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Reform School for Tightwad Tippers

Dear Helena, I tip about 20 percent on meals, including alcohol and taxes. One of my closest friends (and frequent restaurant companion) t... READ MORE

My Friends Are All Give and No Take

Dear Helena, We have some relatively new friends. So far, they have hosted more dinner/meal get-togethers than we have, and every time I i... READ MORE

Rules for Effective Food-Swapping

Dear Helena,I keep reading about food swaps being really trendy right now. What is the etiquette? For example, do you have to trade your s... READ MORE

Why Is the Sommelier Drinking My Wine?

Dear Helena, What is up with the sommelier taking the first taste of your wine? When I buy a nice bottle of vino, will be the judge of wh... READ MORE

Can I Use a Coupon on a Date?

Dear Helena, I am trying to be proactive about online dating, so I'm going on a lot of first dates courtesy of Match.com. I always treat... READ MORE

The Etiquette of Dumpster Diving

Dear Helena, The other day I was loading several bags of groceries into my car when I observed a man rooting through a dumpster near the b... READ MORE

Please Pass the Scavenged-Bone Soup

I'm all in favor of thrift in the kitchen—saving your old Parmesan rinds to enrich soups, for example, or repurposing yesterday's ... READ MORE

School Lunch Mockery

Dear Helena, My kid is an amazing eater, and at home she eats more or less what we eat, from tempeh to turnips. I pack her these great nut... READ MORE

How to Avoid the Lure of the Buffet

Dear Helena, I've been dating a very nice woman for about three months now, and one of the things she's asked me about is going out to a ... READ MORE

Doghouse Dining Dilemma

Dear Helena, I offered to housesit my friend's dog, little realizing that this task would come with five pages of elaborate instructions, ... READ MORE