Senior Discounts Grow on Trees

Senior discounts don’t really grow on trees, but they’re everywhere if you know where to look. There’s no central clearinghouse or master list, so we’ll point you to some of the best resources. These are tools to lower your everyday living expenses and leave you with more discretionary income to spend on special indulgences.

The Best Way to Get Senior Discounts

Just ask for them — always, everywhere you go! You don’t have to wait until you’re 65. AARP grants membership to those as young as 50 for $16 per year, and they offer endless member discounts.

Lots of large grocery chains have at least one “senior day” each month. Some establishments don’t advertise discounts but extend them on request. No senior discount? Don’t give up. Ask for a veteran, AAA, airline, travel industry, or corporate discount — whatever membership pops into your mind. Businesses may be willing to accept those instead.

Found Money: Saving on Taxes, Checking Accounts, Insurance, and Medication

No one enjoys forking over a king’s ransom to the IRS, insurance companies, banks, and “big pharma” — even for lifesaving medication. Comparison shopping coupled with senior discounts can save a fortune and provide independent seniors with a cushion to splurge on fun activities.

Search the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site to find a location near you that offers free tax preparation to qualifying seniors 60 and older.

In 2013, Bankrate reported the average big-bank, interest-bearing checking account fee was $14.64 per month ($175 per year) unless you maintain an average balance of around $6,000. Most credit unions offer free checking and refund out-of-network ATM fees. If anyone in your family is in the military or a veteran, you probably qualify for a USAA account, and you can save on auto insurance as well.

Many auto insurance companies offer senior discounts. Often they don’t advertise them, so you’ll have to ask, and you’ll have to shop around for the best rate.

Medication discounts are easy to find once you understand the game. Large outlets offer loss leaders on generic drugs — usually a free 30-day supply and $9.99 for a 90-day supply. And here’s the money play: While the stores share some loss leaders, store A’s loss leader might be your medication X, while store B’s loss leader might be your medication Z. It’s worth a couple of hours of research to save hundreds of dollars by buying each medication where the price is right.

Online Resources

The Internet is your go-to source for senior discounts. You can start with the resources listed below:

  • Benefits.gov: This site will help you determine if you are eligible for grants from the US government.
  • BenefitsCheckUp: Find programs to help you save money on prescriptions and food on benefitscheckup.org.
  • Brad’s Deals: A huge list of discounts, updated frequently and covering everything from haircuts to grocery and retail discounts. Follow their Twitter feed for breaking news and discounts.
  • SeniorDiscounts.com: A searchable database of over 250,000 discounts for seniors.
  • Restaurants.com: Forget the local entertainment books. Most restaurants listed in those books have the same discounts available at Restaurants.com, and you’ll spend a fraction of what you’ll spend on a book you rarely use.

If you’ve never been a bargain shopper, there’s no time like the present to get started. It’s the easiest way to beat the high price of inflation. Times have changed, and asking for senior discounts is not only acceptable, it’s expected. So speak up and get your share of the pie.

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