Using coupons on a date is now cool, study says


Embrace the coupon, lovers. A new study encourages it. Image: sdc2027/Flickr/CC BY-SA

A new study found that the economic downturn and the proliferation of handheld devices have changed the attitudes of people regarding frugality, even when it comes to the pursuit of love. According to the study, more people now find it acceptable to use a coupon on a date — even on a first date.

Economy has destigmatized coupons

The Harris study, sponsored by the coupon site, found that more than a quarter — 26 percent — of people have used a coupon when paying on a first date. And 26 percent also said they would be okay with their date using a coupon on a first date. That is 8 percent higher than it was last year.

Jackie Warrick, president of, said the recession has changed our attitudes about frugality and coupon use. She said:

“The economic challenges of the past few years have made many people more comfortable with frugality, so much so that it’s part of the dating scene now. … It’s not seen as taboo.”

By the numbers

Only one percent of those surveyed said they would walk out on a date if he or she tried to use a coupon. Another three present said they would speak up and express their disapproval, but would remain on the date. Twelve percent said they would keep quiet and finish the evening, but that it would be a last date with the coupon user.

However, nearly three-quarters — 73 percent — said they would have no problem with their date using a coupon, and it would not deter them from seeing the person again.

Seventy-two percent said it is okay to use a coupon on a date anytime. Thirty-seven percent said it is okay only if the couple are married (technically, does that count as dating?), and 31 percent said it is acceptable if the person paying for the date is a student. However, only 4 percent said it was never okay to use a coupon while on a date.

Smartphones make it easier

The survey concludes that the two main reasons for the increased acceptance of coupon in the dating arena are the weak economy and the proliferation of smartphones. Handheld devices have eliminated the paper clutter.

Warrick said:

“With the rise of digital and mobile technology, people can access coupons on their phones on the go.”

Own your frugality

Warrick also said that daters using coupons should step up and be honest about it, instead of trying to hide the fact from a date. She says it may even send some positive signals to your date:

“Not only does using a coupon benefit your budget, it also shows your date you are mindful of your finances and a savvy person overall, both of which are positives when you’re meeting someone for the first time.”


Consumer Affairs

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