Turn Your Senior Status into a Source of SavingsI'm well past 50, the age when some retailers start giving "senior" discounts. In fact, at age 50, I don't think I was aware of senior discounts. I had trouble accepting that I was actually turning 50 so I really didn't think about any benefits this age milestone had to offer. Maybe some of you are or were in that mindset as well. 

I have now come to realize that getting older should not be viewed as a negative. The biggest bonus for frugal seniors is an absolute onslaught of discounts for everything from groceries and clothing to travel and, especially, restaurants! The age threshold for cashing in on these discounts varies from business to business, with some starting at 50, some at 55 and others 60 and above.  Since 50 is the new 40, you'll have plenty of years to take advantage of the savings. 

Looking back, I now see that I probably passed up considerable savings, 10 and 15 percent at a time. Okay, a cup of coffee discounted 10 percent isn't a great deal of money, so if you don't get the discount it's not a big deal, right? Wrong! Do the math-how many cups of coffee do you drink a week, a month, or even a year that could have been discounted 10 percent? As my Grandma used to say, "Pennies turn into dollars if you watch them close enough."  

Since retiring, I have come to look for and even ask for senior discounts. If you aren't sure about a particular business's rules regarding senior discounts, call ahead. Some businesses have a special senior discount day. Our IGA store gives a 10 percent senior discount each Tuesday. They also have double coupons, with a 50 cent maximum. That means, all coupons up to 50 cents are discounted for twice their value. I only buy the sale items and try to have a few coupons to match my purchases. This, plus the 10 percent senior discount, rakes in a pretty good savings. Even though it shows on the sales receipt, the cashier always tells me how much I have saved. Maybe, because I get the senior discount she feels the need to verbally instill this information. No matter, when I hear, "You saved $45.67 today" I just smile because I know that I'm having lunch with that savings at a restaurant that offers a senior discount.

I'm almost as hooked on getting senior discounts as some people are on couponing. I have done my homework and know which businesses in my area give senior discounts, how much the discount is, and special senior days. Some of the businesses are chain stores and are located across the United States; some are local businesses that appreciate their senior customers. Offering senior discounts in today's economy is a smart move on the part of business owners.

This is the era of the Baby Boomers and there are a bunch of us! We are either retired or about to retire and we are going to have a lot of time to spend looking for senior discounts!

I even found a website you can go to that lists businesses that give senior discounts by locale. So you might want to check this out for your area: Sciddy.com - It's all about senior discounts in your neighborhood.

I'll even help you out with a list of some of the businesses I frequent because of their senior discount policies. Some may even be in your area.

  • Applebee's                  15% discount for those 60 plus
  • Arby's                         10% off order or a discounted drink (depending upon location) for those 55 plus 
  • Chili's Bar & Grill          10% discount for those 55 plus
  • Culver's                      10% off regular priced menu items for those 60 plus
  • Dairy Queen                10% off order or a free small drink (depending upon location) for those 55 plus 
  • Dunkin Donuts 10% off or a free coffee (depending on location) for those 55 plus
  • IHOP                          10% off any meal at participating locations for those 55 plus
  • O'Charley's                 10% discount for those 60 plus
  • Budget Rental Cars      10% discount on any rental for those 50 plus
  • Comfort Inn and          20% to 30% discount on reservations made in advance for those  Comfort Suites 60 plus        
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car        5% off regular rental rates with proof of AARP membership
  • Marriott                       15% discount for those 62 plus
  • CJ Banks                    10% discount on Wednesdays for those 60 plus
  • Kohl's                         15% discount on Wednesdays for those 62 plus
  • AMC Theaters             Up to 30% off for those 55 plus
  • AT&T                          $29.99 special Senior Nation Plan for those 65 plus
  • Supercuts                    $2 haircut discount for those 60 plus
  • Kmart                         Prescription discounts up to 20% off for those 50 plus

Just think of how many times you go to one of these businesses.  Are you missing out on savings by not being aware of their senior discount policies?  Make up your own list of businesses offering senior savings in your area to keep more cash in your pocket. 

With savings like these, getting older should not be considered a bad thing!

 

Kimberly Johns, Retired Debt Management Plan customer blogger, CareOne Services, inc.Kimberly Johns

Kimberly has been on the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP) for just under a year. Kimberly is very active in the Community Forums, some of you may recognize her Community user name; Tiquie. Recently retired, she is going to share how she and her husband manage the financial challenges of living on a fixed income. The John's have found some really creative and fun ways to offset the limitations of a retirement income, which Kimberly is generously planning to share in her My Journey out of Debt blog! Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.