"We understand the situation we're in right now, we can't take this lightly," says Cooper.

"Regardless of whether or not we live on Wall Street, it affects Fayetteville Street at the end of the day.

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It really depends, some days: Can I get enough money [that] I can definitely foot the bill and she doesn't look at me like, You're a cheapskate?

"Averaging that $30 you can spend on two people, we know that we can take that money and go to Kroger and cook up some food in the apartment and we can just have a nice night at the house instead of spending money on a movie and dinner." The silver lining of having a tight economy is that it may create a generation of wiser, more sober youth.

After a satisfying meal, meander up the small county roads to Maple View Farms for dessert. "People from in town, they make pilgrimages to Fiesta Grill.

It would be a great place to go on a first date because it's really sort of charming in its total lack of charm.

I think they're probably starting to hear things from their parents who say, 'We've got to be attentive here.' ...

I'm sure this is bleeding into their social lives as well." But Bingham believes that Peace College's location, poised on the edge of downtown Raleigh, provides numerous free options for students' social calendars.So the Indy will do the Food Network one better: a date right here in the Triangle.First, the demographic: Who embodies low-cost dating better than young people? Central's student paper, The Campus Echo Durham Consider the romance of a home-cooked meal: "I love to cook.They don't have a lot of décor, it's a small place, but the food's fantastic and it's out in the middle of the country." Knockout cuisine and thoughtful service more than make up for ambiance—as the national magazine Gourmet evidently believes, having devoted three pages in its September 2007 issue to the tiny Fiesta Grill and five other Triangle restaurants, all of whose owners emigrated from Mexico.In the two small dining rooms of Fiesta Grill, Tijuana-born Jesus Bravo, who goes by the more familiar "Chuy," welcomes customers with baskets of thick-cut fresh tortilla chips, two homemade salsas and a deep menu.But never let it be said I can't do one thing just as well as she can: find a deal.