Dating And Coupons Are Not A Perfect Match

Reaching for a coupon at the end of a dinner date could be a potentially mood-killing move. Or it could be a watershed moment to demonstrate shared affection for frugality.

On her blog Give Me Back My Five Bucks, Krystal tries to tackle the taboo of the first-date coupon.

Wrestling with the issue, she writes:

I mean, yeah, okay, maybe using a coupon can be viewed as tacky. But couldn’t it also be viewed as smart? Why would you willingly pay full price for something when you know you don’t have to? To show that you’re not cheap? Because it’s awkward to hand over a coupon and still feel confident? Your value isn’t dictated by the amount of money someone spends on you. Let’s say you took a date to a restaurant that you could afford. But you had a 2-for-1 coupon anyway. You wouldn’t use it? Do you really have to spend more money on the first few dates in order to get someone to like you and want to go out with you again? Because let’s face it: if you weren’t on a date, you know you’d be using that coupon.

Where do you stand on coupon use during dates?

Dating Etiquette: The debate about coupons [Give Me Back My Five Bucks]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    My thought on using a coupon would be that my date might think I only chose this restaurant because I had a coupon and not because I thought she’d enjoy it.

    • FrostedButts says:

      I am curious as to why the date even has to be told there is a coupon. Every decent sit down place i have seen gives you the small folio with your bill; just casually tuck the coupon in there along with your CC, and then no one is bothered….

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Usually you should give the coupon to the waiter before the bill is calculated. If you slip it in after you get the bill, you’re making the waiter recalculate the bill. You’re also trusting the waiter to do it properly and trust that you’ll get charged the correct amount. If you aren’t, then the cat is out of the bag when you tell the waiter you weren’t charged the correct amount and he or she mentions the coupon you put into the folio.

      • RandomHookup says:

        Many of the dining coupons say “present before ordering”. You can get it cleared before you are seated, but it’s awkward.

    • Rachacha says:

      What if you picked out the restaurant, and the date presented a coupon for that establishment, or if the date picked the restaurant and you paid, and the date presented a coupon for the restaurant.

      • rmorin says:

        Basically, keep finances out of a first date. I am not saying do not spend money, I am saying that your financial acumen should be not be on display on a first date either way. It is important in a long term relationship for sure, but not really a first date type of thing. What is really important in the potential relationship if within the first few hours of a date you have made judgement about this persons finances? Presenting coupons is already making it more likely that people are going to make judgement about your financial planning (whether positive or negative). For the people saying “well then I don’t want to date them!” it is not a knock on their character, in first dates people are trying to get to know the other person and take all the information they have to try to make sense of you as a person.

        In a similar vein a first date, if you go to dinner make it a mid-range place (considering both of your standards of living) so both parties are comfortable and please whatever you do, do not let it be a chain restaurant. (Unless you both have a quirky obsession with a place, then rock on)

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Well said.

        • MichiganWolverine2011 says:

          I disagree. Unless your only purpose in the first date is to fool them into getting into their pants then be who you really are. You don’t need to discuss how much you make, but you should act the way you normally act. If you would use a coupon at any time, use it then. It does not need to bee a huge production. You get the bill, hand the server your credit card or cash and the coupon. End off discussion. I have seen coupons for a free dessert with the purchase of two entrees. I would tell the date, hey we can share a couple off bites of dessert to round off our evening, and it is free.
          As for the chain restaurant, why is that bad? Cheesecake Factory, McCormick and Schmicks, Ruth’s Chris are all chains that are decent places for first dates. In fact, chains may be a better alternative because the food is safe there. None of the food is exceptional, it is designed to appeal to the broadest range of people. If your date says they love Italian, and you book at an authentic Italian restaurant, but they are used to Olive Garden, they might not enjoy a mom and pop.

          • rmorin says:

            I curse occasionally when around my friends, I would not be doing that on a first date. I get drunk sometimes, and once again, I would not be doing that on a first date. Saying people should be “act the same” is extremely oversimplified and not realistic.

            Regarding chain restaurants, it is impersonal unless you have a quirky reason for going. I.E. when you met you randomly started talking about how great olive gardens bread sticks are and that lead to the date. Show you care by putting some thought into a restaurant and not the TGI Fridays in the parking lot of a strip mall.

  2. castlecraver says:

    Find a moment to slip it to your server discreetly sometime before the meal is over (perhaps while your date is having a bathroom break), so that when the check comes, the coupon is already deducted.

    • evilrobot says:

      I like to use Groupons – saves a small amount of money as well as getting to explore a new restaraunt. A majority of the time, I need to sidebar the waitstaff to explain that it is a valid discount. A manager gets involved and it turns into a (minor) scene. That’s when it seems to turn the focus away from the date to getting a discount, which kind of sucks.

      I’m beginning to shy away from using coupons/Groupons for dining out. But for events/activities, hell yes.

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Before considering whether to use a coupon, ask yourself this: “Are we going to this restaurant because I have a coupon or because it’s a good place to go for a date?”

    If it’s the former, you should pick a different restaurant. If it’s the latter, you should be confident that you can have a good meal and use the coupon on your next date (but only if it’s not another first date).

    I don’t like people who are cheap just to be cheap. I appreciate frugality but not at the expense of quality. If you go to a crappy restaurant, no one is going to have a good time, coupon or no.

    • SmokeyBacon says:

      I think this is a great way to look at it. When I was younger I might have been a bit put off but now I would probably be fine with it if they didn’t just pick the place because of the coupon. I would rather it be a nicer place with coupon then a crappy place without coupon, but also not just because of the coupon either. Now if it crappy with a coupon, forget it.

  4. Hi_Hello says:

    screw what the date thinks. the whole point of the date it to get to know each other. You’ll know what kind of person the date is base on their reaction to you using a coupon.

    • PhantomPumpkin says:

      Some things come better after you know someone a bit better. Take your sexual fetishes. They may open up to them down the road, but if you whip out the ball gag and well, whip on your first encounter, you’ll probably scare them off.

      Timing can be crucial.

    • Kitteridge says:

      And, they’ll know more about you: Namely that you use coupons on dates.

    • Chaosium says:

      “screw what the date thinks.”

      you’re a winner.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Perfectly said “Hi_Hello”. I have yet to come across a woman that cared about a coupon. In fact if anything, I’ve been told it makes sense and shows that I am good with money. A lot of women do not like men who are careless about their finances. Does not bode well and is a red flag if she wants a family.

    • Stoli says:

      Absolutely agreed. If you want to get laid, you put on a show, so yeah, you probably wouldn’t use a coupon. But if this is someone that you’d like to have more than just sex with, you really want to show them the person that you are, your habits, your mindsets to see if that person likes or doesn’t like those.

    • FrugalFreak says:

      If you use a coupon and date sticks nose up thinking she is beyond the “cost cutting”, Do You really want that person to control half of Your finances someday?

  5. Voluntas filiorum neminem curant? says:

    “Where do you stand on coupon use during dates?”

    Well, if I can find any, I use my coupons at McDonalds or Taco Bell…

    … Why yes, I usually don’t have a second date, why do you ask?

    • Tim says:

      Actually, you save even MORE money by not having the second date! Two birds, one stone.

      • Voluntas filiorum neminem curant? says:

        Damn right! But then I end up spending like 20x as much on hookers and blow, so it all kinda averages out.

        • IT-Princess: I work in IT, you owe me $1 says:

          But the hookers don’t want to sleep over and eat your breakfast and use your water for a shower, want an engagement ring or birthday presents so it evens out even more.

        • Hi_Hello says:

          Someone was telling me, that if he never got married. Spend $100 a day on a hooker. It will still cost him less than marriage.

  6. Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

    The only issue with coupons is because it makes it seem like you picked the location for the coupon, and not for the “date’s sake” itself.

    After the first few dates, that should go out the window though. If your boyfriend/girlfriend wants you to spend more money on them for the exact same thing “just because”, then you shouldn’t be dating them.

  7. Blueskylaw says:

    Forget your date and go get that 2 for 1 special for yourself. Bring the leftovers home in a doggy bag and feel good about how financially astute you are.

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      If you ask nicely, they’ll let you position a mirror on the other side of the table.

      • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

        Mirror in the bathroom
        Please talk free
        The doro is locked
        Just you and me
        Can I take you to a restaurant
        That’s go glass table
        You watch youself
        while you are eating.

        • ChuckECheese says:

          Wow blast from the past … that song was over 30 years ago. We should soon be hearing The Beat and such on Lawrence Welk.

        • ChuckECheese says:

          Wow blast from the past … that song was over 30 years ago. We should soon be hearing The Beat and such on Lawrence Welk.

  8. Tim says:

    This is about the difference between being cheap and being frugal.

    For a frugal first date, you might choose something like ice skating instead of dinner. Or go to a restaurant that isn’t super expensive. For a cheap first date, you might propose splitting an entree with your date. Or ask that s/he not order a drink or dessert.

    Now, if you want to be frugal and really smooth, go to a restaurant where you know the owner and he’ll give you some part of the meal (or the whole thing) for free. That’d be impressive.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Better yet, if you’ve asked someone on a date and you happen to be a good cook, cook something! Just make sure you’re not making something the other person is allergic to or objects to eating.

      • Hi_Hello says:

        cook something part is awesome. The person would have to be at your place in order for you to cook something for them. Which mean, afterward or during dining you can hit the bed.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i save that one for down the road. i’m not open to knowing where someone lives or vice versa until i know them a little better. i used to be more open to it but then they started showing up at my place after the first date didn’t work out… creepy

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Huh, that is creepy. I didn’t think about that. Honestly, I was thinking that you could have a picnic and then I thought you could cook something and somehow I wrote one thought but not the other. Anyway, I was going to suggest a picnic in which the superior cook brings food for the other person.

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            picnic i’m good with. it’s inexpensive, you can show off your cooking and you don’t have to tip or quibble over coupons!
            first dates don’t even have to include food as far as i’m concerned. i have so many medical issues with food that it actually makes things more awkward.
            i mean, how does it look to go through the menu and find one thing you can eat, only if they leave x out of it? there’s always a 5 minute discussion with the server at a new place. and yes, i tip well for their trouble. i wish i didn’t have to be a picky eater.
            that’s why i picked the place for the date i have this weekend. it’s an awesome charity event i want to go to anyway and it’s a place i’ve been before so i know what i can eat. i can just order and not have to worry about getting something i am allergic to. since it’s a dinner movie theatre, if something doesn’t work for it also won’t be as obvious when i have to pick it out of my food surreptitiously in the dark.

    • MMD says:

      Some of those ideas are cool…an activity date like ice skating could be fun if both parties are into it. But asking a date not to order a drink or dessert would cast a weird shadow over the rest of the date…it’s hard to relax and have fun if you’re worried about what your date will and won’t allow you to do.

  9. Lethe says:

    My boyfriend and I hardly use Groupon and dealfind so much that we hardly go out WITHOUT using a coupon. Of course, we’ve been together for 2 years, so we’re not trying too hard to impress each other anymore.

    • pythonspam says:

      Also, a people very rarely make permanent changes when they start dating. It may start out as trying to impress the other person, but the old habits will re-emerge.
      I am as likely to use a coupon on the first date as I would 30 years down the road when we are old and married.
      Once we as a society can distinguish between Frugality and Cheapness, we can move on.

    • Lethe says:

      If you remove the first “hardly”, that line makes a lot more sense.

  10. ninabi says:

    Put it out there as part of the invitation to go out.
    “Hey, I’ve got this coupon I want to use- care to join me for dinner?”

    There is a fine line between being admirably frugal and being cheap, however. It would take several dates to be able to discern between the two.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      If it’s a 2 for 1, then it makes it seem like you’re only asking that person out because you need a second person.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      That’s pretty much the line I used when I asked my wife out on our first date. Neither of us had much money, so all of our dates were out to restaurants that were having specials, or where we had coupons for.

  11. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Tacky – it’s kind of like saying “you’re only worth going out with if I get a discount.”

    But anyway, if you’re trying to impress with frugality…take her to [random fast food restaurant] and then whip out your employee discount card. Cha-ching!

  12. Max Headroom says:

    I make my own dates at home.

  13. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i’m ok with coupon use during a date. but if my date makes a scene about it, doesn’t tip on the full amount before discount or shows they are a total cheapskate then there isn’t going to be another date
    by total cheapskate i mean not ordering a beverage just to save money and trying to find the cheapest entree on the menu whether it’s food they want or not
    since i’d be paying for my own anyway, it’s no skin off my nose. i can see where someone who is being treated to dinner might feel “what, i’m not worth full price?’ about it though

    • caradrake says:

      By not ordering a drink – would you be upset when a date ordered water?

      I’ve gotten into the habit of always ordering water instead of pop or tea – not because it’s cheaper, but because it’s healthier.

      I’m glad I’m married and don’t have to worry about him thinking I’m cheap, but is it really a tacky thing/dealbreaker if someone orders water on a date?

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        it wouldn’t be tacky if someone ordered water. it would be tacky if someone said ‘i’m ordering water because i don’t want to pay for an overpriced restaurant drink’ AND had a coupon, etc. if someone just ordered water and never said a thing, i wouldn’t even notice probably. unless they then asked for a bunch of lemons and added sugar packets to make lemonade at the table
        but i’d be having an iced tea.

    • WalterSinister2 says:

      I usually end up ordering water. It’s the only drink most restaurants have that doesn’t have calories or caffeine. If I’m not familiar with the place and it doesn’t list it’s sodas, I ask about diet sprite, diet 7up, etc.

    • Extractor says:

      I dont order any drinks other than water since I consume only about 6 ounces and am allergic to all alcohol except vodka. Everyone else can drink whatever they want. Even tho Im paying, I dont care and tip 20% since I never understood the saying “its like pulling teeth”. Whenever Im told told that, I respond “great”. Funny, now that I can afford it, all I can eat is plain chicken and turkey as well as plain rice and potatos. 1 meal a day. Saturday, I paid for lunch at the office but had none of it since my gut can get screwed up and I know that if I dont eat Ill feel the same thoughout the day. People feel sorry for me but fom my point of view, the food they think Im missing out on will rip me apart and am very comfortable on that diet. I used to be over 200 lbs and 5’6″. Currently 165. Due to Spinal Fusion last December, anything over 170 hurts a lot. I could be 200 again but would be trying pain meds which I can easily obtain except that other than the aspirin family, Im allergic to almost all narcotics, antibiotics,etc. Im allergic to 90% of the prescriptions I write. Allergies will put everything into a totally different perspective. Perfumes, which my wife claims she doesnt use yet she reeks of it, to me are repellants. It work, we sleep in separate rooms and have separate bathrooms; need a gas mask to walk in hers.
      What caused all this-My parents smoking from when I was born till the first warning by the surgeon general in 1964. Second hand smoke. Now that there is no smoking in bars, I cant drink. Waited 40 years for that!

  14. Trance says:

    If I went on a first date and the guy used a coupon, I would be annoyed and think “Oh, he only brought me here because he has a coupon” and maybe even “he doesn’t like me enough to even pay for my meal!” Yes, I realize those are somewhat crazy thoughts. But, first date emotions are crazy tempermental.

    If I went on a second or third date and he used a coupon, I wouldn’t care. I may still think “Oh, he only brought me here because he has a coupon” but it wouldn’t bother be as much because I know he is not ONLY going to take me places where he has a coupon. I would not think “he doesn’t like me enough to even pay for my meal!” because the first date crazy emotions aren’t there. I would probably even appreciate his frugility.

  15. JoeXJoe says:

    I guess it just shows how classy I am “Hey, I have a coupon for [insert restaurant here] would you like to go?”

  16. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    The tackiness or smartness of it is 100% based on the perception of the other party.

    Personally, a woman who rejects me for using a coupon on a date is shallow and not worth my time.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Society still frowns upon coupons as if they are subversive in some way. There’s a perception that they undermine a person’s ability to pay full price for something, and display of wealth and ability is still very important in many societies. There are a variety of ways to look cheap, but coupons are a much more overt way.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        I have a female friend that is a “just one of the guys” kind of gal but she can seriously turn me on by talking finance and how she invests/divests her money.

        I think it’s my math fetish that ladies haven’t kinked in a while so it glomped onto it. Thankfully we can still talk money in short bursts and she’s not setting out to be a cocktease.

    • FatLynn says:

      And if you don’t tip on the full amount, you’re not worthy of mine. Deal?

      • Coelacanth says:

        Seriously – let’s suppose someone’s date takes the bill, discreetly writes in the tip amount, and puts back on the cover.

        Are you saying it’s acceptable for people to:

        a) Stare at the tip/total as the other person fills it out or…
        b) Take the bill, open it up, and then check the amount?

        Both seem really kind of passive-aggressive, even a little creepy.

    • Snip says:

      Why is it the same people who were lambasting grocery store couponers who are saying this now? There’s a disconnect going on here, and I’d be interested to know how far it goes. When is it okay to use a coupon, and when is it disgraceful? I’m not being smart, I really want to know.

  17. CorvetteJoe says:

    If your date thinks you are cheap for using a coupon, kick her to the curb.

  18. Bativac says:

    This is hilarious to me and speaks to the delicate nature of the early stages of the human mating ritual.

    My wife on an early date with me: What is that, a coupon? …Are you serious?

    My wife now: You want to go WHERE for dinner? Bitch, you better have a coupon!!

    (Yeah my wife calls me “bitch.”)

  19. coren says:

    The easiest way is to let your date pick a place, then it’s not a “oh he just chose this cuz he had a coupon” sort of thing. If you’re gonna use a coupon.

  20. Max Headroom says:

    Go dutch, problem solved on the first date.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i can agree with that, but i’ve had guys not want a second date because i wanted to pay my share. very weird.

      • Thassodar says:

        I dunno…Never had it happen but I’d take that as a sign that she didn’t enjoy the conversation/meal so much that she wanted to pay for herself and GTFO. Maybe I read into things too much.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          oh, i say it at the beginning so no one has to think ‘oh god, is she going to order the most expensive thing on the menu?’ and because i have to be a picky eater, medically. i figure if i pay for it, then it doesn’t look quite as bad when i make a special request. then there’s no pressure on the conversation about who is going to pay for what

          • Tim says:

            My rule of thumb for at least the first few dates is that the person who asks does the paying.

            • HogwartsProfessor says:

              I have to be sneaky to get the check away from my bf. I plan to take him out to a nice place when he comes to visit next week, and Imma tell them when I make the reservation, do NOT give the check to him or put it anywhere near him! It’s my treat!

              He’s a Southern gentleman and it’s hard to get them to let you pay. But he took me to a fancy place and now it’s his turn to be pampered. :)

        • Mauvaise says:

          I always pull out my wallet on first dates to pay for my own . If the guy offers to pay, I’ll ask once if he’s sure and then put my wallet away with a “thank you”. Hell, I’ll still be pulling out my wallet on a 5th date. I never assume. Doesn’t mean I am not interested, just that I don’t expect my way to be paid.

          • FrugalFreak says:

            Thank You, It’s nice to not being taken advantage of. Just knowing someone would means alot

  21. Minj says:

    It is simultaneously hilarious and saddening the tiny little things that people will reject a potential mate for. If a woman thinks it is cheap to use a coupon, something that is essentially free money, and would reject a second date because of it, then they simply aren’t worthy of my time.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      I would say that someone who reject you for using a coupon isn’t worth YOUR time.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      How far does it go, though? Coupons aside, what about a guy or girl who picks a pretty cheap restaurant when you know he or she has the means for a moderately nice place? What if they order the cheapest thing on the menu whether they want it or not?

      To some people (and I don’t really have a personal stance because it’s never happened to me) the coupons are similar to someone picking a cheap restaurant (i.e. the decision to go cheap outweighed the conscious effort to show them you care about the date).

      • chatterboxwriting says:

        I guess I just don’t understand why going to a cheap restaurant or using a coupon is the most horrifying thing ever. You shouldn’t base how much you like someone on how much they spend on you. There are a lot of guys who have big bucks and are complete jerks.Your opinion should be based on how the guy treats you and talks about other women in his life (mom, sisters, etc.).

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      I KNOW. I can’t believe I was dumped after she saw the dozen or so tied up asian schoolchildren in my crawlspace. Talk about petty!

  22. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    When I was single, I always paid for my own first date b/c I wanted the playing field to be even–no expectations that I “owe” the guy something. So, this would be a non-issue. But, if we went somewhere we both agreed on, and I did let the guy pay, I would not be put off by a coupon at all.

    • Bativac says:

      My first dates were always a cup of coffee someplace and a walk on the beach. Cheesy as hell but I always got a second date. (Probably because girls who hated the beach would never go out with me in the first place.)

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      “owe?”. Oh come on. What guy would think that?

      • Snaptastic says:

        Lots…probably the lesser quality guys tho. Some guys give off a strong vibe of, “I want something from you,” and that will send most women into flee mode.

  23. NumberSix says:

    I think dating and superficial people are not a perfect match.

  24. FatLynn says:

    I think, if a date used a coupon, I’d be most interested to see if he tipped (correctly) on the full amount of the tab before discount. That’s a better indicator, IMO, of whether he is a cheapskate.

    • RickScarf says:

      I hadn’t thought of it that way but you make an awesome point. I’m married and coupons are the norm, but if I was single and my date whipped out a coupon I would love it. I wouldn’t peek at the tip unless it was obviously laid out, and if it was a poor tip I would be disappointed :(
      I use coupons all the time, and tip awesome. Wait staff can really use it.

  25. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    On the very first (non-group) date with my now-wife, I used a 20% off coupon so we could go to a restaurant that we could otherwise not afford. I couldn’t imagine dating, let alone marrying someone who would be so superficial as to not date someone for using coupons. I was a recently graduated, 22 year old, and was earning next to nothing as a bio tech. She knew what she was getting into when she agreed to go out with me.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Like you said. She knew what she was getting into, and it wasn’t your first date, just your first date without other people. Sometimes people are more open to dating strangers like people they meet at a bar. When you can’t ask mutual friends about the person, you take a gamble.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        It was still our first date but we were friends beforehand, so I guess there was some previous insight on each other.

        I was never much of a dater in general but I couldn’t imagine pretending to be something other than myself. It just doesn’t seem right to pretend to have money when I didn’t have much of anything at the time. I really don’t see much of a difference in saying “I have a 20% coupon at X, want to try it out?” vs. “Restaurant X has a 50% of special on Wednesday night, want to check it out after work?”.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          The difference is the participation. You’re being totally up front that it’s up to him or her to participate in the coupon adventure and if that person accepts, they’re buying into the concept.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            I just can’t imagine not being upfront. Not being able to (or not wanting to) spend a lot of money on a meal is nothing to be embarrassed about. I’m guessing about 90% of the dates we went on before getting married involved a happy hour, some kind of special, or a coupon. We’ve been married for over 10 years, so it’s worked out well for us.

  26. Schlake says:

    The use of a coupon implies to me that I can’t afford whatever it is I’m buying so I shouldn’t be buying it in the first place.

  27. Pastry Minion says:

    I like coupons, but I think on a first date it’s just a little off. You don’t know what the motivation is. Now, if I said, “Hey, I really like this restaurant” and the date said, “Oh, awesome, I have a groupon, let’s go”, that would be fine with me. But if he’s picking the place, no, because I’d wonder if he picked it just because he had a deal and not because he thought I’d be into it. As groupon and other deal sites get more popular, I really think it’ll become less of an issue though.

  28. Nick says:

    I think it can be broken down this way: If you take your date to a restaurant where the waiter is wearing flair or you carry a tray, then it’s okay to hold up the coupon and say “I have this”. Otherwise, it’s not acceptable.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      in a situation like that, i’d rather my date had a buy one get one free for arby’s. at least i’d enjoy the food

  29. josephbloseph says:

    Wouldn’t do it on a first date. Aside from the whole “tacky” thing, I’m going to have to say that places I want to go for a first date either aren’t the sort to have coupons. Incidentally, the 2-for-1 coupon is probably the worst example. That’s the sort of thing where I’ll see if a friend wants to tag along. Wouldn’t want to give my date the impression that I only asked them because I can’t eat 2 steak dinners in a timely fashion, or that she’s worth treating myself to a decent meal, with the side effect of her getting a similar meal. Definitely would when settled in a stable relationship. Anywhere in between is up in the air. I wouldn’t feel too bad about tossing a gift certificate at a check on a second or third date.

  30. make7acs says:

    My main concern would be that my date would assume I brought her to a specific restaurant solely because I had a coupon. Then again, if a woman isn’t willing to go on a second date simply because you used a coupon, is that really a relationship you want to pursue?

    I won’t lie though, I’ve slipped coupons to waiters on the sneak before, they seem pretty understanding.

  31. rockelscorcho says:

    It doesn’t matter if I use a coupon, cause my date will end up in the back of my trunk – Dexter.

  32. WalterSinister2 says:

    After you are a couple, you can use coupons. In the early stages don’t. Just don’t. Even if your date is frugal herself and would approve of coupon use in general, using one on a first date marks you as not understanding social conventions. Some women may like frugality (very few when the money is being spent on them). Almost no women like social ineptitude.

  33. stevied says:

    There sould be a discussion before hand….

    Normally I take my first dates to a nice (quiet, hot, fancy, cheap, local) restaurant

    I heard about this really (cool, neat, expensive, unique, chain) restaurant. My (mother, father, cheap sister, 2nd cousin, next door neighbor) was discussing the restaurant with me and past a coupon my way for 50% off.

    I thought maybe we could try it out for a change and save my favorite spot for our second date.

    IF she says you got to be fucking kidding well then you got your answer.

  34. smo0 says:

    Okay, if you’re going to do this – be a bit more sly.

    Say, hey I’ve got coupons our groupons or free passes to such and such, I figured now would be a good time to check out this place.

    But discuss it before hand. I gather this would be typically the guy paying so, keep that option open or put the ball in her court, let her pick a place. Also if you have a night of multiple things planned like, dinner and a movie – or a show or minigolf (tons of coupons for that, people wouldn’t think twice) then it sounds more like you wanna do more on a tighter budget.

    People like variety. If a guy took me to like… an apple bees on the first date (which I normally wouldn’t go on a date with him if he did) then busted out a coupon, then didn’t have anything else planned?

    I would NOT go on a second date.

  35. kimmie says:

    I once went out with someone who dragged me up and down the peninsula so he could take me to THREE different places he had GroupOns for. Drinks, dinner, and dessert, in three different cities. It was excessive and annoying.

    I wouldn’t mind, but I feel like someone might ask me to a specific place ONLY because they had a coupon, not because it might be good.

  36. Chaosium says:

    “I mean, yeah, okay, maybe using a coupon can be viewed as tacky. But couldn’t it also be viewed as smart?”

    No. I’m there to feel special, not 2 for 1. After a few dates, sure. Who cares?

    But right out of the gate, I don’t want someone haggling with the servers.

  37. Ilovegnomes says:

    I think it is all in the delivery. If the person acts excited about having a coupon, it’s funny or fun. However if they act all serious about it, they sound stingy. First impressions are everything.

    I just got into a conversation about how I use to eat before first date as to not look like a pig in front of my date. I had a first date where I hadn’t eaten all day (crazy, long day at work) and then I pretty much ate enough to feed a football player in front of my first date. Even though we were paying for our own food, he actually commented out loud about it, and yeah, I never got a call back from him.

    The point of a first date is to not look crazy, stingy, weird or that you eat like a pig in order to get a call back. Once the person gets to know you better, then you can let all of those things out.

  38. Snip says:

    There is a time and a place for coupons. A first date fits neither. Later on in the relationship, maybe. Especially if it’s a Living Social type thing where you could have a lot of fun.

  39. FrugalFreak says:

    Use the coupon, but use money saved for flowers or her dessert.

  40. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I don’t think I’d mind too much, especially with the economy the way it is now. If he tried to use a coupon at a mid-range or higher restaurant, I would just think “he’s being frugal.” Like people said earlier though, there are other indicators of stinginess like tip skimping, or the don’t order a drink thing, that would tell me a lot more about his personality than simply trying to save a little money. Bottom line, we should be on the same page about stuff like that. If the restaurant is okay, it wouldn’t bother me.

    I don’t think I would like dating someone who argues over every penny when eating out like Ebenezer Scrooge. If they’re stubborn about that, they will be about EVERYTHING. You have to have some pleasure in life and I don’t want to be pleading for our kids to have new shoes. Frugal is one thing; fighting over the thermostat every damn day is another.

  41. katarzyna says:

    I think it really depends on your situation. For a couple of college students, using a coupon on a date is totally acceptable. If, however, you’re well off enough to afford the place without a coupon, then I think it’s pretty tacky to use one on a first date. Whipping the coupon out on the second date, however, is fine with me.

  42. dilbert69 says:

    If you’re frugal, you should be up front about it, because you don’t want to marry someone who isn’t frugal.

  43. pot_roast says:

    “Hey, I got this awesome 2 for 1 special at this place I’ve been wanting to try. What do you think?”

    Problem solved. If she says yes, then she should be ok with it. Might as well be honest about things.

  44. SomeWhiteGuy says:

    My wife and I (before we got married) would pick our date places according to where we had coupons… Is that weird? Our first date was to a place I had a Free Appetizer coupon for. She didn’t flinch when I mentioned it. Guess it’s up to the couple. If she bolts because you use a coupon, was it meant to be?