Coupon use on a date: savvy or cheap?

This may seem like a silly issue, but it came up recently so I wanted to address it.

coupon bookA gal pal shared that she was a bit put off on a first date by a guy pulling out a 2-for-1 coupon when the bill arrived. Even though he was paying, she thought it made him seem chintzy.

On the one hand, it showed he knew how to stretch his dollar. And since he was paying, why not get the biggest bang for his buck? On the other hand, it made it seem like the only reason she was along was so he could use his coupon. It didn’t make her feel special.

She asked for my input. I suggested that if he approached it differently he might have seemed less like a skinflint. When he tendered his invitation, he might have said, “I’d love to take you to lunch to a new restaurant I’ve been wanting to try. And I’m hoping it won’t offend you, but they’ve even given me a coupon to dine there. Will you accompany me?”

By setting it up this way, he’s telling her in advance and making it sound like a special place that he’s heard of and wants to try.

In fact, on two occasions when a new guy and I have been discussing where to meet, I’ve thrown in the option of a place I have a coupon. I’ve said, “Another possibility is Left at Albuquerque as I have a $10 off coupon, if you wouldn’t be embarrassed that we use it.” Then he can decide if he wants to go there or not.

Another time as the bill came, I said, “If it wouldn’t bother you, I have a $15 coupon.” My date was very happy, not embarrassed.

When time for the check, if you decide to split it, the coupon amount comes off the top and you split the balance. Don’t say, “Well, the coupon covers my share.” Tacky!

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One response to “Coupon use on a date: savvy or cheap?”

  1. Christine Avatar

    I don’t know why this kind of thing bothers some people. You can’t make an issue out of everything that doesn’t fulfill your best fantasy about a guy. It would not be a dealbreaker for me, unless we had to walk to the restaurant to save gas and eat between the hours of 4 and 6PM. Of course, the coupon thing is not ideal “first date” behavior, but I can’t fault a guy for doing something that I do regularly in everyday life and something that I wouldn’t mind in a boyfriend or partner.