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Cheap Date Series: Fried Chicken First Date

This is part of the ongoing Cheap Date Series. Cheap never looks good, and there’s a fine line between frugal and cheap. If you’ve got a cheap date story you’d like to share, please let me know so we can share with everyone!

This story comes from Wendi, who runs SmartLot, which offers a no hassle, pressure-free vehicle shopping experience. Below her story are some additional comments and tips on her experience and cheap first dates.

In her own words:

Fried Chicken Is Not A First Date

I was asked out by a guy who came from money and was accomplished in his own right. He was 25 I was 21 at the time. He picked me up at the time we agreed and asked “Where would you like to have dinner?” I was stumped because he was such a strong personality always appearing to be in charge. I hemmed and hawed and responded with the standard, “I am open to just about anything.” I am easy to please as long as the company is good and conversation flows. I am not the demanding type. I had known the guy for a couple weeks but this was the first formal “date” where he asked me out and picked me up.

We drove around the outskirts of Chicago for about a half hour and passed a Browns fried chicken. “ooohh Browns!” he exclaimed as he did a u-turn.

I was short for words but kept an open mind. “Ya like chicken?” he asked with enthusiasm as he pulled his expensive sports car up to the drive through order window not really too tuned into my response.

“I will have three breasts, a side of fries and a large soda” he shouted at the box.

“What’ll you have?” he turned and asked me.

“I would like an order of fried livers and a diet soda please”, I responded.

We drove through to the window and when they gave him the amount he asked what the subtotal was before the livers and the diet and then turned to me and said, “Yours is $6.85.”

I gave him the money and we ate our Browns fried chicken parked in the lot as we watched traffic go by. When we were done he took his last slurp of soda and said, “wanna go back to your place and fool around?”

I asked him to let me think about it as we headed back to my apartment, couldn’t go to his because he didn’t have one- he still lived at home. When we pulled up to my door he was all beside himself with anticipation and as I stepped out of the car I turned to him as he was unbuckling his seat belt and said, “Ya know Tony, I gave it some thought and after that dinner you
took me to I am convinced I wouldn’t be able to afford a round in the sack with you..but you have a good night ok?”

He called and called and called for weeks. Never really got what the hell happened- and told me so. I figured if I had to tell him it was best he was cut loose sooner than later. It only cost me $6.85 to disqualify that one.

Follow-Up Questions For Wendi

What advice do you have for guys on first dates?

For those hopeless guys, honesty and genuine kindness can very effectively support frugal and eliminate the possibility of appearing cheap. If you are a guy who has to watch his money because it doesn’t grow on a tree for you, then as long as you go out of your way for all of the “touches” when being with her such as compliments when due, such as chivalry, then you’ll be all set.

Where do you draw the line between frugal and cheap?

A woman will always understand frugal if she digs a guy but will smell cheap a mile away when he drives a sports car, wears the good watch, and takes her through a drive through.



  1. Wow, that’s pretty darn cheap. I tend to be a bit cheap, but I would never let a girl I took out on a date pay for her own meal. If I couldn’t afford a meal, I wouldn’t ask the girl out on a date. Pretty sad how pathetic some men are.

  2. Growing up in Britain it was not at all uncommon for a first date to be all about alcohol – if you were lucky, food might be peanuts or potato chips.

    Fortunately, we’ve moved on from those neanderthal days. And this guy in your post was extra special cheap – a drive-thru for goodness sake!

  3. I think this would have trained me to always answer the classic “where do you want to eat?” question. I would forever remind myself to have an answer on hand or not mind ending up at a cheap chicken place since some men are apparently clueless.

  4. Honestly is doesn’t really sound like he was interested in a date as much as going back to fool around. You didn’t even go inside and sit down to eat. In a parking lot? I usually ask a girl for the first date where she would like to go. Sorry not being cheap but on a first date im not trying to spend a whole bunch of money either. I remember in college girls would say they just going for a free dinner and a movie. So why am I going to waste money for a girl that my just be bored and wants to do something that night.

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