Tipping Talk

This article popped up on my Facebook feed today. Reading it made me consider tipping- how much? Where? Why? Does it depend? How do you balance tipping with saving money?


We tip at restaurants, the barber shop, and salons. That’s about it. At restaurants, we’ll tip 15% of the bill rounded up to the nearest dollar, even if the service wasn’t fabulous. 15% is standard. It’s our baseline. If we had really horrific service, like if the waiter pulled our hair and insulted our mothers, we’d still tip, but it would be closer to 5%. If we have Little Man in tow and he fussed the whole time or made a royal mess, we’ll tip closer to 20%, to make up for the extra work of cleaning up after him.

We don’t tip at coffee shops, ice cream shops, or other little specialty food stops. The exception is the local bakery, where if you order breakfast or lunch they bus your table and bring your food to you. We’ll tip there, but only if we order breakfast. For pastries, we don’t tip.

Barbers get paid $10, regardless of how much the haircut was. The haircuts around here for active duty military are generally $7-$9, so we aren’t stiffing anyone, but we’re not giving huge tips either.

Hairstylists get about a $3 tip. I get my hair cut at chain salons, like MasterCuts, so the haircuts aren’t terribly expensive. If I go to a nice salon, I’ll tip 10-15% of the bill, depending on how pleased I am with my hair.

I’m sure that when we move again, we’ll have to change our tipping protocol based on the going rate in the area we move to. We will never not tip, however.


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