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Hipsters to the Rescue: Using Coupons on a Date?!

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Reader, Emily, emailed in with the following question:

Hey Collin! So this amazing guy asked me out and we are thinking of going to Logan’s for dinner. Conveniently, Logan’s emailed me a BOGO coupon this very morning! How do you feel about using a coupon on a first date???

So, please help me answer Emily’s question. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Thanks!


Collin founded Hip2Save in 2008 and has over 10 years experience as a deals and lifestyle editor, strategist, and creative copywriter. She is debt-free and has been featured in Parents Magazine, Today.com and MSNBC. Connect with Collin on LinkedIn


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Comments 441

  1. Veroncia

    I purchased several $25 coupons from restaurant.com last year and for New Years Eve I took one to the Jazz club that me and my date went to and used it. He is very frugal and didn’t mind at all. I mentioned it to a friend that I did that and she was like no way. Hey when you are a coupon user it just comes natural to want to save money whenever you can.

  2. hannahgrl

    I really think he will think it’s great, he is the one paying so it only saves him money. And honestly, if your a couponer and he isn’t down with coupons wouldn’t you rather find out now rather than later?

  3. Tina in East Texas

    The way he responds to your bringing up the coupon will show you a lot about who he is… and whether you really WANT another date with him! He may be offended (in which case do you really want to develop a relationship with him?) or he may be happy and thankful… and might even say something like, “In that case, let’s order another dessert to share!” (My kind of man.) Ha ha.

  4. Beckyk

    I asked my hubby how he would have felt. He said ” I would have applauded you for saving a buck!” LOL

  5. Alaine

    I think this depends on how comfortable you are with the idea and whether or not you think using the coupon would be awkward. Obviously, none of us know the exact circumstances as to how comfortable you are with this guy and how well you two know each other. That being said, if you are going to use it, I would mention it to him ahead of time on the phone – kind of a casual, oh, I saw a coupon in the paper for that the other day…
    I personally wouldn’t be offended if a guy used a coupon on a first date with me, but it’s different with guys and girls. Also, I wouldn’t use it if it was for something like $3 off… but BOGO might be a different story. I also don’t know what kind of place this is, but one other poster mentioned it is not a 5 star restaurant or anything, so as long as it doesn’t create any awkwardness, I wouldn’t be above using it.

  6. Danielle

    I’m really curious to know what she decided to do 🙂

  7. jenny

    I would wait. On a first date, I would let him “lead” as far as asking you out, picking you up, paying for the meal, etc. I think it would make it awkward for him if you offered to use the coupon. A first date is a special time when I think you can make an exception and skip the coupon. Save the coupon for another time or use it with a friend or family member that you know well.

    I too am curious to know what you decide to do and hope you will post a follow-up.

    • Darlene

      totally agree with jenny, Let him lead.

    • Dawn

      I am also with Jenny. I just don’t think a first date is the right setting. I am all for being frugal, but it isn’t always the best in every situation. Hope your date goes well. I, too, am curious to find out what you decide to do and how it goes.

    • Katie

      I agree with Jenny! Hope that the date goes well for her. First dates can be awkward enough without whiping a coupon out of your purse!

  8. Gorjess

    I say no do not use the coupon on a first date. You should use the coupon to take a girlfriend out to dinner, when you give her the details about said date.

    • Jennifer

      Too many people are making too big a deal of this. If you just mention it to the guy at some point it will allow you to talk about your obvious habit of couponing or at least visiting money saving websites. Icebreaker if you ask me. And I’ll bet he appreciates the coupon, ANYBODY would.

      • Gina

        I say it really depends on how well you know the person…..if you at least know the person before the date then like Jennifer says it may bring up a conversation prior to date and won’t be like a shock like oh a coupon…is she paying or whats up…..
        But, if its a blind date and you really no nothing about the guy I say just relax and enjoy your date…..don’t worry about how much he is paying for your meals…he asked you right….

  9. Kay

    Who knows, he might want to take you to Logan’s because he has the same coupon!! 🙂 I find it hilarious that so many people are putting so much weight on how this guy responds to a coupon. My husband used to be embarrassed when I would try to use coupons. Now 10 years later he has no problem with it. I don’t think that the way he responds “says so much about who he really is”. It just doesn’t seem like its that big of a deal. (just my opinion thought) Hope your date goes well!!

  10. Lucy

    Will you guys update the post and let us know what you decided to do and how it turned out?

  11. Jennifer

    IMHO, if you’re not afraid to be a “Hip” “Coupon Fairy” to strangers at the store…why would you be afraid to give a coupon to a guy you are going on a date with? I think it will let you talk about something you are interested in. If he doesn’t want to use it, save it for a dinner with someone else:)

    • Rebecca

      It’s totally different using coupons in front of strangers at the store because you don’t care as much about what they think. When you are on a first date you obviously care what they think about you and you have know idea what they have been trained to think about couponers in their past (eg. crazy little old ladies who collect lent and only come out of the house if it’s triple coupon day) Everyone on this site knows that is not what most couponers are like, but do you really want to spend the first part of your date explaining that you aren’t crazy? I will however agree with a previous post that it depends on how comfortable you are with the person in the first place.

  12. Leslie

    just tell him that you are into cuoponing and actually have a coupon for the restuarant if he would like to use it. No harm in trying to save some money!

  13. Kell

    I wish my very eligible son could meet a frugal living, very eligible girl, it only means you enjoy more living for less money! I can’t imagine how stressful life would be for a husband married to a shopaholic money spender, could a guy really ever rest at night?
    Like some others have suggested, use your coupon, if he is a money waster, convert him or lose him.
    Unless he’s loaded of course, then spend on, I guess… Although, even with boyfriends with high income, I have always been conservative when it comes to spending. Just not big on over spending, while others in the world do without.

  14. Latasha

    I didn’t read through all the other responses but, if it were me, and I knew I had a coupon for the place I was invited for dinner, prior to the dinner I would mention to my date “hey, I have a coupon for the restaurant we’re going to that is ______ (buy this get that free, free drink, free appetizer, etc), let me know if you’d be interested in using it!”

    Then, if he agrees, you use it, nothing awkward. If he says, ‘thanks for the offer, but I’ve got this’ then you know his opinion about it. Maybe he wants to impress, maybe he just wants to spend time with you.

    I think the issue is whether or not to spring it on the date when already at the restaurant. If the coupon is mentioned ahead of time, I don’t see why there would be an issue.

  15. Elyse

    Most guys would probably be hesitant to take a coupon from you, but if you are a couponer, this is a big part of who you are! Don’t be pushy, but definitely hand him the coupon. Tell him he can buy you a drink/dessert with the money you save!

  16. jen s

    Not sure if you’ve gone yet or not, but I would not even bring up the coupon thing before a first date. I would say if the date goes well and you want to go out again THEN mention that you got a bogo coupon emailed if he would like to return. Or bring the coupon with you, I’m sure your couponing ways will come up in dinner conversation and if you share your little hobby with him you can mention you actually have a coupon for the restaurant and ask him if he would like to use it. Then it’s in his court, either he uses it or you go back again with a girlfriend for lunch who appreciates your frugal ways!

  17. Just saying..

    every date is a potential mate. go ahead and use the coupon and see how your date reacts. if he is opposed to saving a few dollars then you will have a better picture of his financial habits.

  18. Debbie

    Well…I bought a new home and the “Welcome Wagon” came a callin.’ In their basket of goodies was a buy-1-get-1-free coupon for a nice local restuarant. Went out on a first date with a nice fellow, and he chose that very restuarant. So…I asked him if he’d like to use the coupon (made sense to me). End of Story: WE ARE NOW MARRIED!!!! hee!hee!

  19. Danyiel77

    I agree w/314-plus what if he is also a couponer, or likes to save money~wich is nice~to know for a possible future for you two….you never know

  20. momwhocares

    In Europe most all women pay for themselves on their first dates.

    Reason: they want to maintain their self-respect at the end of the night.
    It seems men in any country seem to think if they pay for a date, they have expectations and women tend to feel like they “owe” this guy for paying. The more money they spend the more the chick should repay him with a kiss or something.

    Well, women in Europe pay for their own way to avoid such awkward circumstances and keep focus on what the dates really about. So, if the guy is only in the date for one thing or with expectations, he may not like the girl going “dutch”. If the guy is there because he likes the girls and wants to really get to know her – then why shoud he care if she wants to help pay for the date, even if it is with a coupon.

    I think back on my past dates and I have to agree with Europe – It is actually very classy of the ladies to pay for themselves. So, yeah – pay with a coupon or with cash or both. Let the guy know you will let him pay for a later date when things get more serious and you both know you are seeinga future in your relationship. That way if there is no future, he can’t treat you like you took advantage of him and only wanted a “free meal”.

  21. Michelle Y.

    If he’s opposed to using a coupon, drop him like a hot potato!

  22. cheryl

    hmm… not on a first date. can u imagine dealing with potential coupon issues at the resturant? crazy exclusions? something about printed coupons? that would be so embaressing, even if it was completely the resurants fault. besides, some waitresses treat couponers a lil less friendly :). besides, assuming he’s paying, it really wouldn’t save YOU money. save that for u and a girlfriend- so u save yourself some dough:) even if you go dutch, it might ber weird to whip out acoupon for your side of the bill. nah, save it for you. but hey, wont this make a cute story if u guys get serious?

  23. krysta

    I personally would save the coupon for another day unless you plan on paying for the check. I feel that the bill is for the person who asked for the date.

    Also i read a few other post about how people think servers are not coupon friendly. That may be the case some places. i work in a restaurant and come across coupons all the time (besides being a member here), the problem with them is that customers all-most never tip appropriately with them. The tip should be calculated based on the total bill before the coupon (this also includes groupons). They are good at getting people in the door, but not always great for the employees

  24. Julie

    What a funny post! This actually happened to me once – a guy was taking me out for a first or second date. We were getting ice-cream at a station that I happened to have a coupon for. I didn’t even think about it, I just said “Hey I have a bogo coupon for this place!” and pulled it out. Honestly – I think it embarassed him as not being able to “pay” for what he had offered. He passed on using it.
    Well, ya know what – we kept dating. I don’t think a guy passing on using a coupon for a first date is a major deal-breaker and that you should drop him ASAP. He just wanted to pay to be the “man”. We fell in love and are now married. And now that we aren’t trying to impress each other like we were on a first date, we use coupons ALL the time when we go out.
    In general – I would say pass on the first date.
    After that – if things go well you can use them as you become acquainted.
    Good luck!

    • Celia

      I love this comment and I couldn’t agree more! 🙂

  25. Paige

    I don’t know if you’ve already had the date but a good way to bring it up in a conversation is to make it light and matter of fact. For example, if you say “When we settled on Logan’s for our choice of restaurant, I couldn’t believe it when I checked my e-mail next I had this coupon for Logan’s!” Then you get the coupon and show it to him. His response to this like many things will be a test of his true nature. Many people just need to be reminded that it is okay to save money especially with the way the economy is going. Come back and let us know how it goes!

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