Tip zip: Cheapskate's guide to holiday tipping

Published: Thursday, Nov. 24 2011 10:32 p.m. MST

Online guidelines help explain who needs extra tips and just how much they expect during this holiday season.

Associated Press

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The holidays are upon us and so is the guilt. Tipping expectations change this time of year. Luckily there are online guidelines galore that explain who needs extra tips and just how much they expect.

A quick stop by Emily Post clarifies that "holiday tipping is really just holiday thanking." And the people you thank are those who provide you "with year-round services."

But this is a recovering economy after all, and some accommodation must be made. Emily Post understands this and the first rule is "don't feel obligated to go beyond your personal budget."

If you have nothing, Emily Post doesn't let you off the hook. You should "consider homemade gifts." And if you are not crafty, "remember that words are always a great way to express your thanks for a year of good service."

Consumer Reports, Gifts.com, The New York Times and Kiplinger had lists of who to tip and how much. For some of the categories, Consumer Reports even added statistics on the percentage of people who would tip with cash, check or gift card.

Cleaning Person/Housekeeper/Maid

$35 (Or an amount equal to one cleaning) Consumer Reports found 53 percent would tip.

Child's Teacher

$20 to $100 (Check with school policy first. A small gift from child.) Consumer Reports found 16 percent would tip. Forty-five percent gave a gift.

Hairdresser

$20 to $50 Consumer Reports found 40 percent would tip.

Newspaper Carrier

$10 to $30 Consumer Reports found 36 percent would tip.

Manicurist

$15 Consumer Reports found 34 percent would tip.

Barber

$10 Consumer Reports found 33 percent would tip.

Pet Care Provider

$20 (Or about the value of three visits.) Consumer Reports found 21 percent would tip.

Lawn Crew

$25 Consumer Reports found 17 percent would tip.

Mail Carrier

$20 value (Giving cash or gift cards breaks federal regulations. Instead give snacks or perishable gifts or something that has little value like a mug or a handwarmer. Or maybe a nice letter to the carrier's supervisor.)

Garbage Collector

$10 to $30 (If the company allows it) Consumer Reports found 9 percent would tip.

Doorman

$20 to $100

Babysitter

(One or two nights' pay)

Day Care Staff

$20 to $70 for each staff member plus a gift from the child.

Coach, Activity Instructor

Under $25

Personal Trainer

$50 (Or cost of a session.)

Nursing Home Worker

Personal gift such as fudge or cookies. (Check facility tipping policies.)

Newspaper Writers

Although it is cruel, writers are not allowed to accept tips. News tips, perhaps.

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