Save Some Dough

By Sharon Naylor

June 3, 2011 6 min read

People who are 50 or older can enjoy sizable discounts on everything from travel to clothing to dining and more, but you have to know where to look to access these deals. Some deal-finder sites are specific to seniors, and some are open to all. With the economy such as it is, more retailers and travel companies understand that our budgets are tight. Therefore, they offer a greater number of special sales and free shipping to combine with your senior discount for even greater savings.

*Websites To Check

--SeniorDiscounts.com: David Smidt, owner of this specialty site listing hundreds of senior discount offers, says, "The majority of this site can be accessed for free, and a premium membership will provide you with a print version of our deals, as well as our newsletter."

Smidt says the most popular deals on his site are in the categories of travel, restaurants and clothing. "Seniors look for deals on the items that are necessities to them, and some of the more popular discounts on our site are those pertaining to grocery shopping, which might save them 10 percent or more every week. That adds up."

Though the site's travel deals are in demand, Smidt says, "Travel discounts are becoming fewer and fewer because airlines and travel industry companies are experiencing great competition online at price-cut sites, such as Orbitz and Expedia. They're usually posting their absolute lowest prices online." It's advisable to check these travel discount sites for low fares and compare them with any senior rates you might find. You might be able to do better with an Orbitz purchase, for instance.

Smidt says that more seniors are cashing in on discounts for cellphones and cellphone plans. "Many seniors don't need high-tech features such as camera and video. They would rather just have a phone that works, for a lower amount of minutes per month."

Ask yourself what you need and what you use every day. According to Smidt, "you will likely be able to find discounts. Some metropolitan areas and towns offer seniors need-based discounts on their electric bills and garbage disposers, for instance."

--Gift Card Granny: This extensive website lists hundreds of current discounts, including 5 to 35 percent or more off retail shopping sites, travel sites and other in-demand categories. It also shows discounted rates on gift cards, such as the opportunity to buy a $50 gift card for $25, which seniors may use for their own enjoyment or give as affordable gifts.

--RetailMeNot: This popular discount-listing site invites you to input the name of the store or site where you'd like to shop, and it shows the current sales and discounts for online or in-store purchases. The site has a special section for seniors' discounts and coupon codes, including medical supply companies, retail shops such as Gold Violin and Elder Depot, and more. Current sale prices range from $5 off to 33 percent off your order.

--Coupons.com: This free site posts current grocery, home supply, entertainment and other coupons. Just click and print your coupons.

--Restaurants.com: Find great discounts for eating at restaurants in your area, some of which are priced at 50 percent off. You also can purchase and send restaurant gift cards to loved ones.

*Check the Websites

Sometimes you have to do a little bit of research to get the best deals. If you are not computer-savvy, have a relative or a friend help you navigate a website, or call customer service to ask about senior discounts. For instance, some Hallmark stores offer a senior discount of 10 percent on one day of the week. Some AMC theaters offer seniors up to 30 percent off the price of admission, and some theaters have a Senior Day, during which they offer 60 percent off. Each store sets its own policy on which day that is and whether it participates, so you have to look for the details. Some store managers say they have started senior discount days simply because a large number of shoppers call asking for them.

*Prescription Savings

You may enjoy discounts on your medications and eyewear through such associations as AARP, but there are also senior discount plans in place at some well-known stores. For example, Kmart offers GoldK prescription discounts of up to 20 percent off for those 50 or older, and Rite Aid offers several discounts, including 10 percent off prescriptions. Ask at your preferred pharmacy about any senior discounts it offers, including any discount days it has in place.

*Additional Travel Perks

Seniors often enjoy discounts on admissions to tourism sites. Contact the tourism office for your travel destination (http://www.towd.com) to inquire about senior discounts, and you may be sent a packet containing special senior coupons to such attractions as theme parks, museums, theaters and restaurants.

*Just Ask

Contact your bank, insurance agency and utility companies to ask about the details of their senior discounts, as well. It pays to ask.

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