eating out pic

Okay, so regrettably, the above photo is a good summary of my family’s eating for the past month or so.  We have been in the middle of a move and with all the packing, physically moving across an ocean, and a few small road trips thrown in we have been eating out.  A LOT.  It can be tough on the budget and hard to make healthy choices when eating out so much, but we have been making it work alright so far.

So with all the eating out comes the problem of tipping.  In general, hubs and I tip 20%.  We are pretty generous, and service would have to be pretty bad to get less than that.  In fact, one of the few times I can remember tipping less than 20% in my life, the server brought me burnt food, spilled a drink on me, and started vacuuming next to my table while we were still eating.  I just feel that for that most part servers are doing their best, and when we eat out, I am so grateful not to be the one doing the running around and cooking.  So for the most part,  20% it is.

That said, when my husband and I started dating, I noticed him being unsure of how much to tip.  Not because he didn’t think they deserved 20%, but he didn’t have a quick way to figure it out.  There are lots of things like tip cards, that you can get to put in your wallet and have an easy reference.  There are also a ton of phone apps (QuickTip Tip Calculator, and iTip, among many) that make tipping easier.  But I am a bit old-fashioned at times, and I just use a trick that my mom taught me years ago.  I have shown it to countless friends, my dear hubs, and it works great.

As I said, I usually tip 20%.  If I have a bill that totals $50.00, I can get 10% of that total by moving the decimal one spot to the left. So, 10% of $50.00 is $5.00.  Since I tip 20%, I double that amount to get $10.00.  That’s it.  An easy way to get to 20% doing simple mental math.

Now, I know that bills don’t usually total up to such nice round numbers.  Here is another example:

receipt tip

Last night, we ate at an awesome mexican restaurant in town.  Our total was $27.95.  10% of that is $2.97.  Now in this case, I would round up to the next dollar, making it $3.00 even.  Doubling that gives me a $6.00 tip and I don’t have to deal with leaving a bunch of change.  Pretty simple, right?  It’s a great way to have older kids help too, giving them a chance to practice counting out money, rounding, and place value.  Plus it’s a practical application of what they learn in school, which is always a bonus.  We try to use cash instead of always swiping a card too, since it helps us stay closer to our budget.

What are your thoughts?  Any quick money tips you can share?  Is 20% a tip too generous?  Not enough?  Happy dining!

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