The Internet is a wonderful thing. In what seems like a few short years, this phenomenon has changed the world—our lives! Somedays, I wonder how we lived without it. But with all of its wonderfulness, it can also be very intimidating. Sometimes you just need a friend (like me) to slog through all of the nonsense to point you to websites that are highly useful and—the best part—free!
A BOWL FULL OF LEMONS. Just in case one of your resolutions this year is to get more organized, check out A Bowl Full of Lemons, an online community for those striving to get their lives in order. The website is loaded with ideas and weekly challenges to get you into organization mode. You’ll also find tips on budgeting and the best way to clean your house.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS. Watching the news these days can make us want to run for cover. But, instead of hiding, make your own corner of the world a better place to be. For ways to do just that, go to Random Acts of Kindness. You’ll find lots of free and low-cost ideas, such as letting someone go ahead of you in the shopping line or giving someone you meet a sincere compliment. Personally, I am drawn to the idea, “Sew for Free.” I love all kinds of needle and fiber crafts, so the idea of offering to mend, hem or sew someone’s clothes for free, as a simple act of kindness, appeals to me.
This year, Random Acts of Kindness Week is February 14th to the 20th. Valentine’s Day happens to fall during that week, which I’m sure is by design.
Once you’ve searched for your city or town, you’ll find neighborhood information on crime rates, public schools, real estate appreciation and much more.
In some areas a crime index or school rating may need to be unlocked with a subscription fee ($15.99 to $39.99 a month, depending on the subscription), but an extensive amount of information is free and you won’t be required to sign up for anything. This is worth checking out.
BUY NOTHING PROJECT. If you’re familiar with Freecycle, the online network that lets you find or give away almost anything for free, there’s a new option in town: The Buy Nothing Project. It works on the same premise as Freecycle only you make your connections through Facebook.
Maybe you have furniture you’d like to unload without having to pay a take-away fee or you’re looking for a specific piece of furniture yourself, it can all happen through a Buy Nothing group. Find a Buy Nothing group in your community at that site, then join the group through Facebook to get started.
Simply enter your city or state to find savings on restaurants, shopping, travel, automotive and much more. The starting age for each discount varies from 50 to 65 (most start at 55). The majority of offers will save you at least 10%, if not more.
Bonus: Here’s my Senior List of restaurants, supermarkets, hotels, travel and clothing merchants that offer senior discounts—some of which require that you hold an AARP membership (1 year $16). Please note that offers can change without notice.
Seniors age 60 and older can save 15% at Applebee’s.
Seniors age 55 and older can receive 10% off and discounted drinks at participating locations.
Ben & Jerry’s
Seniors age 60 and older can receive 10% off in-store.
Senior Menu for those 55 and older.
Seniors age 65 and older can receive 10% off.
Seniors age 60 and older can receive 10% off at participating locations.
Discount on select days (usually Sundays and Wednesdays) for seniors 62 and older.
10% discount on meal or drink.
Seniors age 60 and older can save 5% on their grocery bill on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and participating locations.
Seniors age 55 and older can receive 10% off and free small beverages at participating locations.
Seniors age 55 and older can save 10% at participating locations.
Participating Denny’s offer a discounted menu for seniors age 55 and older, plus AARP members can take advantage of everyday discounts on regular menu items for seniors and their guests.
AARP members can receive a free donut with the purchase of a large coffee.
Participating Friendly’s restaurants offer senior-friendly pricing to those age 60 and older.
Seniors age 55 and older can save 10% at participating locations.
Hometown Buffet/Ryan’s/Country Buffet and Others
Sign up for a discount card and receive deals and coupons all year long.
Discounted coffee and soft drink for customers over 55.
10% off for customers 60 and over.
Save 25% if you are over 55 or an AARP member when you order online using the promo code “AARP25”.
Steak and Shake
Customers 55 and over can receive a 10% discount on Mondays and Tuesdays but locations vary, call ahead.
10% off your meal on Mondays for customers 60 and older.
10% discount or a free drink for customers 55 and older.
10% discount or a free drink for seniors 55 and over.
A free drink for seniors or 5% off to seniors 65 and older.
10% discount on your purchase if you are over 55.
Offers a free drink or a 10% discount.
10% discounts for customers 62 and over.
Seniors age 60 and older can receive 10% off at participating Golden Corral restaurants.
Seniors age 60 and older can save 10% on their grocery bill every Tuesday at participating locations.
Seniors age 60 and older can save 5% off the grocery bill every Thursday with the store’s VIC card.
Seniors age 55 and older can receive 10% off at participating IHOP locations.
Seniors age 60 and older can receive 10% off their grocery bill on the first Wednesday of every month at participating locations.
Seniors age 60 and older can receive 5% off their grocery bill on Wednesdays at participating locations.
Seniors age 55 and older can save 5% on purchases over $30 on Tuesdays with Club Card.
You’re only as old as the style you wear.
Shoppers age 50 and older can receive 10% off at Banana Republic.
Seniors age 62 and older can save 10% at Clarks shoes.
Seniors age 55 and older can save 10% at Dressbarn.
Gold K members age 55 and older can save 20% on prescriptions.
Seniors citizens can save 15% every Wednesday at Kohl’s with a valid ID.
Shoppers age 55 and older can save 10% on Tuesdays.
Lodging and Travel
You’ll find plenty of discounts on cars, boats, and trains, and on lodging when you get where you’re going.
AARP members can receive discounts on vehicle rentals from Alamo with a valid AARP membership number.
Amtrak travelers age 62 and older can save 15% on train tickets within the U.S. and 10% on tickets to Canada. Some restrictions apply.
AARP Members age 55 and older are entitled to at least 10% off hotel rooms at Best Western hotels.
AARP Members age 60 and older can save up to 10% with advance reservations.
Seniors age 65 and older can take advantage of Senior Discount Rates at participating DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels.
Seniors age 62 and older can save 5% on unrestricted passenger fares. Some restrictions apply.
AARP members can save up to 10% off the Best Available Rate by entering your AARP member number when booking online.
Holiday Inn Express
Seniors age 62 and older are eligible for a senior discount at participating Holiday Inn Express hotels.
Seniors age 62 and older can save up to 50% on prevailing rates at participating Hyatt properties.
AARP members can save up to 10% at La Quinta hotels.
Seniors age 62 or older can save 15% or more on room rates at Marriott hotels worldwide.
Seniors age 60 and older can save 10% off standard rates at Motel 6.
For people age 62 and older, just $10 ($20 via mail) will get you a lifetime America the Beautiful Pass that provides you and up to three other adults—or a carload of people—free admission to more than 2,000 national parks and federal recreation sites.
Norwegian Cruise Line
AARP members can save 5% on cruises that are booked at least nine months in advance.
Seniors age 60 and older can save 10% on standard rates.
Many theaters offer discounted movies and so does a landmark water park.
Kick back and enjoy a flick on Tuesdays with discounts for seniors age 60 and older at participating AMC Theaters.
Bow Tie Cinemas
Seniors age 62 and older can save up to 25% off regular-priced adult tickets.
Seniors age 65 and older can save up to 35% off regular-priced adult tickets.
Seniors age 60 and older can save up to 20% off regular-priced adult tickets.
Seniors age 62 and older can save up to 35% on regular-priced adult tickets, plus an additional 10% on all showing on Mondays.
Seniors age 62 and older can save up to 25% at participating locations.
Seniors age 62 and older can save up to 30% off regular-priced adult tickets.
Seniors age 55 and older can save up to 30% off regular-priced adult tickets.
Seniors age 60 and older can save up to 30% off regular-priced adult tickets.
Visitors age 50 and older can receive $3 off a one-day ticket at SeaWorld in Orlando.
Seniors age 60 and older can save $2 on services at Supercuts.
AARP members save 20% at Teleflora.
Verizon offers customers age 65 and older a cell phone plan with fewer minutes than its regular nationwide plans for a lower price. The 65-plus plan offers 200 anytime minutes for $29.99, although a data plan for a smartphone is extra.
Amtrak travelers age 62 and older are eligible for a 15 percent discount on most Amtrak trains, excluding first- and business-class tickets and weekday Acela Express trains. On trips that cross the border into Canada, the discount is 10 percent for people age 60 and older.
AARP members get up to 25 percent off car rentals from Alamo, Hertz, National, and Budget, up to 30 percent from Avis, and 5 percent off from Enterprise.
AARP offers a variety of hotel discounts, including up to 20 percent off at Sheraton, Weston, and Ramada hotels, and up to 10 percent off at Hyatt, Best Western, and Comfort Inn.
Kohl’s shoppers age 60 and older get 15 percent off in-store purchases on Wednesdays. And Ross customers age 55 and older get 10 percent off purchases made on Tuesdays. In some cases, the day of the week a discount is offered varies by location.
Greyhound passengers age 62 and older may request a 5 percent discount on fares within the United States.