Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Coupon Dilemma

I've been around coupons most of my life. My mom has clipped them for as long as I remember and since I have moved out of my house, I've clipped them myself. Is this another one of those women things that I end up doing? I have no problems using coupons at the grocery store for cereal, bread, etc. I figured if those are necessities of life why not save $0.35. Why not get a pizza free of equal or greater value with the purchase of one at the regular menu price you know? However, there is a certain stigma when people use coupons. They are often seen as being cheap (or frugal if you prefer).

Well lately (by lately I think I mean within the last 5 years) there have been entertainment books put out for fundraising purposes. In these books there are a plethora of coupons from golf courses to grocery stores and restaurants. Well in here lies my dilemma. Again, I have no problem using a coupon at a place like Mickey D's, BK or Taco Bell but a sit down place? That's a little different. Some of these entertainment books have coupons for really nice upscale restaurants and some have it for your run of the mill Olive Garden and Chili's (more my style).

But again there is that stigma about coupon clippers. They are often seen as being cheap (or frugal if you prefer). I don't care who thinks I'm cheap at Target or the local grocery store but damn I don't want my server thinking I'm going to stiff him/her at Chili's because the bill is only $10.86 after my coupon, instead of $17.32. I mean I know I'm supposed to tip on the original amount and not the coupon amount, I ain't dumb.

The thing that I don't get is that they always ask you to present the coupon when ordering rather than when the bill comes in. Wouldn't you want the person to see the old amount first so they know how much they saved and how much to tip on? If someone presents the coupon before service then they are reduced to guessing how much to tip based on an amount that doesn't accurately reflect the value of their meal. Doesn't that just make the experience worse? If the servers knows you are going to be the cheap ass with the coupon, wouldn't the service presumably get worse, forcing you to leave a shitty tip because the service was bad and not because you are cheap? Won't this create and endless cycle of shitty service to people that present their coupons before ordering, causing them to tip according to said shitty service forcing the company to stop putting out coupons for their restaurants since no one will want to work for an establishment that caters to a bunch of cheap ass patrons that don't tip well? What in the name's of frugal consumers is one to do? Swallow your pride and tip 20% no matter how bad the service if you are using a coupon or stop clipping altogether and hope for great service with a less enjoyable meal since you know you COULD HAVE been saving $5-8 on that meal?


Blogger Gold Nugget said...

I dont know bout the cycle cuz you gotta think people who would have the nerve to use these coupons at higher end restaurants would be the older crowd. I think that being said there is that presumption that old people are always cheap and that tip is never gonna be the same. However, lets say you use it i think the tipping should be what you think the person deserves and the person has given you shit for it then thats his/her fault and therefore the bad tip is warranted. I think if a server sees you and u use the coupon but nontheless order a meal that is above $15 then the fact that you did that may give the person an idea of what you really are worth (in tipping terms)

10:18 AM  
Blogger FreakinRican said...

Leave it to the damn Gold Nugget to think this post was serious.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Janelle Renee said...

I thought it was serious, too! : )

8:11 PM  
Blogger Puerto Rican Angel said...

I agree with you....I clip coupons. Shit ain't nothing wrong with saving a couple of dollars....but I would feel like an ass if I had a coupon for a nice upscale place. That I just couldn't do.

9:23 PM  

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