Using "freebie" coupons

My fiance sometimes gets embarassed because I’m perfectly willing to go to a nice restaurant with a “buy 1 entree, get 1 free” coupon — and use it. He doesn’t like to appear “cheap,” especially when it’s a place around town (not that we do that often anymore). I say, if the business publishes the coupons with their advertisements, they’re obviously expecting customers to come in and use them. People who wouldn’t normally go out to dinner when two entrees cost $30 will reconsider if they can get both for just $15, right?

And it’s not just restaurants that offer “freebie” coupons. Sometimes you don’t even have to buy anything. I googled (I love that “google” is a verb, BTW) the tanning salon by my dad’s house, because I needed the phone number. Yeah, I know, tanning is bad. I don’t do it often except when I’m on the beach in the summer, and I almost NEVER go to a tanning place. But I’ve got this pale vampire skin going on, and I don’t want to look all Twilight-esque in our wedding photos. So I’d like to go once or twice before the big day, just to get a bit of color.

Anyway, when I was searching online for the phone number, I came across a “1 free visit” coupon that was printable from insiderpages.com. Now, since it’s not from the place’s website (they don’t have one, actually), even *I* am a bit shy about asking if it’s a legitimate offer. I figure I will make an appointment and then bring the coupon with me and inquire in person. I’ll probably be a bit embarrassed if they say it’s not a real coupon, but my frugal side will be thrilled I asked if it *is* legitimate!

How do you all feel about using coupons? Do you feel like a colossal dork when you show up and proffer forth the little piece of paper? Do your friends and family stare at you in horror?

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