Yes, it’s true, another new year has begun. You’re a year older, and wiser, and still keeping a close eye on your finances. Your money may partially be going to caring for older parents, helping your kids and/or grandkids, or trying to start a new business venture for yourself. You may also be trying to keep up with your social life, going out for a dinner, or drinks, or a night of fun with friends. Wouldn’t it be great to learn the secret to getting valuable items for free?
In the middle of all that “doing” and “spending” in this New Year, why not make sure that you cash in on all the “Boomer” discount perks that are out there? You may be surprised at how much money you may be throwing away needlessly.
Here’s a list of some discounts for over-50 age persons that you may not be aware existed. The first thing to remember about discounts is, never forget to ask! Every time you pull out your wallet, or open your purse, for a service-oriented purchase, always ask if they offer a senior discount. Nine times out of 10 they do. And, if you’re an AARP, or AAA, member, your membership papers includes all the discounts you qualify for – they’re impressive. Then, put the money you saved away in a “fun fund” every week and see how fast it adds up. By this Spring, you could have quite a few mad dollars to do whatever you want with!
1. Airlines, trains. Southwest and United Airlines have on-going discounts, but others may as well. Call first to ask before you book you ticket. Many companies require 3 week advance booking as well. Amtrak offers a 15% senior discount on travel, anytime.
2. Hotels. On-going at Hilton (Seniors Honors program); also Priceline and Expedia offer big discounts if you can work within their guidelines.
3. Car Rentals. Specials are on-going.
4. Restaurants. Usually special hours, like Early Bird specials, or certain days of the week may offer a great senior discount.
5. Grocery stores. Usually one day of the week offers a 5% to 15% discount to senior shoppers. Kroger, Publix, Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, Aldi are larger chains that do this, but smaller, statewide chains also do like Busch (Michigan), Stop N Shop (Massachusetts etc.). Most grocery stores have shopper loyalty cards as well that qualify you for an extra amount off your bill. Look for grocery discounts in your state at CouponMom.com.
6. Vision centers. Specials are on-going.
7. Public transportation. Usually on-going, but 1 day of the week may offer a bigger discount than others.
8. Education. Community colleges and adult education programs have senior rates; some even offer free classes depending on the curriculum.
9. Get aways. Want to visit a Del Webb “Boomer” community and see all the great homes and social programs they have? They offer a 3 day get away at discounted prices.
10. Gas. Many gas stations offer senior discounts. Go to your state’s gas price control website, such as “floridagasprices.com”, etc. See what discounts are offered at what stations around you. Keep in mind that many local grocery chains also have gas credits attached to your bill and each time you grocery shop you get fuel points. These fuel points can add up to 10-20 cents off each gallon of gas you buy.
11. Recreation/Entertainment. National Parks, Museums, movie theaters, ball parks, zoos, etc., all offer senior discounts. Usually, they’re posted at the ticket window, but if not, don’t forget to ask!
12. Coupons. Yes, it takes a little longer to save coupons from the weekly newspapers, but if you’ve ever watched the show, Extreme Couponing on cable television, you’ll know how amazing the savings can be. Manufacturer’s often offer printable coupons online as well. There are also many “free samples” that they give away to get you to try their product. Places like Ebates.com even pay you for shopping from their site and offer a lot of coupons for many retailers.