Sometimes it’s lovely to take a date to that hot new cocktail bar and fork out literally tens of pounds on a couple of mojitos. Sometimes it’s lovely to find a 2 for 1 voucher for Pizza Express just before said date (other pizzerias are available and offer vouchers, just not with quite so much gay abandon). Why shouldn’t you use it? 

Apparently 26 per cent of people on the hopeful lurve train are happy to whip out their discount codes on a first date. The survey was conducted by CouponCabin.com and also points out that, while only 1 per cent would walk out if their date dazzled them with a voucher, 12 per cent would politely say nothing before refusing to go on a second date. The Daily Mail reported on this recently, noting how many thought showing this frugal side of your nature, while sensible, is certainly not sexy. 

I would argue that they’re just not doing it right. There are countless ways of slipping in a voucher/coupon/discount code while, in the words of Shakespeare, “having a proper good woo”, you just need to exercise some discretion. As someone who lives and dies by their Boots advantage card, will only eat out at Pizza Express (other pizzerias are available etc gay abandon etc etc) and who bloody loves a good woo now and then, here are the tried-and-tested golden rules of cheapskating your first date: 

Hide it at all costs. 

Did you notice that those who walked out and those who refused a second date only did so because they saw the voucher? As the saying goes, what people don’t know won’t quash the fire in their loins. There are so many ways to hide a discount code, but so many venues in which it could be used- the trick is to be creative. For example: 

In a restaurant: Wait until the one you are wooing, or rather, the wooee, goes to the loo and have a word with the waiter. Say you have a discount code but you don’t want your lust object to know. Once you’ve got the waiter onside you can begin to plot ways of guiding aforementioned lust object only towards the food that’s part of the offer. Or get the waiter to say they’re working on a reduced menu that evening. Or just do the sexy yet vaguely annoying “I’ll order for you” thing, removing the annoying part by turning it into a fun game. Hey, I’ll order for you! That’ll be fun! Have that. No you have to. YOU HAVE TO. Why are you leaving?

At the cinema/theatre: Go for the tickets, say you’ll take care of them and why doesn’t your wooee go and have a look at the confectionery bit? Oh, and don’t buy anything… you’ll come over after you’ve got the tickets. Discount the crap out of your tickets and say you’re not having any food because you had a massive lunch. They’ll feel too awkward to ask you to buy them anything. Done. 

At a national heritage site: Whoa there funmachine. I love a castle as much as the next human (ramparts are awesome) but this is a first date, not your 50th wedding anniversary. Abort this immediately and go to the cinema (see above) or a restaurant (see above) like a someone who understands what fun is. 

Other ways to prevent being caught is vigorous preparation – think about the possible scenarios and concoct ways to steer her/him away from the thought of discounts: 

•Have a very interesting background image on your phone. Then, if he/she sees you showing the discount code from across the room, you can say you were showing the waiter the aforementioned interesting background image. 

•Place vouchers in between tenners in your wallet. Put tenners on the bill and, instead of waiting for the bill to be collected, go and find the waiter and give it to him personally, removing the necessary tenners. Looking impatient is sexier than poor, apparently. 

•Arrive an hour early to sort everything out with the waiter/buy the discount tickets. This works if the thought of sneaking around while your wooee is in the loo worries you (what if they never go to the loo?!) makes you too anxious to be enigmatic and mysterious. Or whatever it is you’re supposed to be on dates. 

Ready to go? Then check out the five best places to try out your stealth-discounts with… 

1. myvouchercodes.co.uk

2. wowcher.co.uk 

3. netvouchercodes.co.uk

4. groupon.co.uk

5. www.moneysavingexpert.com/deals/cheap-days-out