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Tipping Etiquette

Alright y'all. I have a confession. I, Whitney from The Glamorous Life of a Housewife, have absolutely no idea how to figure percentages. I mean, I just can't do it.

And yes, I'm a college graduate. OY!

I've tried. I've been taught time after time. I have had lecture after lecture. Husby has pulled his hair out trying to explain it. My brain simply does NOT know how to figure it out. It's as if someone is speaking a foreign language. I remember going shopping in college, seeing something for 30% off and calling my math major roommate so she could tell me how much it was going to be.

Pathetic, right?

I think when God was creating my little brain, He forgot to put the percentage part in there. Somewhere up there, floating around among the beauty and crystals of Heaven, is that piece of my brain. Forever lost. I'm convinced of it.

So, when it comes time to tip someone, I never know how much to give so I over-estimate just to be safe. At least, I hope I'm overestimating. I guess there's really know way of me knowing though, right? Uh-oh. Is there an app for this?

Also, tipping confuses me. I always tip at a restaurant, salon ladies (hair, nails, etc.), pizza deliveries and bellhops/hotel housekeepers. But there are some situations that I'm unsure about. Like ....

Furniture delivery people?
Sonic carhops?
Gas station attendants?
Bagger boys who take my groceries to my car?
Coffee shop barista?

I most always tip the Sonic people, unless I use the drive-thru. And if I use my debit card to pay, I just get frustrated because I don't know what to do if I don't have any cash. The other ones I've mentioned, I am hit and miss on because I simply don't know the protocol. When I am in these unsure situations, I always choose to tip if I have the cash. If I don't, I hunker down and walk away as quickly as I can to avoid anything awkward. .... As if hunkering and running away isn't awkward.

So guys, here is where you throw in your two cents. Share with me YOUR tipping etiquette. :)
I am a modern day homemaker with a passion for family, cooking, celebrating, decorating, travel, and memory making! The Lord has blessed me with the desires of my heart in my husband and our two sons. We recently built our dream home and cultivating a loving and happy haven for my family is where I find so much joy.


  1. I never know if I am suppose to tip at Sonic either!

  2. I think you can get an app for your phone to help you with the percentages for tipping and even sales. My hubby is an engineer (major math) but my brain is more financial math so I'm actually much better at percentage thinking than he so we balance one another well :)!

    I only use the drive-thru at sonic so I don't tip. I will tip the barista but it's not a percentage thing. Movers, yes so I'm thinking that probably yes to furniture delivery people. If I have help out to my car at the grocery (haven't in years) I do give the helper a little "thank you" for the services. Some grocery stores probably do not want to know about this though, because they pay their employee a hourly rate that is one for that is not figured for tipping since most people just expect the services.
    A lot of times you can add the tip (there's a line) when you use your debit or credit cards. If you don't tip that way be sure to strike through the line because some people could help themselves to a's happened to people I know.
    I do tip my cake baker (a friend who delivers the cake to me). I don't tip our lawn service (aeration not mowing) person. I do tip our neighbor's son if he mows for us while we're traveling/sick. I haven't had a bell hop in quite some time but I would tip.

    Good luck.

  3. I WOULD tip the movers/packers but not necessarily furniture delivery people.
    I don't tip the Sonic car hops. They don't accept the tips here in FL.
    The thing I never know to tip for is at places like Tijuana Flats - restaurants that you walk up and order, wait and you can take it to go or eat it there. You don't have a server and you pay before you receive your food. I never do, but I always wonder if I should haha!

  4. Here's a link to a chart you can print out and keep in your wallet:)

  5. Hahaha! I'm not good at doing the percentages in my head, but I can do it with a calculator (on my phone). It's whatever the cost was x .15 or .18 or .20 (depending on if you want to tip 15% or more). Very easy. They also sell credit card sized "tip tables" that fit in your wallet. It's like a mini chart. And I'm SURE there's a tipping app. That might be the easiest route to go!

  6. I had to laugh because until I started selling 31 products I couldn't do it either! It is actually pretty easy.

    Coffee Shops-yes.
    Grocery Stores- well I know our Publix here in South GA they wear little buttons that say not to tip, but on base our baggers work on tipping alone.
    Sonic- I only do the drive thru so I don't tip I mean would you tip at McDonalds? (That should be a no lol)
    Furniture is a no because we've only had a delivery once and they managed to damage the stuff before it got into my house. Plus we are military and we have TMO for all major moves and usually as long as you buy them lunch and have drinks on hand your good.

  7. Haha! It's funny you mention the drive thru at Sonic because I usually use it so that I don't feel obligated to tip...but then yesterday there was a long line and a carhop actually brought my food out to me while I was waiting in line, I had no cash to use as a tip so I grabbed the food and whipped out of line, hoping the girl wasn't mad bc I didn't tip, lol!

  8. Yep, there is an app. Search EZ Tip calculator. It's fabulous.

  9. I always tip 20% so I don't have to think about it...$2 for ever $10 I spend and I round up.

  10. I use an app called the Tip Calculator. It's free on my iPhone. It allows you to adjust the tip for excellent or crummy service, and even has a place for you to figure it out if you're splitting the bill with other people. It's simple and I love it! (My Hubsters is a math teacher and loves figuring the tip on his own - but I can't do it!)

  11. My brain is not math-enabled so I have to figure things differently, too. I always figure 10%, which is relatively easy since you just move a decimal. So if the bill is $26.14 then 10% would be $2.61. THEN I decide whether I want to double the $2.61 for 20% or if I want to add just half for 15%. It works better in my brain than figuring what 20% is. I do this in clothing stores, too. If it's 30% off of $24.00 and I know that $2.40 is 10% then I just triple that. I do a LOT of rounding off.

  12. According to a friend of ours who carhops at Sonic you are supposed to tip. :) Now for the shopping percentage problem. When you are shopping you most likely have your phone with you which has a handy dandy calculator. Now let's say that the price is 30% off that means that you will be paying 70% of the price. So take out your calculator type in the price on the tag and then multiply it by .70(because 70% is what you are actually paying). Example: 24.99 (tag price) * .70 (percentage of the price you are paying)= 17.49 (price you will pay)
    Hope that helps

  13. There IS an app for that! It's called the tipping calculator and it's FREE! It's a life saver!

  14. as a math person, but even knowing my husband who is not a math person, i have a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept of an educated person not undersanding tipping/percentages.

    lauren & eddie's comment was spot on and so easy to understand and apply (imho)...i think that this topic even easier to understand than how to use email :). however, it sounds like you are not alone! i just can't fathom how if someone doesn't understand this then what about more complex finance/math subjects like closing costs of buying a house, investing for retirement/kids college, doing taxes, etc.

    i guess that is part of how God made us all different with our own strengths :).

  15. I asked a girl I worked w/ who use to work at Sonic and she said they are paid min wage so they dont expect it, but it makes their day. I always try to tip a dollar.

    I am TERRIBLE with percentages too. I always ask my fiance about sales when we are shopping. What saves me in tipping is I worked in restaurants since I was 16 and I just think about what I would of wanted if I was working. Here is my way of thinking about it 20% of $50 is $10 so work from there. And I tip $5 on a bill of $20ish, $6 for $30ish and so on.

  16. Oh, man! I am the SAME WAY! I can calculate 10 % of something...other than that...forget about it! Why do tips need to be 20%??? Ugh.

    I'm like you, if I have the cash, I give it away. If I don't, I hunker. I also think different companies have different policies on gratuity. I tried to tip Best Buy delivery guys once and they couldn't accept it. When I lived in Virginia, the grocery store I shopped at wouldn't let their sackers accept tips either. And they wouldn't take no for an answer about taking your groceries out! Most of the time I try and carry my own groceries out so that I don't have to deal with the tip dilemma.

    Hair people, yes! Always. And nail people. Sonic? If they are bringing me an ice water, no. If they are bringing me a big order, yep!

  17. I use the tip calculator on my phone. Haha.

  18. There is an app for that. Joey has it, but I am not sure what it is called.

    As far as restaurant tipping - here's the easy way: I bet you can figure out 10%, right? (i.e. bill=$26.50, 10% =$2.65, just move the decimal and drop the last number) Once you figure out 10%, just double it for a 20% tip. (i.e. - $2.65 +2.65 = $5.30) In this case, I would round down to $5.00 because 20% is higher than the norm of 18% and most wait staff don't like bothering with change. That's how I do it. Good luck!

  19. Add me to the "figure 10% first" crowd. My husband is really bad at figuring it out too so I always do it for him. I have a hard time tipping at places like Starbucks or Sonic because I rarely have cash on me. But I will usually drop a dollar if I have one handy. I feel awful because we just did a big cross country move and we did use movers to pack our stuff and move it... and I guess I didn't tip anyone. How awful! I guess it just didn't occur to me. It was a pretty stressful event. But I did offer them food (they declined) and some Ale-8 (they happily accepted and asked where they could buy some). Oh, the Ale-8 is a soft drink, for you non-Kentuckians. :D

  20. Double your tax amount for the tip. Easy peasy. I have a covered tin thingy in my car that all of my loose change goes. It's great for quick tip money for the sonic especially if you are using your debit card.

  21. Coffee shops tend to have a little cup with a sign saying "tips!" so I will throw some change in there. Gas station attendants I would tip $1-2 regardless of total bill, and grocery baggers I would tip because usually they are quite young and could use some encouragement for working hard :) Of course I'm not American, and I am not sure who depends on tips in your state ect.

    But generally +15% for those who depend on tips, $1-2 as a token of appreciation for those who don't.

  22. I am American but mostly grew up in Europe and I find tipping in the states really confusing. There are websites with long lists of how much to tip for every service but I really don't know how you are supposed to remember it all!

  23. I was a waitress for 7 years, so I KNOW tipping. And actually, I bet there IS an app for it! Lol! But when it comes to dining at a restaurant, just use the calculator on your phone to figure 20% of the bill. Multiply .2 times the bill, and tip whatever that number is (if the service was bad, adjust accordingly - or if the service was really excellent, give a little extra!). :) But just remember: .2 times bill!

    DO tip carhops. And you can still tip if you use a debit card, just wait to pay until the carhop arrives, then give them your debit card and let them know what amount you'd like to add (even if it's just a dollar - they're used to smaller tips, and they get paid more than servers at a restaurant). They'll then take your card inside and add the tip in on their machine.

    Tipping the barista at starbucks is optional, but they usually always have a tip jar by the register, and of course, tips are always appreciated.

    DON'T tip baggers who take out your groceries. They usually aren't allowed to take tips, anyway (unless you're on a military base, in which case, baggers DO work for tips!)

    DO tip people who wash your car carwashes.

    DO bellhops and housekeeping at hotels.

    DON'T tip gas station attendants (I don't THINK - unless you live in one of those states where they pump gas for you? In that case, I'm not sure. When in doubt, just ask if they're allowed to accept tips!)

    Hope that helps :)

  24. I use an app called TipStar and it's even good for when you splitting the check. It's a free app, so check it out.

    My son worked at Sonic and he depended on tips. As a carhop, he didn't make minimum wage so tips were important. If I don't have cash or only want a drink I just use the drive thru so I don't have to tip. Great post!

  25. One more know who I hate to tip? The dog groomer. I mean, I want my dog groomed and that's your job. Why do I need to tip? And of course they ASK you if you want to include a tip, so you feel like a jerk if you say no.

  26. I got the total stare-down at Dominos the other day. Here's the sitch:
    I called in the pizza.
    I took my time to pick it up.
    MY car used it's own gas (which drinks gas like it's Koolaid, ya know, just for fun).

    SO...when I don't leave a tip, I think that's pretty OK. The girl at the register just swiped a card. Hard, I know. She didn't even make the pizza.

    No. I'm not going to leave a tip for that. Sorry. Bring it to my house, then SURE, but why do you think I picked it up? It's called: saving delivery fee and tip. :)

    I think I'm going to check for the App others are mentioning. Gotta love technology. Now, if only there was an App on how to politely tell your Domino girl "Sorry, no tip."

  27. I definitely tip at restaurants because they don't get minimum wage, but Sonic carhops and baristas do. If it's Sonic, I usually let them keep the change portion, and having friends who were carhops in HS, I know that this really adds up because many people do this for them, and they serve so many people in the hour! I tip baristas if they do a really great job.

  28. Aww, yes this is a common plight!

    Furniture delivery people-YES! But, not a percentage of anything (or that would be really expensive). I usually give around $20, depending on what the item is.
    Sonic carhops-Yes, $1-2
    Gas station attendants-We have self-service in my neck of the woods, so no. When I am driving through NJ (all full-service), then yes--a dollar or two.
    Bagger boys who take my groceries to my car-NOPE! That is their job and certain supermarkets,like Publix, ask you not to tip.
    Coffee shop barista-Umm...NO.

    I'm sure there is an App for figuring out percentages, by the way. Even my non-fancy, non-smart phone has one, so I'm sure the iPhone doesn't disappoint! :)

  29. I tip sonic car hops when i have the cash, I hope they understand that in this day some people rarely have cash on hand.

    Gas station attendants?! I have never been to a gas station with those. I wonder if it's more popular in small towns. In the old movies they tip'em, right? haha That'd sure be convenient with a little one in the car.

    I just move the decimal once to the right and then add a little to figure the tip.

  30. I used to work at Sonic years ago before they had the automatic credit card machines - you used to be able to leave tips on the credit card slips! So I banked on tips back in the day. But Sonic carhops make minimum wage or more, so you don't have to tip really. My husband is delivering pizzas on the side right now so that we can get out of debt quicker and he actually makes less when he is out delivering pizzas and is grateful for pizza tippers. Surprisingly, not everyone gives the pizza guy a tip. )o: I never know how much to give my hairstylist at the might be too much or too little, I don't really know!

  31. App: Tip Calculator! Amazing!! :)

  32. An easy way to figure percentages - move the decimal point once to the left and that is 10%. So if an item is $10.00, move the decimal once to the left, $1.00. $1.00 is 10% of $10.00. If you need 5%, move the decimal once to the left and divide in half. $10.00, move decimal once to the left, $1.00, divide in half, $0.50. $0.50 is 5% of $10.00.

  33. Of means times and times means of. :)

  34. I never know either..Hubby either does it or I over tip just to be careful!!!

  35. Here's an easy way I total up a tip. I usually always leave 20% at a restaurant. Say the bill was $10.00. All you do is move the decimal over 1 spot to the left, $1.00 (= 10%) and then double it to find your 20%. So you leave a $2.00 tip on $10 bill. Easy peasy!

  36. You have a smart phone right? Just get the tip app :)
    I never tip the people at sonic. Never crossed my mind. Oops.
    I don't know where you live but here tax is 8% so I double the tax and add a bit if it was good service (usually coming out to 15-20%). I guess that's acceptable.

  37. Hallmark has Tip Cards that you can find in the check-out area, I believe. It fits in your wallet just like a credit card! It's a little chart that has every dollar amount (up to like 200 or something) and next to it tells you how much you need to tip. I would NOT survive without this thing!!!! Go get one!

  38. My boyfriend cued me into this quick tip to figure out 20%.

    Take the first digit of the bill (if it is 2 digits) and double it. Then, you'll have 20%.

    So, for example, if it was $80, 20% is 16.

    If the bill is three digits, double the first 2 digits for 20%. So, if it is $250, 20% would be $50.

    Then you can subtract if you want to tip less than 20%.

  39. I just double the tax since our tax rate is 9%, doubled makes it 18% so I just go with that. My mother in law is always calling me to ask what the final price of things is-cracks me up!

  40. I'm with you I think God left out all math learning when he created me :) haha. I use a tip calculator on my phone ha. I usually tip 15% but have found out that's low these days. Whoops. Also I just guess on who I should and if I can.

  41. I tip on most of those things. Here is what I don't like about tipping. I feel embarrassed if I leave my part of the tip at a restaurant and I can tell the people I went with did not. It is so frustrating.
    "Would you like to go to lunch"?
    "No, because you do not tip well".

  42. I do this exactly as she said (from previous poster):
    My brain is not math-enabled so I have to figure things differently, too. I always figure 10%, which is relatively easy since you just move a decimal. So if the bill is $26.14 then 10% would be $2.61. THEN I decide whether I want to double the $2.61 for 20% or if I want to add just half for 15%. It works better in my brain than figuring what 20% is. I do this in clothing stores, too. If it's 30% off of $24.00 and I know that $2.40 is 10% then I just triple that. I do a LOT of rounding off.

  43. Don't panic, here's a mind-boggling question: Why tip? I just don't understand the concept of tipping. So I'm a waiter, I receive a paycheck because I'm serving you, and I'm doing it not because I'm a nice guy, but because that's my job, AND I get a tip? Why? But truth be told, if I lived in the States I'd tip anyway. Everybody would freakout if I didn't. So I'm glad I don't live in the states I guess.

  44. You should only tip if someone waits on you or delivers to you. People who work behind counters don't need to be tipped. I'm not sure what the sales tax is where you live, but in CA it's over 9% so I always just double the tax and round up to the nearest dollar to make it around 20%.

  45. After waiting tables for a year I have become an even more generous tipper at restaurants, especially when my daughter comes along and makes a huge mess (I also try to clean as much of it as I can)

    If we are at a pizza place or something and there is a tip jar for the kitchen I try to leave something there if I get take-out. The kitchen staff is often overlooked and they don't make a whole lot of money.

    The same is true for baristas. If I go to a place once I may not leave a tip, but if It's a place I go often I try to leave a dollar when I can.

    THe other thing I learned is that if you tip in cash the staff may not have to declare it so they don't have to pay taxes on it. Which over time can mean a lot more money. Different places have different policies but if you have the option, try to tip in cash over writing it in on our receipt.

  46. I teach percentages to 6th graders! My tip is to work out 10% and take it from there (easy!), you want 20%, then double it, and so on! :)


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