Frugal living is popular, not just with those who must learn how to get by on a shoe-string budget, but with a cross-section of society, who wish to make their money stretch. Frugality does not rule out occasional luxuries, such as eating out. But are you being frugal or cheap when you eat out?
Not Leaving a Tip
It is customary in the United States, and in other parts of the world, to leave a tip in sit-down restaurants after your meal has concluded. In a bid to cut back even further on their spending habits, many frugal families have stopped tipping wait staff and other service workers, who rely on tips to help supplement their income.
However, unless service was extremely poor, refusing to leave a tip will not be viewed as a frugal gesture by wait staff, but as evidence that you are cheap, and inconsiderate. If you cannot afford to leave a tip, then perhaps you should reconsider whether you can actually afford to eat out.
Ordering One Meal and Dividing it by Four
Some entrée platters are meant for more than one person, which is reflected in the cost. These sharing platters feature more food than you can possibly eat by yourself, but if you choose a main course and divide it by four so that you do not have to purchase four individual meals you will come across as very cheap. If you do not want to come across as cheap, but still want to share a meal, opt for a large sharing platter, and tip well at the end of the meal.
How About Sharing Dessert?
Sharing dessert is good for the waistline as well as your wallet. Some desserts are so generous that it is perfectly acceptable to ask someone else to help you polish it off. Desserts such as sundaes, brownies and pie can be easily shared.
Frugal living does not mean having to make do with threadbare clothing and absolutely no enjoyment in life. Families who live frugally can still enjoy a little of what they like, such as eating out on occasion, provided they do not come across as cheap by refusing to tip wait staff or ordering one meal and then dividing it between everyone in your group. Sharing a dessert is not a practice that is typically frowned upon, especially if you have ordered a large dessert.