It would be very nice if eating out were free. In reality, someone must pay for the dinner as well as the tip to the servers. Paying the bill and leaving the right tip are very often an area of concern or confusion. This should never turn what was a delightful dinner into a quagmire or uncomfortable scene.

In general, if you are invited by someone out to dinner, that person intends to pay the bill. The tides begin to turn, though, when groups of people decide to dine out together. In this case, the rule is that each person, or couple, is responsible for their portion of the bill and tip. The expression traditionally used is "Going Dutch". It sometimes gets a little tricky- especially when each person's math skills may be a little shaky. Sometimes a person will add up what they had using the prices on the menu- but fail to consider the sales tax. Without a calculator, it is difficult to figure your portion of the sales tax. You most definitely do not want to come across as selfish or stingy. For instance, if your portion of the bill is $20 in menu items, and the tax is 6%, you should round up to the nearest dollar for the tax. If anything, that portion over the true amount would wind up as more for the tip to the server- and unless the service was poor- that is never a bad thing. If you cannot afford the extra cents, then you should not be going out to dinner in the first place.

Sometimes, someone will grab the check and offer to pay. Unless that person has invited you to dinner, never assume he or she is paying for dinner. Instead, each person or couple should politely ask to see the bill so that they may pay what they owe. If the person who grabs the bill says he or she is "taking care of it", there is always some sort of friendly bickering about that- because no one wants to seem unappreciative. It is also their way of showing humility. However, if the person insists, again, that they wish to pay the bill, do not go back-and-forth in an argument. Be gracious, polite and express your appreciation. You may wish to say that the next dinner is on you. In this case, this process goes smoothly, no one is insulted and the evening can end on a very pleasant note. Keep in mind, though, that if you say the next dinner is your treat- you MUST pay the bill the next time you dine with this person or people.

Leaving the right tip is another area which can cause confusion. This is because there is a great deal of flexibility involved in tipping. Some restaurants include the tip in the bill. If this is the case, it is stated on the menu. Be sure to take note of this so as to avoid double tipping. You are free at your discretion, though, to add to the tip if you feel inclined to do so. The traditional amount to tip is 15% of the bill before the tax. That is the minimum you should expect to pay if the service was appropriate. More and more people today tip at the rate of 20% of the bill before the tax. Some choose to include the tax when calculating the tip. Some, again, choose to tip a greater amount for extraordinary service or because they are very generous. In any case, be sure that you tip at least the minimum for good service.
To formulate a plan to save money on food, the first thing you need to do is understand your family size, lifestyle and storage area. What flexibility do you have in your schedule? Are you one of those families that have a habit of eating out frequently? You might need to save money because your income is not sufficient to meet daily household expenses. If you are facing such troubles, this article is surely a great help to you, as it will suggest to you some practical tips to save money on food.

According to research studies, the cost of eating out is four times more than that of eating at home. If you can eat a cocktail in combination with dinner, you can save even more money. If both you and your spouse work, you can take lunch with you to the office to save money. You can use restaurant coupons found in print ads, restaurant websites and through online services.

Now, here are some more practical tips to follow. First off, make a list of each and everything you need prior to leaving for the market. Benefit from food coupons available in newspapers and on the Internet. Leave kids at home as they can add to the items you will buy. Purchase those items first that are most necessary and avoid purchasing stuff that you had not planned to purchase. Purchase store brands if possible. Also purchase in bulk if your budget allows as you will likely receive discounts on bulk purchases. It is better to purchase meat at the end of the day.

While you are comparing prices on different items, ensure each item has the same amounts i.e. lbs or ozs. Subscribe to a wholesale club, such as Sam's or Costco. It can save you 30 to 40% on food; however, it will require you to purchase in bulk. Purchase and store lots of non-perishable or frozen items when they are offered to purchase.

Another tip to save money on groceries is to get more freezer storage, you might purchase 5.0 cu. Ft. Freezer Chest. It will hold 175 lbs of food and it will cost you only a few dollars each month on the electricity bill. These freezers are small and can fit anywhere in your home. Do not throw leftovers away; instead use them to make meals. Cook at home what you want to purchase from the market. You can purchase less-tender cuts of beef and use a crock-pot to cook them so as to enjoy a tender meal. Eat the food available in the refrigerator prior to its going bad. For non-perishable items, such as cans and pasta, make additional pantry space. Freeze and store items that you will take some days to eat and finally it is recommended to subscribe to a coupon-swapping club. Follow these tips to save moola on a consistent basis.

Asia and the History of Money

In recent years, many investors have looked to Asia for their financial investments. The growth in population and the expansion in business and industry of many countries in Asia have made it an attractive destination for investment. While most of the world was hit hard by the recent economic climate, Asian markets have remained relatively strong. Many Asian countries have very little deficits and have larger cash reserves than the US and the UK. Equally, many investors are looking to diversify where they invest their money - rather than simply investing within Europe they are looking further afield towards Asia. As countries such as India and China continue to expand they are challenging the economies of established 'super powers' such as the United States and are enticing ever more investors from around the world. What is interesting, however, is though countries in Asia are only now being considered future economic and financial powers, the roots of some of today's systems of currency and banking originated in Asia.

Some of the earliest origins of currency can be found in China. Cowrie shells were used as an early form of currency in China between 3000 to 45000 years ago. This was not anything particularly special as in many countries different items were used in trade - they could be anything from beads to livestock - in Japan rice was used as a form of currency. However, the Chinese cowrie shells can arguably be seen as a forerunner of coinage as representations of the shells began to be used instead of the shells themselves. These could be made of wood, bone and stone but were also made from metals, including lead and copper. Bronzed shells were also found in the Ruins of Yin.

The first proper coinage, however, is often attributed to the Lydians who were from Asia Minor. According to Herodotus the Lydians were the first to introduce the use of gold and silver coins - some people have disputed whether Herodotus meant that the Lydians were the first to introduce coins of gold and silver or precious metal coins in general. Either way, the usage of coins quickly spread soon after from Asia Minor to the rest of the world.

As well as coins, the origins of bank-notes can also be found within Asia. The first banknote was used in China in the 7th century Tang Dynasty. Before this the Chinese used circular coins with a hole in the middle that could be strung on a rope - inevitably the very rich soon found it difficult to carry around their strings of money. To remedy this they could leave their coins with someone they trusted, in return they would get a 'promissory note' that would indicate how much money they had given the person. Upon showing the note to the person they had left the money to they would be able to have it back.

It was a long process that developed the 'promissory note' into printed money. The need for something lighter and more easily transferable, along with a shortage of copper led to this development. By the 10th century the Song Dynasty government began to circulate notes and granted several shops the monopoly of issuing the notes. By the 11th century the government had taken over and begun to produce its own state issued currency using woodblock printing. The printing of this paper money did, however, end in inflation which led banknotes to fall into disuse. They were later 'reinvented' in the 17th century.

There has even been evidence to suggest that early cheques were used in the Mauryan period in India. These were called 'adesha' and was basically an order on a banker to pay the money specified on the note to a third person - much like a cheque as we see it today. Early banking even had its roots in the Asian continent with records of 'banks' of merchants in 2000 BC who would make grain loans to farmers and traders. Evidence has also been found that suggests that money lending was taking place in India and China around the same time as the lenders of Ancient Greece and Rome. With such a rich history of innovations in currency and finances, it is hardly surprising that Asia has become a choice destination for many investors in today's economic climate.