Couponing On A First Date? Attractive Or Not?

Couponing On A First Date? Attractive Or Not?

I'll admit it: I'm a deal nut. Groupon, LivingSocial, Poggled... You name it, I'm a huge fan of it. (Something that isn't so bad since men seem to find "frugal women" attractive, according to another old study) And, since my boyfriend Sav and I like to go out, I find great value in using them, especially at places I frequent. That said, since we've been dating for a while, coupon use is totally OK. If he or I use one, it's no biggie. We usually work out who covers tips and pays the difference, too, so it's fair.

But, when we FIRST started dating, it was a little more traditional in courtship style. He picked up drinks the first night we met, he covered the check the second night and we've been switching off ever since.  However, with as increasingly common as it is to get amazing coupon deals, is it OK to use them on the first date?

Apparently, a survey by CouponCabin.com says just that. It seems that in a survey of 2,800 people, nearly one in five -- or 18% -- of people HAVE used a coupon on a first date. Moreover, 26 percent say they would be fine with it and nearly three fourths say that if their date used a coupon, they'd go out with them again, only further reiterating that people are indeed looking for budget-smart folks on a date. (The survey cites 73% of folks are OK with coupon use anytime)

In the press release I got, President and Chief Savings Officer Jackie Warrick spoke to the difficult economic time as reason for coupon use.  “From online coupons to daily deal sites to coupons that print out for you at the cash register, coupons are just about everywhere. It makes sense that more people are using them for dating during these challenging times.”

I found the insights compelling and a touch surprising. Sure, being budget conscious is smart, important and necessary. And I admire people who decide that using a coupon is the way to go. But thinking beyond a coupon that pops into your inbox on the first date, it would seem to be just as cool to plan a creative date that you can afford. Shows thought, time and patience. After all, if it doesn't work, no harm, no foul and not much money lost, either.

One of the coolest first dates I had was at a hot cocoa and tea shop in Lincoln Park. Sure, our two cups were something like $10 - $12. But we spent so much time talking and walking that our hot cocoa was long forgotten. And I can be sure to tell you I wasn't hung up on how much we spent on the date. We were together several months after that -- all 'cause of a cup of hot coffee on a Sunday night.

Ultimately, what you do and how you plan a first date is all up to you, budget and all. And, it's your right to choose how you want to pay for the date, especially if it's a super chill coupon from, say, Bloomspot (Have you seen some of those deals and restaurants?!). But, if you ARE going to plan for the first date, plan for the person and the time you're going to have. If that includes a coupon you have, great! Live it up and tip well! If not, don't be afraid to plan what your wallet can stand. A person worth it won't mind -- and will be focused on getting to know you, not how much you can spend.

Your Turn: Would YOU use a coupon on a first date? Why or why not?

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