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Seniors, go a full day without paying full price

Many eateries and service providers offer cut rates for older folks, so plan your day accordingly.

By Jan 22, 2014 1:03PM
This post comes from Emily Lugg at partner site on MSN Money

A senior at age 50? Indeed.

Senior woman © CorbisThat's the point at which it's worth knowing the discount tricks that make the most of advancing age.

We planned a cheap day for seniors around the many available deals. An ID will come in handy, and some businesses require an AARP membership to qualify. You may need to request the senior discount but be prepared for a blank stare -- chain locations often participate at their discretion, so even if some do cut prices, others don't. (And some may offer savings different from those noted below.) Other restrictions may also apply, and it's generally a good idea to call ahead.

If you're over 55 and a member of AARP, start the day with a free donut (approximately $1 value) when purchasing a large or extra-large coffee at Dunkin' Donuts. For something heartier, try Denny's, which features a menu designed for the 55-and-over set that lists already-discounted prices. The senior discount here is 15% off your entire check (all day). The seniors menu at IHOP showcases discounts on smaller portions.

At lunchtime, seniors age 55 and up can cash in on discounts ranging from 5 to 15 percent Applebee's, depending on the location. The standard 2-for-$20 menu here is an especially good deal when combined with a senior discount; where the 15-percent-off rule holds, two meals will set you back just $17. For lunch in a hurry, enjoy the 10 percent special for seniors at Arby's. A free sundae can be yours at Friendly's, where seniors 60 and over receive a free Happy Endings sundae with the purchase of a meal on the seniors menu. Orders at Burger King qualify for a 10 percent senior discount.

What's a cheap day for seniors without some entertainment? Catch that movie you've been wanting to see at the AMC theater near you. Seniors aged 60 and older qualify for up to 30 percent off the regular adult admission, depending on the location. On Tuesdays some AMC theaters offer even steeper senior discounts worth as much as 60 percent off full price. At Regal theaters AARP members can enjoy a $3 saving on a beverage-and-popcorn combo.

Museums nationwide offer senior specials, sometimes on a particular day of the week. The Field Museum in Chicago, for example, offers seniors 65 and over an all-access pass to its special and permanent exhibitions for $6 less than the regular $31 adult admission. This special is good every day the museum is open.

If you feel like going out for dinner on Monday through Thursday evenings, head to Outback, which offers AARP members a 15 percent discount off the total bill, excluding alcohol, taxes, and tip.

Finish off your cheap day for seniors with a treat at Ben & Jerry's; many outlets take off 10 percent for seniors over the age of 60. Discounts vary by location at Dairy Queen, where some offer a free small drink or 10 percent off a purchase for anyone 55 and up and others match that deal if your go-to dessert is a Blizzard.

Sleep tight and cheap when heading out of town with cut rates at national hotel chains. Clarion Motels offers seniors aged 60 and over discounts ranging between 20 and 30 percent. At the Quality Inn, being at least 60 saves you 40 to 50 percent off the price of your stay. And at Marriott Hotels you need to be at least 62 to qualify for 25 percent off the cost of a room.

Indulge yourself a bit more with a stop at Great Clips to get $3 off a haircut if you're over 65. Supercuts shaves $2 from prices for seniors aged 60-plus.

And finally, AARP members can cash in on a 30 percent discount for prescription lenses or sunglasses at LensCrafters.

More from Cheapism
Jan 22, 2014 2:14PM
A thinly veiled advertisement for AARP.
Jan 22, 2014 3:44PM
I'm a senior at 88, not a member of aarp, and get a discount of 100% at all the places mentioned. You can too...just simply stay away from them. You'll save more.
Jan 22, 2014 4:01PM
AARP is a ripoff. It's nothing more than a glorified Entertainment coupon book and most of the 'deals' don't at all justify the membership price.
Jan 22, 2014 3:57PM
AARP is a turn 50 and they send you mailing after mailing to join them, then in their magazine they declare over and over you won't be able to retire until you're 70. 
Jan 22, 2014 2:30PM
"It never hurts to ask."  As consumers, we generally have the attitude that when we are shopping, eating out, banking, etc., to simply accept the terms stated.  I have found " it never hurts to ask".  I have gotten products at hardware stores at 10 - 25% discount by simply stating, "can you do better then that (list price)?  Sometimes they will give you a better price.  I have helped one of my children to purchase a motor vehicle that they needed to finance.  When the bank was on the phone with the dealer and quoted them the interest rate on the purchase, I asked if I could speak with the banker (whom I did not know).  I simply asked, "can't you do any better on that interest rate?"  They reduced it .5% by me just asking.  When staying at motels/hotels, I always ask for special pricing.  9 times out of 10, I'll get a better room rate.  So, "senior" or not, "IT DOESN'T HURT TO ASK".

Jan 22, 2014 2:28PM
Too bad all these restaurants traditionally serve high fat, calorie laden meals. Most seniors avoid these places in favor of restaurants with healthy options.
Jan 22, 2014 4:30PM
Will NEVER be a member of that Obama shilling, backstabbing traitorous AARP. They must be relying on the assumption that we're all senile, and have forgotten how they sold us down the river with Obamacare and the $800 million dollar cut to Medicare. Oh, and let's not forget the death panels in Obamacare which AARP supported.  Death panels that will ration medical care based on costs. Costs that wouldn't have been an issue is AARP hadn't support the the $800 million dollar cut to Medicare. AARP is NOT our friend, and responsible seniors should avoid supporting any organization that does not advocate for us all the time. Betrayal is betrayal no matter how much time passes.
Jan 22, 2014 5:37PM
Jan 22, 2014 4:24PM
Anybody with an Auto Club(AAA) discount can get discounts at many places.
Jan 22, 2014 4:05PM
There are ALWAYS those that will look down on seniors that ask for a discount...that's alright, it pays me to ask for it and get it...Who's the smart one here?
Jan 22, 2014 4:28PM
Every time I pull out my AARP card, I'm told "we are already at a discount rate". I have never been able to use it. Never.  So I don't join now. We have a DD but when you ask for discount or free donut they speaka no English. Sonic offers a half price hamburger on Tuesday. I tried it. Grease dripping all over. Arbys just stares at you and God forbid you have a coupon. Haven't tried Applebees or Outback. Not close to me. Subway offers nothing since they have their specials. But not on salad or tuna.
Jan 22, 2014 2:58PM
Wow I didn't know about some of these, I'll check some of them next week when it warms up... All business should have large discounts for seniors because they usually don't damage property or cause problems, they offer a friendly atmosphere, tip reasonably well, eat less and will return if treated well. They also usually have less income.  
Jan 22, 2014 3:23PM
A free donut and a paid coffee is not what most seniors actually want if they are smart about their diet.
The discounted rooms seniors usually get are the ones in the back by the ice machine that runs all night.

Jan 22, 2014 2:57PM
There is nothing like being offered a "Senior Discount" when you're not a senior.
Jan 22, 2014 3:48PM
Hmm just what I need ice cream and movie pop corn. 
Jan 22, 2014 5:39PM
You don't mostly have to be members of AARP to get senior discounts. Also the disabled older that 55 can get some of the same discounts. They left off McDonald's because you can get a small coffee called the Senior Coffee and you get that starting at 55. So the Obama's can't just get these great discounts yet using their AARP cards. I am 60ish and I don't have an AARP card. They don't have too much I want from their group.
Jan 22, 2014 3:53PM

Other good bargains can be discounted prices on regional rail systems and public transit for going into the city rather than paying for parking and hassles on the "expressways". Mix that with potential discounted museum or movie admissions and its meaningful

Jan 22, 2014 6:17PM
Really, are you kidding me?  Please stop and consider another perspective on all these senior discounts.  Because we are seniors do we deserve discounts?  Of course not!  We seniors hold over eighty percent of the wealth in this country.  We have the most discretionary income of any age category and the freedom to choose how to spend our money.  Even  seniors who are no longer employed and those on "fixed income" spend far more money on items and services they choose, rather than need.  When we receive solicitations from AARP, my wife and I explain our point of view and then encourage that organization to create ways to assist young, working people and families.  
Jan 22, 2014 6:20PM
Articles like this crack me up. runs non stop articles about obesity, healthy eating, etc... yet here all they do is promote junk restaurant chains.
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