Dreamworker has been successfully retired for many years and likes helping other people to have good retirements also.
The guy who said "There is no free lunch" did not know what he was talking about.
If you’re a senior citizen, you can eat free or discounted meals of all kinds at little or no cost just about every day of the week! The savings may not seem like much, but over time, they really add up.
So if you are fifty or older (that’s right, I said fifty), it may be worth your while to find out where the deals are and how you can access them!
The Secret to Finding Senior Discounts: Ask for Them
The key to getting such money-saving opportunities rests in your age as well as your mouth. Many places offer discounts but don't advertise them, so you have to remember to ask for them!
Since each company has its own idea with regards to what a “senior citizen” is, your first step should be to make a few phone calls to find out just how low you can go age-wise to be able to take advantage of reduced pricing.
For many, the magic age is 50, but some go as high as 65. However, few places ever ask for proof, so if you’re “close” to their age limitations, you can probably still take advantage of the deals they offer.
Discounts Might Differ From Location to Location
Interestingly, not all food businesses from the same company offer similar deals, especially if they are located in different cities or states.
For example, Taco Bell gives seniors free drinks with meals in some towns, but not in others. Instead, they might just give a 10% discount for the entire meal.
For this reason, it’s always best to ask before ordering or buying.
Who Gives Seniors the Best Meal Deals?
If you are a senior citizen,
- Health and Life Insurance Companies,
- Funeral Homes, and
- Adult Living Facilities
are just a few of the businesses that want your body in front of them so that they can show you their wares and talk you into buying them.
Your reward for accepting their invitations is often a free meal in a fairly classy restaurant!
- The best companies are those who don’t talk you to death but do feed you a good meal.
- The worst are those practically starve you to death before they feed you a small meal that leaves you hungry.
Every year, when it's time to renew your Medicare options, you will be flooded with offers for free meals just for listening to a sales pitch.
A Brief Sampling of Common Senior Meal Deals
Here are a few of the best current food deals offered by restaurants at this writing:
- Village Inn has a “free pie Wednesday” every week. All you have to do is order anything, even just a cup of coffee, and you get one piece of pie for free. You’ll end up paying about $5 including your tip, but that is about half of what you’d normally pay because their pie slices, while good, are also quite expensive.
- Outback Restaurant offers a standard 15% discount on any senior meal. They will, however, expect you to show them a Driver’s License or other proof of age.
- Denny’s will give you coffee for $1 if you show your AARP card or will give you a 15% discount on your meals. However, you can only use one discount at a time.
- Most McDonald’s restaurants give seniors a discount on coffee, but the amount depends on the store. However, since the cups are refillable, you can just buy one and share it to save even more!
- Wendy’s also gives free drinks to seniors. They rarely, if ever, ask you for proof, and all drinks are refillable.
But Wait, There's More!
Once you pass that golden age barrier, the sky is the limit when it comes to saving money.
If you do some research, you'll find that there are all sorts of price reductions for seniors which are easy to get such as discounts on
- clothing and
For example, Beall's Outlet gives seniors an across the board 15% discount one day each week, Amtrak knocks 10% or more off of their train prices and movie theaters reduce the cost of certain snacks.
Even many Thrift Shops have senior discount days, some save people as much as 50%!
Some Casinos Give Seniors Good Breaks, Too
If you like casinos, some, such as some located in Biloxi, MS., offer all sorts of deals for older people (usually age 55 and up).
You don't have to gamble to get them, you just have to have a free players club card and be the right age.
- The smart casinos offer deals because older people make up a good part of their clientele, and they want to keep them happy.
- Smart players learn how to work the system so that they win even when they lose!
The last time my husband and I were in Biloxi for a one month stay, we lost $350 gaming, but we gained $455 in senior benefits. That's a deal that's hard to beat!
A Real-Life Casino Senior Savings Story
When my husband and I RV to Biloxi, MS, we stay for a month and use our senior discount at a local National Park Campground to save $720 over what we would pay elsewhere.
We then use some of that money for entertainment, making sure that we have gotten our free Players Club Cards from any casino we visit.
When you use these cards, you earn points to
- reduce or eliminate the price of food,
- allow you to play kiosk games,
- benefit from random promotions,
- gain free entrance to live entertainment shows or
- make gift shop purchases.
There is one club that allows you to earn 20 points (which you automatically get when you play the slots) that you can use to earn or save money.
In our case during a recent visit, this added up to
- gaining entry into a free slot tournament where we won $60 in free play,
- eating lunch and dinner for free,
- enjoying two free cups of $3.50 ice cream,
- leaving the casino with $16 more than we came in with and
- having a great deal of fun!
All because we're senior citizens with Players Club Cards and took the time to search out the best available deals.
While not all casinos are as generous, many offer senior BOGO meal deals, and some do not even require you to earn points.
Clearly you get more if you gamble, but in some cases, this is not a requirement.
In fact, it is common to see older people dining in these places during the week because the food is great and the cost to them is minimal.
National and State Park Senior Deals
If you are a recreational vehicle owner, you’ll find that all Federal and some State Parks offer really good discounts to senior citizens.
Florida, for example, allows people over the age of 65 to stay at their campgrounds for half price.
If you want to visit National Parks and are over 62, you can purchase a lifetime discount card for $10 that will allow you to enter all US Parks for free and also camp for half price. This includes Corps of Engineer as well as BLM facilities, so the savings can be significant.
Take Advantage of Those Discounts and Freebees
Theseniorslist.com will show you what is currently available for food, prescription, travel and other discounts.
The list is quite long, so I suggest you make a copy to which you can refer when you are looking for meaningful savings.
Getting older is a real pain, but getting things that cost less or are free does help people feel a bit better about life because it shows them that someone out there still cares enough to cut them a little slack.
If places are willing to give things to you, be happy to accept them.
Just make sure you don’t find yourself buying things from the givers as the result of their “generosity”.
© 2016 Sondra Rochelle
Sheila on May 28, 2020:
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on October 14, 2016:
Sarah: Anybody can become addicted to gambling. Age does not matter. Family does not matter. It can be a great deal of fun, but you always have to take care when doing it.
Sarah on October 13, 2016:
Thanks for the reply! It's a pity to read that some people get lured into the addiction. I always thought that I'm playing cos I don't have serious work and family of my own yet. And when people have children and work, they don't have time to games, and only teenagers can be addicted.
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on October 13, 2016:
Sarah: Yes, there definitely are some perks that come with growing old, but I'd trade them in a heartbeat to be young again! Some casinos do give great perks, but you enter them knowing that you most likely will lose money if you game there. You have to be careful that you don't get lured into an addiction, which is something that happens often to older people.