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Golden Years: 10 Savings Tips That Stretch Beyond Senior Discounts

More and more seniors retire only to find they have to live their golden years on a restricted budget.

Here are tips to help seniors save:

1. Know stores’ senior discount policy. Stores regularly offer 5 percent to 15 percent discounts for purchases. Some have dedicated senior days. Seniors may have to request a discount during checkout. Arrange shopping trips for the best possible savings to take advantage of senior discounts. Don’t know the policy? Ask to speak with the store manager.

 2. Reduce insurance premiums. Insure home and auto with the same company to save 10 percent to 15 percent off total premiums. Also, life insurance needs change as we age. What may have been the “amount needed” to take care of young children and spouse is most likely far less now that the kids are grown. Adjust the amount to fit current needs and save hundreds a year with reduced premiums. Try an online insurance calculator like this one at LifeHappens.

3. Join AARP. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps those 50 and over maintain independence, choice and control (it is also an advocacy and lobbying group for seniors). A couple’s membership is $16 a year and provides benefits and savings that more than pay for the membership fee. Here’s the list of available savings to AARP members.

4. Travel for less. Senior discounts are typically available for airline, rail, bus, boat and other fares. Always ask for a discount when making reservations. In the United States, federal recreation sites offer a $10 Golden Age Passport for camping, swimming, boat launches and guided tours at our National Parks. Find out about the Golden Age Passport here.

5. Save on lodging. Hotels, motels and inns offer senior discounts. Many are offered through AARP. Not an AARP member? Ask if they will provide a senior discount rate to you by speaking directly with a reservation agent.

6. Reduce credit card interest rates and annual fees. Contact credit providers and ask for interest rates cut by half. Also ask for a card with no annual fee (if you don’t already have this). A 50 percent reduction may not be realistic, but anything will help save.

7. Lower medication costs. As we age, we seem to need more medications to keep us going. Those achy joints, high blood pressure and cholesterol can’t remain unchecked. If you don’t reduce medication costs, monthly prescription costs for seniors can cost several hundred dollars each month. Save hundreds by always asking for a generic alternative. Consider asking for a 90-day supply, or a higher dosage that can be split with a special pill splitter.

Many pharmacies offer free or low-cost discount card programs to order generics for $4 and get better discounts on other drugs. Costco, Target and Walmart all offer versions of this type of plan.

Some pharmacies provide health-related discounts on diabetic supplies, immunizations and vaccines. Those include,,,, and

8. Lower utility bills. Ask local utility providers about senior discounts. Many seniors qualify for grants for home improvement needs.

9. Use coupons that benefit seniors. Save on groceries with printable coupons from, which gives back to AARP programs. AARP members, through, can save on products and groceries which, in turn, benefits the Create the Good campaign.

10. Senior citizen centers. Visit the local senior citizens community center. Many cities and centers offer discounted or free monthly, meals, health programs, entertainment and vacation packages and reduced transportation options. Enjoy a senior talent show, art fair, dance, gardening show or tai chi class for free.


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10 thoughts on “Golden Years: 10 Savings Tips That Stretch Beyond Senior Discounts”

  1. Flora says:

    AARP is not a nonpartisan group. My husband and I were members for a couple of years. Sadly we discovered that they do not have senior citizens best interest at heart. Generations is an organization that also overs senior discounts. They do not lobby in DC.

  2. Amber Shepard says:

    I’ve heard that some counties and municipalities also have discounted property tax rates for the elderly. Never hurts to look into..

  3. CC4 says:

    My folks have had AARP for years and have been happy with their service. It all depends on the needs of an individual and what programs are there to support them. As for stores, I know my dad shops Kohl’s on Tuesday for senior discounts and also goes to restaurants for early bird specials as well as to movies and plays that offer discounts too

  4. Poolside1 says:

    Can you list the stores that give senior citizen discounts? That would be a GREAT topic!!! Such as Kroger’s or Randall’s or Target, and the days they are offering.

    • Kakki says:

      Kroger stores in my area offer 5% on Wednesday. However, most other Kroger’s in my state use Tuesday. So probably best to check locally for best accuracy. Also Piggly Wiggley offers 5%.Target has a great deal with their red card debit card for 5% off any day. Not a SR. Discount but a good deal if you are comfortable with debit cards. Also be careful to check age requirements ad they vary between 50 – 65. Ihop has bogo several days a week. Hope this helps a bit.

      • Kakki says:

        Also, our local movie theater offers SR. Discount any day all day comparable to the matinee prices. So seniors can enjoy the reduced admission fare any time of day or evening.

  5. klondike says:

    Please provide an alternative organization for Seniors instead of promoting AARP so heavily. I DO NOT agree with their agenda and avoid them at all costs. There are many new organizations for seniors that are providing similar discounts and have a more conservative traditional policy and philosophy. Thanks for your consideration.