Are You A Cheap Date?

My first date with my husband almost didn’t happen. We’d been following – all right, I’ll admit it, stalking – each other around campus for weeks, but every time we tried to nail down plans to get together, something came up. Actually, it almost always came up on his end. “I’ve got to make up a comp sci lab,” he’s inform me nonchalantly over AIM; or, “Coach called an extra practice,” he’d say, referring to his spot on our university’s football team. Getting him to commit to a dinner off campus was like trying to convince him to open a joint bank account.

Eventually, though, we made it out, but with one stipulation on his part: he would get to choose the restaurant. I figured he was just a very picky eater, so I agreed. It wasn’t until the check arrived at our table after dinner that I realized why he’d made the request in the first place – he had a coupon for buy one, get one dinner entrees.

Are You A Cheap Date?

Turns out, my husband isn’t alone. A new survey by CouponCabin finds that 26 percent of U.S. adults have used a coupon or other discount on their first date. If you find that statistic surprising, check this out:

  • 73 percent of adults said they would have a positive reaction if their date used a coupon to pay, and if all went well, would go out with that individual again
  • 12 percent said they wouldn’t say anything if their date used coupons to pay, but wouldn’t go out with that person again
  • 3 percent said they’d tell their date they were offended by the use of the coupon
  • 1 percent would walk out on their date if he or she used a coupon

And it doesn’t have to be your first date to use a coupon. The CouponCabin survey also found that while nearly three-quarters of adults thought it was appropriate to use coupons at any time, nearly a third thought it was only appropriate if you were married or if you were a student.

How I Responded

Spoiler alert: as you noticed in the first paragraph of this story, the guy who pulled out the coupon on our first date ultimately became my husband, so obviously, I didn’t storm off in disgust. As the daughter of a financial professional who is more than a tad frugal herself, I’ve been brought up to embrace budgeting.

Over the years, though, I learned that my husband wasn’t always the thrifty guy I’d assumed he was on that first date. Sometimes, he splurged on unnecessary electronics or didn’t think twice before choosing the more expensive of two adjacent gas stations. But on that first date, I saw a spark of his financial philosophy, one that was very similar to mine. It showed me that, in one very important way that many young couples overlook, we were actually quite compatible.

And, as they say, now you know the rest of the story…

Reader, would or have you used coupons on a first date?

Libby Balke

Libby is a jack of all trades, master of… well, you know how the saying goes. Media consultant by day, mommy by night, you can usually find her with a glass of wine in hand, provided the kids are in bed!

5 thoughts on “Are You A Cheap Date?

  • October 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I would totally have used a coupon if I had one. I didn’t and I think our first date was something like McDonald’s, so it didn’t matter. But I’ve always let my fickle frugal flag fly. I’m like your husband though, I’ll use a coupon if I have it, but I will also splurge frequently without trying too hard to save a ton if I’m in the mood…

    • May 12, 2016 at 3:58 am

      Yes,In My First Date I Spent $0 With The Help of Coupons,really love that moment..

  • October 23, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I wouldn’t be fazed if my date did that, but I’d probably be too embarrassed to do it myself.

  • October 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    My first date was almost free! I took my then girlfriend (now wife) to a college football game. It was followed by a get together at a college bar. Since neither of us were big drinkers, we nursed our one beer for the hour or so. Cost was less than $5. I was very creative in finding inexpensive or cheap dates and my wife was okay with it. It may be one of the reasons we are still married for 44 years.

  • October 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    My first date with my wife cost me $0. We went to a local park and painted. My wife supplied the painting implements. I know. I’m a romantic.


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