Pennsylvania – The holidays means shopping, parties…. and tipping, sometimes for people you don’t usually leave gratuities.

“You should be tipping people like your mail carrier, your trash and recycling collectors. If you’re a parent, think about your child’s teacher or day care provider,” says analyst Ted Rossman with the website

Show how much is appropriate to give? And which service providers get these kinds of tips?

First of all, consider the following:

  • The frequency of your service – Is this someone you see regularly? Each month? Once a week? Every day?
  • Your relationship and years of being a customer
  • Your location – Tipping is higher in big cities, but not as large of an amount for small towns.
  • Your own budget – Don’t feel obligated to give more than you can afford.

If you can’t afford to or don’t want to give a cash tip, consider a homemade gift, baked good, or a heartfelt thank you note.

Even if you do just give a cash tip, it should always be accompanied by a short handwritten note.


According to the Emily Post Institute, here are some suggestions for who should get a tip and how much/what:

Housekeeper: the equivalent of a day’s pay

Hairdresser/stylist/barber: about the cost of a haircut, or a small gift

Babysitter: about an evening’s pay, plus a small gift from the kids

Newspaper delivery person: $10-$30 or a small gift

Mail carrier: Small gift only! USPS employees may accept baked goods or gift cards for up to $20.

Dog groomer: around the cost of a grooming session, or a small gift

Garbage collector: some companies/cities may have policies that do not allow workers to receive tips; if allowed, $10-$30, or a small gift

Teacher: consider pooling funds with other parents to provide a larger gift; gift certificates, a heartfelt note, or a homemade treat are also good ideas

School bus driver: $10-$15, or a gift certificate or a homemade treat