I know that this kind of experience is anything but universal, but I also have a very good feeling that it’s not exactly uncommon either. Perhaps the best way to illustrate this is with an example:
Discounts and Delectables
Let’s say that you are out for a fancy dinner with your significant other. It’s the kind of restaurant where everyone is dressed up and much of the menu is in a romantic foreign language. There’s candlelight and an extensive wine list. Under these circumstances, most people pay the full price and they pay with a credit card.
Now, let’s say that you have a coupon for this fine dining establishment.
Some people won’t have any trouble at all with telling the server ahead of time that they have a coupon and they want to know if there are any restrictions. Other people, on the other hand, might feel too embarrassed to take out the coupon, especially when they are trying to impress the significant other.
Stepping It Down a Notch
This kind of scenario is particularly profound when the individual involved has grown accustomed to a certain kind of lifestyle, but has recently suffered a financial hit and needs to find places where he or she can save money. It’s not exactly “high class” to clip coupons, rummage through garage sales and line up for free coffee.
For my part, I think I fall somewhere between the two extremes and it can be very situation specific. There’s nothing wrong with clipping coupons to use at the grocery store, but the fine dining example above gives me pause; I inevitably end up using the coupon anyway, but it doesn’t come nearly as easily as the voucher for 50 cents off a tube of toothpaste.
What about you?