Discounts and Savings … Don’t Forget to Ask

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We budget-minded ex-sailors, now Blue van-ners, try to take advantage of every legitimate discount and savings opportunity available. Some people comment that ‘it’s only 50 cents or a couple of dollars … why bother?’ and my counter to that is ‘ but it’s MY 50 cents or MY couple of dollars’ and all those ‘couple of dollars’ add up to a lot more over time. I’d rather put those ‘couple of dollars’ to work for me towards other things I want to buy or places I want to go.

Being a member of AARP (which I neglected to mention in my recent blog about clubs and memberships) really has its perks. Lots of restaurants and fast food places give senior/AARP discounts as do many hotels and car rental agencies. Some places just require users to be over a certain age and some insist on actually seeing your AARP card and swiping it. Visit Brads Deals for a list of 100 senior discounts available including clothing stores like Ross, Banana Republic, Kohls and many more. Our AARP chapter locally also sponsors lots of free ‘Movies for Grownups’, concerts, health fairs and activities of which we’ve just recently started taking advantage.

Additionally, we found several local discounts available here in Las Vegas. For instance, our local supermarket, Albertsons/Vons, offers a 10% discount off groceries for seniors (60+) on the first Wednesday of every month. This same grocery store pharmacy offered a 20% discount off groceries if we got a flu shots there last year … a no brainer, since they’re free anyway and very convenient. It’s worthwhile checking and asking about discounts as they can be significant. Our local movie theaters also offer deep discounts on senior days which even include concession stand items … who can see a movie without popcorn?

I’ve mentioned before that Bank of America customers get free admission on the first full weekend of every month to 200+ museums with their Museums on Us program and we’ve taken advantage of this free program frequently ... from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to the Las Vegas Natural History Museum. In fact, that’s how we first visited the Springs Preserve here in Las Vegas which we recently joined as members. Now we also have reciprocity with 300+ public gardens and arboreta throughout the US and Canada. Talk about stretching your dollar and your cultural experiences to the max.

We have also discovered that many, many places offer Veteran’s discounts. Home Depot, Lowes, some grocery stores and restaurants, even Joanne’s Fabrics and the Salvation Army thrift store offer discounts from 10% to as much as 25%. Most require some form of military or veteran ID. David now has a ‘veteran’s’ endorsement on his license which works like a charm and saves a considerable amount.

And speaking of thrift shops (of which I’m fond), many (Good Will, Savers, Catholic Charities) offer discounts on certain days … to everyone. In our area, Salvation Army participates in the Flok Rewards Program. You download the app and each time you visit you can take advantage of additional discounts. It’s a win-win.



The biggest challenge? Remembering to ask for the discount at the checkout.


By the way, if you’re traveling out of the country … even if it’s just to Canada or Mexico … here are a few ways to save money and time with your credit card.