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Ways for seniors to save money


    Many retailers, even grocery stores, offer discounts for seniors.

Senior citizens can make their golden years shine even more by taking advantage of the many discounts offered by retailers.

For years, it was mainly restaurants that offered seniors discounts, whether early-bird dinner specials or a free beverage with a purchase, and many continue to give seniors some sort of cost-savings, said Jeanette Pavini, savings expert at

Now, though, other establishments are making it easier for seniors to save money.

Age is just a number. Kyle James, founder of, said people don’t have to be 65 to get cut rates. Some places are offering discounts for people as young as 55, while others start at 60 or 62. Although these discounts aren’t hidden, they’re also not automatic.

“A lot of seniors don’t realize that if you don’t ask for them, they’re not going to get them. They’re (the retailer) not going to say, ‘Oh, you’re over 55. We have a discount,” James said.

Pavini said asking is important, as a retailer or a restaurant may offer discounts on your current purchases or have special days earmarked for seniors.

Pavini and James said some establishments give seniors discounts if they show an ID, but other places tie the discount to having a card from AARP. Some establishments also ask seniors to sign up for free loyalty programs. By doing so, they get access to special promotions and other discounts. Those may or may not be used in conjunction with senior specials.

“I think a lot of it is goodwill. Many retailers realize seniors are living on a fixed income. And a lot of them, if they get a discount at a certain store, they’ll tell their friends and family members, so it’s great word of mouth advertising. The discounts aren’t huge, so it makes sense for retailers to offer them,” James said.

Search the web. There are plenty of shopping websites that list senior discounts, so it’s worth it for anyone 55 and older to investigate what’s available. James said he’s found at least 60 types of specials geared to seniors in various retailer categories. Some places offer senior discounts, and the establishment’s websites may offer printable coupons, making it possible to stack discounts.

Most restaurants have steered away from early-bird dining to offering price reductions throughout the day. For example, Pavini and James said Applebee’s gives people 55 and older who ask for discounts five to 15 percent off their bill. Denny’s offers 20 percent off to AARP members, but will still give seniors 10 percent off if they aren’t members, James said.

A lot of retailers have discount days for seniors, James and Pavini said. Ross earmarks Tuesday for seniors to get an extra 10 percent off. Check the website or ask an associate about limitations, such as the discount not being applicable to gift-card purchases or the buyer has to purchase a full-priced item.

More entertainment places are offering senior discounts, they said. Many museums and zoos have discounts for seniors, Pavini said, as do parks and recreation centers. Movie theater chain Regal has 30 percent off tickets for people over 55, James said.

James said he was surprised to see a number of hotels are offering discounts for seniors, anywhere from 10 to 15 percent. Again, some require an AARP membership, but for others its proof of age. “You just have to ask for them,” he said.

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