I went to a popular new restaurant in St. Paul on Saturday. Even though I've read about this place and really wanted to try it, I didn't say "yes" to the invitation without hesitation. The reason? I didn't have a coupon.
It's come to this. I am so used to coupons, discounts, and half price meals that it's hard for me to pay full price for anything anymore.
I wasn't always this way. I didn't use coupons much before I had kids. And I certainly didn't use them on a first date.
Well, coupon and personal finance website CouponSherpa.com took an informal survey and wrote a blog post on the very topic of whether it is acceptable to use coupons on the first date.
Here are some excerpts from the post:
It's important you come out to that first date on the right foot. Being frugal initially with your money means you're less likely to be generous with your time, affection and emotion. - Paul Falzone, CEO of the Massachusetts-based dating service eLove
Showcasing the importance of a stellar initial impression, 47-year-old professional Tina responded first-date frugality was, "A sign he'll be a pain in the ass and monitor all your spending if you're ever in a relationship together."
I have to say I disagree with Paul and Tina.
Just because you like to save money doesn't mean you're going to be a coldhearted penny pincher who is always working, working, working. In fact, you might be watching your pennies so you can donate more, or afford a fabulous vacation.
As for Tina's concern about coupon-clippers being controlling stick-in-the-mud's , I guess you'd have ask Mr. Kablog. I can be a pain about money, but I think we've done a pretty good job handling the Miss Frugal marries Mr. Not-so-frugal with accounts we've labeled "his spending" and "her spending." That way, I don't ask him about every purchase he makes and vice versa.
Some of the Coupon Sherpa users said they could overlook coupons used to afford a fine dining experience. Pulling out a coupon at a fast food restaurant, on the other hand? Well, who is taking someone to McDonalds on a first date anyway?
Apparently, if you're a woman, it's more acceptable to show your frugal side on dates. According to a survey about money and the sexes conducted by ING Direct, 61 percent of men consider a frugal first date to be "smart" and "sexy." Just 44 percent of women feel the same way.
Honestly, I thought with the economy these days, being frugal is more acceptable. I'd think the popularity of online deal-makers such as Star Tribune STeals, CrowdCut and Groupon with a younger, social crowd would also make saving money chic.
What do you think? Is it OK to use coupons or Groupons while dating? How is this any different from strategically picking the bar with a happy hour or fixed price meal?