who knew that tipping was either simple or complex depending on the situation. Take my pizza order, for example. The total meals cost $16.80. Usually I'd round up by three dollars, making it $19.80. However, according to Findalink, that's being slightly generous. Pizza deliveries should only be tipped 15%, but nothing less than two dollars. So, I readjusted my tip, saving 50 cents. As I continued reading on the same website I found more tips. Apparently you should only tip at coffee shops if your feeling extra generous. That's news to me. Usually I tip my change or a dollar when I buy a special drink at a coffee shop. Perhaps I won't tip as much in the future. There are also many other tipping tips that I plan to keep in mind and implement in the future.

On the flipside, I read an article from ABC News reporting the scams related to eating out. While I haven't experienced some of the instances listed in the article, I can certainly agree with one of their tips. Don't piss off your waiter. If you've seen Waiting..., you know exactly what I mean. I still shudder at the thought of the many things your waiter or cook could do to your food. Ugh. According to the article it's better to voice your complaints to the manager. Wish I would've known that when I went to dinner with friends at a local seafood establishment. Maybe then I wouldn't have had to pay gratuity for horrible service; but I have digressed from my original intent.

Finally, I found a website (Fair Tip) fighting for proper tipping at restaurants. As you may or may not know, some restaurants pay their waiters less than minimum wage on the assumption that they'll make up for that deduction through their tips. However, some places cut the wages as low as $2.13/hour, leaving many workers struggling to make up for that deduction. While this website has an obvious bias, it's definitely worth checking out.

Bottom line, I plan to be fair with my tips and not gyp someone for a service they provide. However, I will not tip more than necessary as it's not reasonable for me or my wallet. If I suddenly strike it rich then, perhaps, I'll tip beyond the standard. Until then, though, it's to the note and nothing more.


Bree said...

LOL! I remember that particular "local seafood" dining experience. O_o LOL!

Tem told me that a lot of places don't give the waiters the tips written in when you use your card! She said that there's no legal way to track it, and a lot of places (especially chains) just keep the money for themselves instead of giving it to the staff. (I guess that happened to her several times when she was waiting before she moved to her current restaurant.) Crazy, huh?

Thister said...

Hahah! How could we forget that dining experience? Really.

Hmm! That's interesting. According to the ABC News article the best way to tip is through the credit card. Maybe ABC got it wrong though. No wait, that's CBS. Oh, ouch. Too soon, I suppose. HAHAH!

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