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Why be tight-fisted when it comes to paying for a meal?

(595 Posts)
PaxUniversalis Sat 16-Dec-17 23:22:15

DH and I went out for dinner tonight. It was lovely.
There was a table of 7 people next to us. Friends, or colleagues. When it came to paying their bill they were trying to work out to the penny how much each person should pay. One guy even got his mobile out to calculate how much he owed. Then another person said 'but I only had 2 glasses of wine'. and so it went on.

I cannot tell you how much I detest this kind of behaviour. Why be so tight-fisted when you go out for a Christmas meal with friends? Does it really matter if you had 2 or 3 or 4 glass of wine? Does it matter whether the others had olives and bread before the meal and you didn't? Just split the bill ffs! I loathe this sort of petty behaviour. I could understand if the others had lobster and caviar and you didn't, but to penny pinch about a few glass of wine or a basket of bread? Really? Aaaargh!

molifly Sat 16-Dec-17 23:24:01

Some people have to count pennies more than others

BackforGood Sat 16-Dec-17 23:24:59

Or, looking at it from the other pov, why should one person, having just a main course and one soft drink, subsidise another who has 3 courses, sides, 3 large glasses of wine, and a coffee ? hmm

Sparklingbrook Sat 16-Dec-17 23:25:56

It doesn't take long to just tot up what you had and then put the right money in.

Some people are on a tight budget so if they only had a main course and others had starters and puddings I don't see why they should pay the same.

And if you have been in the soft drinks it's understandable to not want to pay for others' wine.

MyBrilliantDisguise Sat 16-Dec-17 23:27:49

I suppose the thing is that we hear someone saying "But I didn't drink any alcohol" when what we should really be hearing is someone else saying "I've drunk a lot more than you lot - I'll put in more."

Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername Sat 16-Dec-17 23:28:24

I agree to a point, but can also see where they were coming from. I don't drink, and detest paying the same amount as somebody that's had a few glasses of wine/spirits compared to my water /orange juice. Same goes for me paying for their 3 course meal when I've only had a main

Booooooooo Sat 16-Dec-17 23:28:26

They might be skint and only brought x amount out, I've done that before and worked out what I could afford off the menu. Or just maybe they don't want to pay for something they didn't have which seems reasonable, I don't drink and would be unimpressed at splitting a bill when I drank water vs another persons glass of wine for example

Middleoftheroad Sat 16-Dec-17 23:30:50

We're watching pennies and have a meal tomorrow. My SIL will order bottles of Prosecco and starters/sides. We order bare minimum so I will probably get my calculator out.

loulou987 Sat 16-Dec-17 23:31:32

When I go out with friends I work out how much I owe. I have to watch my pennies & a meal out is classed as a treat & unfortunately I can't afford to pay for another persons overpriced olive & bread starter and or the 3 more glasses of wine they guzzled. You may be able to afford to just chuck random notes down but not everybody is as fortunate. So mind your own business next time instead of being nosey & listening to other tables conversations.

sausagerole Sat 16-Dec-17 23:34:12

But with that thinking you're basically spending other people's money for them! If people want to give extra (ie. subsidise others who've had more) then thats lovely, but it shouldn't be expected. When I go out for a meal, I make my choices based on what I can afford. It's not 'tight-fisted' to expect people to pay for the meals and drinks that they chose hmm

NewLove Sat 16-Dec-17 23:34:38

I can see it from both sides but I'll never forget the one time I went for my friend's birthday meal with my last £10 - I ordered what I could afford but when the bill came I was told I had to cough up £34. It was really quite embarrassing and then people grumbled when the bill was readjusted and their share increased... They were happy enough for me to run them all home though

LouiseBrooks Sat 16-Dec-17 23:34:59

Some people are just cheapskates. I once went for lunch with a group of people I didn't know well. We all had a main course and one drink but some people insisted on totting up the exact amount instead of just splitting it.

When I said "what about the tip" one man said what I thought was "let's pay a pound" (each). I thought that was a bit tight but what he actually said was "let's round it up to the next pound". His bill came to something like £8.50 and he paid £9.00!

Of course if one person has significantly less food or drink they shouldn't pay as much as those who have 3 courses and lots of wine but my friends and I always split it if we have roughly the same.

PaxUniversalis Sat 16-Dec-17 23:35:53

OK, I understand if someone is on a tight budget.
But if you're out for dinner with friends in a convivial setting - and let's face it, Christmas happens only once a year - couldn't you just pay for the food you ate, and then split the drinks bill? I really don't think it's the time of year or the occasion to be penny pinching.
I've witnessed this kind of behaviour myself on more than one occasion, especially from ladies who are well off, it really gets quite tedious.

slothface Sat 16-Dec-17 23:35:57

YABU. I don't want to subsidise other people when I go out to eat. Thankfully my friends feel the same and will whip out the phone calculator before I've had a chance!

junebirthdaygirl Sat 16-Dec-17 23:37:40

l have been out with friends and drank water as l was driving. One friend had three or four g&ts. I drew the line at anyone saying lets split the bill..no way. Food lm happy with as there usually isnt much difference. If l agree to share a nottle of wine lm happy to pay for it even if l only have one glass as thats my choice. But lm not paying for a pile of alcoholic drinks.

Booooooooo Sat 16-Dec-17 23:38:15

* then split the drinks bill?*
That tends to be the most expensive part, why pay for someone else's drink if you had a soft drink vs wine or one glass vs more confused why not just pay what you consumed, it's not penny pinching to not waste money on someone else's food/drinks you didn't get to eat/drink

DonnyAndVladSittingInATree Sat 16-Dec-17 23:38:32

Every time I’ve eaten out with friends we have always just paid for our own. And it means no-one is leaving the table feeling resentful or hard done by. Which means we all had a good meal and left satisfied and in good spirits. Which is more than you can say tonight. But I bet the people you are annoyed at can wink

Greenshoots1 Sat 16-Dec-17 23:39:05

If I go out, I am on a tight budget, and make sure I order food within that budget, and there is no way I could afford any drink at all, other than tap water. i couldn't possibly subsidise any body else. I would find it really upsetting if anyone was insensitive and ignorant enough to try and split the bill equally, and foist the cost of somebody else's extravagance on me, but fortunately none of my friends or colleagues would ever do that.

Gingernaut Sat 16-Dec-17 23:40:07

I'm teetotal. I resent paying for someone else's alcohol intake.

I pay for myself but round up. £2.99? Make that £3.

£7.95 starter with a glass of fizzy water at £2.99? £11.

£12.95 main, £8.95 side salad and another fizzy water at £2.99? £25.

£6.95 dessert with another fizzy water? £10.

One last fizzy water? £3.

£49? Round up to £50. Adding a 10% tip makes that £55.

That's a tip of £6.24.

It infuriates me that when the 'cashier' tots up the money there's always too little to cover the bill. angry

mehhh Sat 16-Dec-17 23:40:39

I agree when it's like for like, if one person has desert but drinks water all evening and the other has wine but no dessert it's pretty much the same so split but it is annoying if you go out thinking "I don't want to spend that much so I'll have a pasta and a Diet Coke" and everyone else gets a steak, wine and bits on the side and you're made to split it's not fair

sausagerole Sat 16-Dec-17 23:41:21

But Christmas or not, well off or not, it isn't your money to spend! I mean, no-one suffers by calculating the bill - it's not like your friends are insisting everyone drinks water or only has one course. Everyone at the table is free to make their choices about how they spend their money, but it needs to be backed up with the cash rather than pushing those choices onto people who then have to subsidise them.

converseandjeans Sat 16-Dec-17 23:43:02

Agree with loulou
Some people are on tight budget - simple as that.

abigamarone Sat 16-Dec-17 23:44:11

'Tightfisted' versus 'sly conniving bastard who'll manipulate others into paying for their extras by implying they're being a skinflint'.
I know which I prefer.

BackforGood Sat 16-Dec-17 23:44:40

OP: asks question
10 out of first 11 replies explain why
OP: Asks same question

hmm

Why ask.
People have told you. It's pretty unreasonable for people who have a lot to drink, to expect those who haven't to then pay for those drinks.

It really isn't difficult to understand.

PaxUniversalis Sat 16-Dec-17 23:45:09

But if you go out for a meal with friends then I assume you would all have 'approximately' the same meal, i.e. it would be really unusual - and unheard of - for 1 or 2 people in a party of 8 or 10 to order Dom Perignon champagne, lobster and caviar whereas the others have 'normal' food and drinks?
I think it usually balances out, does it not?
Anyway, when I go out with my girlfriends (i.e. female friends) we tend to just split the bill, we more or less have the same food. 1 or 2 glasses more or less won't make a big difference. The main thing is that we had a great night out with friends. Friendship is priceless in the grand scheme of things.

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