Check, please! Beware this secret spend-more trick

Researchers at the Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University recently uncovered a tantalizing tidbit in their study of restaurant menus. While the intent of the report is to tell restaurant operators how to milk a few extra bucks out of diners (that's you!), here's the scoop so you can avoid forking over more per forkful.

Psychologists who study the relationship consumers have with their money had assumed that spelling out prices using words (that is, "one dollar" instead of "$1") would make patrons willing to spend more. This is why you'll typically see the spelled-out version of prices on menus at more elegant eateries.