Recently I went out with another couple who are childhood friends and a guy we grew up with who is our buddy. It was a mini-reunion and they wanted lobster at an upscale restaurant. Even though I knew I couldn’t afford to pay a quarter of the bill, I wanted to go. Paying the same as the others who drank a lot more was a buzz kill. I would have been happy hanging out and only ordering a glass of wine, but it is a really nice restaurant. Is there any way around this without looking like a cheapskate?
Next time, have a twenty-dollar bill in your pocket for your glass of wine. Tell the others ahead of time to order without you. Arrive late and say you're only having a glass of wine. Then, when the bill arrives, put down your twenty and say, "This is for my glass of wine, plus tip." My point is this: roundoff the cost of what you order, plus tip, and have a five, a ten, and a twenty in your pocket ready to pay for only what you ordered and approximately a twenty percent tip.