Senior Discounts have proven to be one of the most popular subjects on this blog. Today I have a guest post, written by Ella Davidson of the charitable couponing site, Coupons.com. Coupons strives to provide consumers with money-saving options while helping to better the world.
Senior discounts usually start for those between the ages of 50 and 65 but the rules and age requirements are always changing. Some chain businesses offer discounts in one area but not others. If you’re not sure, ask because not all businesses will volunteer the information. Don’t be shy.
Saving money just makes cents! There are plenty of web sites that offer information about discounts for senior citizens but many of them charge a small fee so be sure to check for that. Some are associated with large organizations, are well known, and have many other perks for their members. Others offer access to information about discounts, but you won’t discover what they are until you pay for the privilege. Remember to do your homework.
The yearly expense is usually not that much, but it’s still a good idea to research before handing over your money. If you are at least 62, the federal government has a fantastic deal for you. For $10.00, you can get a lifetime pass to federal recreation sites. There is an additional $10.00 required for postage if the request is made by mail.
The entry fee is covered for vehicle charges or for up to four people when the charge is for each individual. This is a great way to show the grandchildren how beautiful America is. Grocery stores offer discounts that are age dependent as well as day dependent. Some offer a discount only the first specific day of the week during each month. Others offer an on-going discount on store brands only. The rules vary between states and areas within states.
Some of the stores that turn up on search engines consistently are: Albertsons, Bi-Lo, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Hy-Vee, Kroger, Meijer, Piggly Wiggly, and Publix. Check with a manager before taking “No” for an answer because some desk clerks and cashiers are not always aware of these discounts. If you’re looking for discounts at major retailers, you’ll have to look harder. There are a few
bright spots. Bealls, Belk’s, Bon-Ton Department Stores, Kohl’s, and Rite Aid have some limited programs. Some of the smaller stores with senior discounts include the Banana Republic, Dress Barn, and Stein Mart. The Salvation Army Thrift Stores and Goodwill offer discounts, which is nice considering they are supposed to be in the business of helping people.
For the hungry senior citizen, there are plenty of places to choose from. From fast-food restaurants like Arby’s, Boston Market, Burger King, Captain D’s, Chick-Fil-A, CiCi’s Pizza, Hardee’s, Jack in the Box, KFC, Long John Silver’s, McDonald’s, Sonic, Subway, Taco Bell, Wendy’s and White Castle to dessert places like Ben & Jerry’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme, Mrs. Fields, and TCBY, there are lots of delicious reasons to grab a bite. If you prefer a sit-down restaurant, try Applebee’s, Bennigan’s, Chili’s, Denny’s, Einstein’s Bagels, Fuddrucker’s, Golden Corral, IHOP, Shoney’s, Steak ‘n Shake, Sweet Tomatoes, Tea Room Café, Village Inn, or the Waffle House.
For the adventuresome, many airlines, hotels, car and motor home rentals, bus and train companies, cruise lines, and airlines offer some pretty generous discounts. They know you don’t “need” to take that vacation, so they’re willing to go the extra mile to get your business. Just remember that the discounts are often off the full listed price. There may be package deals that often even greater discounts. In fact, considering the price of assisted living, you might discover that living on a cruise ship offers the same support, at a similar cost, with much better food and scenery.
Some insurance companies offer senior discounts. Insurance companies believe older people drive more safely. Banks offer some reduced fees and things like free checks for their older customers. And don’t forget about the inexpensive, generic prescriptions offered by many pharmacies although those are not usually restricted to seniors.
Cell phone companies have special programs for seniors. The presumption is that you don’t mind limiting your talk time to 300 minutes a month and using a very limited phone. Such plans don’t realize that seniors are getting more technology savvy all the time. Hopefully, the future will allow senior discounts for the more comprehensive plans.
Local companies offer senior citizen discounts. Companies that specialize in home improvements are very common. You might try checking with your local Chamber of Commerce. In the end, it comes down to being willing to ask if a discount is available. Check with the manager, so you’re sure you get the right answer. You’ll never know until you ask. And if you’re afraid you’ll forget, paper clip a note reminding you to your money or credit card. That way, you can’t forget.
Resources for more Senior Discount Information: