When it comes time to pay the bill, who gets to use the coupon?
Presh Talwalkar, the mind behind the site Mind Your Decisions likes to use game theory to back up everday decision-making.
For instance, it's Friday night and you’re out for dinner with a few friends. When it comes time to split the bill, out comes that coupon that's been burning a hole in your pocket.
Here's the question: Should the $$ offered reduce the entire group bill, or only how much you pay individually?
Does it make any difference if it's a gift card; a Groupon-like voucher that you purchased; or a discount from a previous visit?
Here's his take, practical as always. What's yours?
–If you have a gift card or free appetizer, just get a separate tab and use the coupon for yourself. It will avoid any awkwardness of people who want to start arguments.
–If you have a “buy one, get one free,” then talk to someone in advance about getting a separate tab. Split the savings roughly evenly.
–If you have a $10 off a $50 bill, or similar coupon, then it depends on your order. If you can manage with just one other person, then get a separate tab and use the coupon. Otherwise, just let the coupon reduce the total bill for everyone.
What are your thoughts on coupons when it comes to splitting dining costs? Or do you just use them on family outings where there's no issue?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Posted by: Yerallnuts | Jul 17, 2021 5:45:51 AM
My coupon, my discount - otherwise I'll save it for another visit.
Posted by: Bram Frank | Jul 17, 2021 6:24:36 AM
A coupon or a discount has cash value in terms of it's impact on the payment of the bill - if I didn;t have it I would need to take 'real' money out of my pocket - so, why should I contribute my 'pseudo-cash' (in the form of a coupon) and then have to add real cash to pay for others' meals?
As such, the discount IS my contribution to the check.
Posted by: A.Lad | Jul 17, 2021 11:37:35 AM
Use your coupons on a separate visit to avoid the awkwardness. However a discount is always good if it reduces the total bill or just ask for separate bills if you have shrewd people who will nickle and dime through the bill or just find new friends!!
Posted by: Troy Jollimore | Jul 17, 2021 12:17:43 PM
Glad that 'Yeralnuts' and Frank aren't MY friends. When I go out, I don't quibble about who has to pay for what. I've already written off XX dollars in my head, so any discount, for anyone, is a good thing.
Heck, I've given coupons to complete strangers to help them out. Selfish much, people? (And no, I'm just as poor as you...)
Posted by: Sara | Jul 17, 2021 1:54:07 PM
My girlfriend bought a Groupon that was $30 for $80 worth of food and invited me to dinner saying we wouldn't have to pay the full amount of our bill because of the coupon. When the bill came she said she already paid $30 so shouldn't have to pay anymore, even though the bill AFTER the discount was $65 because we had drinks (a bottle of wine, a before dinner cocktail and an after dinner coffee drink.) I was insulted because she asked me out to dinner on the premise that 'we wouldn't have to pay the full amount' so in theory, she was sharing the coupon. Not so when the bill came. It was aweful and I don't look at her the same way anymore.
Posted by: MJ | Jul 17, 2021 2:16:40 PM
Sorry, Sara but I agree with your girlfriend. If the bill was $145 ($80 coupon plus $65) then she has more than paid her share by using her coupon. If you split the bill, ($145/2=$72.50) and she pays her share with the coupon, she has picked up her share plus. Did you expect to get dinner for free?
Posted by: Dorathy | Jul 17, 2021 4:41:39 PM
If I had a coupon that I paid $30.00 for $80.00 worth of discount I would put that toward the bill and then if the other person wanted to argue then I would help her out with the rest but ..I actually would make sure my friend understood what the deal was before hand and was prepared to cough up some sort of payment...or order something that only comes to eighty dollars and coupon pays all...there's lots of ways to do it but the main point is to be prepared and know the ground rules before u get to destination..
Posted by: Kamdengurashpin | Jul 17, 2021 11:30:18 PM
@Troy Jollimore... oh aren't you something special. You must have a bruise on your back for patting it so often. Do you wear a halo on your head? Yerallnuts' and Bram Frank 's comments are in no way indicative of selfishness. You may claim to be poor, but you have a wealth of bullshit.