local customs – How “cheap” it is not to order drinks together with the meal in the restaurant?

It’s not something I do anymore, but on my student times, when the money was more limited, and I needed to eat something when travelling, I used to save costs by drinking my own water before entering the restaurant and order meal only.

I’m perfectly aware that restaurants generally make money on drinks, not meals, and they expect you to order drink to the meal, but I was going to go cheap.

My question is, how “cheap” such behavior is and is it something that I should generally ‘hide from my CV’? Or it’s just a ‘student thing’? Was it something against something customs (just like not tipping in the USA) or just a normal young person pattern?

This is particular about the continental Europe.