Should You Use Coupons on a First Date?

date night, coupons, dating, first date

Dating can be hard, especially if you’ve been out of touch with the dating world for awhile. There are so many things to think about, with a lot of issues and events revolving around money.

Dating can be very expensive. Between spending money trying to find the person who you want to date (such as potentially spending money on online dating sites and speed dating), dinners, brunches, movies, flowers, gifts and so on, why not try and save some money by using coupons?

I’m sure some of us will balk at this and say “Oh well I don’t care. If I can save money, then I’m doing it!” However, when it really comes down to it, would you really? What if you might come across as cheap and as if you don’t think the person is worth the full price.

However, using a coupon can also make you come across as good with your money. If you have a really good coupon that you just happened to come across, does it always make you come across as cheap?

This leads to the next question: What coupon value is the minimum that you should be using? If the coupon is only for $1 off, should you even be using it? What if the coupon is for $10 off your total bill?

Now, if you’re saying that you shouldn’t be using coupons on the first date EVER, then when is it okay to do so? The fifth date? Even later? WHEN!? Does the length of dating matter or no?
What if you find a really good Groupon for the place that you just happen to be going to your date next week? Why not buy it? There are so many coupons out there, and nearly ever restaurant has one available for you to use. Some restaurants probably even expect you to use one on your bill. So what should you do?

Here are some possibilities of what you can do:

1. Should you just eat somewhere cheaper?

If you are using a coupon at a restaurant, is there a reason for it? Are you using the coupon because you don’t think the date is worth the money or are you trying to make the person perceive you as having more money than you actually have? Try thinking of the reasons for why you are truly using the coupon.

You can avoid the whole confidence-with-using-coupons problem by just eating at a cheaper restaurant where you do not mind not using coupons at.

2. Ask the waiter or waitress secretly to apply the coupon?

Some people will approach (maybe pretend they are going to the bathroom) their waiter or waitress and ask them to secretly apply the coupon to the bill. I’m sure this happens often. If you can secretly do this because you are afraid of what your date will think, then why not?

However, if you are doing this in secret, then are you ashamed of using coupons? When on a date, shouldn’t you be trying to show the person who you actually are? If your date is ashamed of your coupon usage and you using a coupon is an automatic deal breaker, then maybe your date isn’t worth your time.

3. Openly use the coupon?

If you are not ashamed and are proud of your money saving ways, then why not openly use your coupon in front of your date? I doubt your date will say anything, and if the coupon is a good value coupon, then using it will probably just show them that you are good with your money.

4. No coupon and suck up your loss?

If you are deeply worried about what your date will think, then your last option is to just not use a coupon at all and suck up your loss. The loss is most likely going to be minimal, so why over think something that might only equal approximately $5 or $10? It’s probably not worth your time to think so much about.

Have you ever used coupons on a date?

What do you think about it?

Photo Credits (exploratorium)


  1. I think I only used coupons on a date after really knowing where the person stood in relation to that and finances. Thinking back on it I believe I only used them while on dates with my wife before we got married. Once we knew where things were going, things like finances started to be discussed more in depth.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..October Blog Goals UpdateMy Profile

  2. My future husband used to use hamburger-joint coupons nearly every time we went out before we got married — but we were starving students at the time and I was glad to go out at all. It’s a great story to tell our kids.

  3. No. Not on the first date. Just suck it up. Go out for drinks on date one. Then, for date two, preface it by saying, hey, I have a Groupon to xyz steak, do you want to join me?
    Kathleen, Frugal Portland recently posted..My personal philosopy at age 31My Profile

  4. I’d say be totally upfront about it. Say, “Hey, I got a great Groupon for a new place I’ve been dying to try out! Want to come with? My treat?” =)

    As long as you’re not all weird about it, nobody’s going to care – in fact the girl might even be more at ease knowing that money spent is less of an issue.
    Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies recently posted..IRS Double Standard – How Much Is Hair Worth?My Profile

  5. I’d never use a coupon if I was first meeting with a girl. After you get to know each other a little bit then I think it’s fine, but I’m not sure the first impression you want to make is one of you being a tightwad. …sure, some could argue that your displaying that your smart with money, but most ladies won’t see it that way.
    Jason recently posted..Go Green! Save Money!My Profile

  6. Using coupons on a first date is definitely interesting! I’m not sure what I would do since I haven’t dated since I was 16 (I’ve been with him since then). Oh the joy of not having to think about these things! haha
    Michelle recently posted..Tips to Tackle Clutter Before ChristmasMy Profile

  7. Hey, I’m all for saving money but I say save yourself the trouble of worrying about it and just pay the full price especially on the first date. I mean, the person doesn’t even know you yet. There’s lots of time to discuss finances and help them understand the things you do to save money so you have more money left over for the important things in life.

    Do you really want to be a worried mess before going on a first date where you are trying to be yourself and impress this person over a coupon?
    SavingMentor recently posted..Ultra Cheap Designer Prescription Glasses Tutorial (VIDEO)My Profile

  8. I always think there is a time and a place to save some money and it’s not when you are starting to date someone or at least the first couple dates. If someone is ready to jump into the dating world I would make sure I had some cash kicking around. You don’t have to go to fancy restaurants you could do afternoon lunches, tea and cake. Save the coupons for another time, not the first date. Mr.CBB
    Canadian Budget Binder recently posted..Mr.CBB’s Weekly Blog Post Picks Nov 9,2012My Profile

  9. What an interesting question. My 38 year old money saving self might be impressed, but my 21 year old single dating self would have probably thought him cheap and it wouldn’t have been good. You don’t want to feel like you aren’t worth full price on the first date.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..Can’t Take My Eyes Off These Blogs #13-Veteran’s EditionMy Profile