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Spend Wisely: 12+ Ways to Save Money

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  1. AARP member benefits: Everybody likes to joke about the day their AARP card arrived in the mail, but have you looked at their member discounts lately? No joke—they’ve got at least 99 Ways to Save Money on Everything from groceries to eating out to travel to health care. And don’t forget to look by city—here are some examples: Bellevue | Federal Way | Seattle.
  2. Department stores: If you’re age 55+, shop at Kohl’s on Wednesdays for a 15 percent discount.
  3. Garden stores: Like to garden? Did you know that Molbak’s offers a discount to gardeners age 65+ on Tuesdays and Sky Nursery offers a discount to shoppers age 60+ on Wednesdays? (West Seattle Nursery offers free delivery in West Seattle, which saves time and trouble.)
  4. Groceries: If you’re 60 or older, shop Senior Tuesdays at Uwajimaya (Bellevue, Renton or Seattle) from 8:00–11:00 a.m. Fred Meyer offers a senior discount for anyone age 55+ on the first Tuesday of every month. (Hot tip: Ask for special senior discount coupons at checkout, or text SENIOR to 32824.) Tuesdays are often senior discount days at local grocery stores. Ask at the checkout stand.
  5. Gold and FLASH Card discounts: The Seattle Mayor’s Office for Senior Citizens offers the Gold Card for Healthy Aging to Seattle and King County residents age 60 and older and the FLASH— Fun Leisure Access Savings and Health—Card to Seattle and King County residents under age 60 who have qualifying disabilities. Their Special Discounts Directory lists valuable discounts for Gold Card and Flash Card  holders at a wide range of businesses and local attractions, including the Seattle Aquarium, Woodland Park Zoo, and Seattle Animal Shelter. (Fun fact: Seattle’s Gold Card program launched in 2001 with the phrase “Go for the gold!” It was inspired by the Australian GOLD program, in which the acronym stood for “Growing Older and Living Dangerously.”)
  6. Insurance: Call your insurance agent to see if completion of the AAA defensive driving course will lower your auto insurance premiums.
  7. Prescription drugs: Washington residents have free access to the Washington Drug Card, a statewide prescription assistance program that supplements most health insurance plans, including Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and High Deductible Plans. It can also be used as a Medicare Part D supplement by providing discounts on non-covered drugs. Online, you can find prescription savings coupons for local stores at HelpRx. Sometimes you can google the name of your prescription drug and the word “coupon” and find drug manufacturer’s coupons to use at your local pharmacy.
  8. Recreation: The National Parks Service offers a $10 lifetime Senior Pass for U.S. citizens age 62+ and a free Access Pass for U.S. citizens with permanent disabilities. Your local parks department probably offers low-cost recreation programs, classes, meals, and activities for older adults. Here are some examples: Bellevue | Des Moines | Kent | Redmond | Seattle.
  9. Sewing and crafts: Jo-Ann Fabrics offers 20 percent off to shoppers age 60+. Michael’s offers a 10 percent in-store discount to shoppers age 55+.
  10. Technology: Seattle residents can apply for discounted cable TV and low-cost Internet access, rates negotiated by the City of Seattle. ConnectAll at InterConnection provides affordable computers and Internet services.
  11. Thrift store discounts: Stores like Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul already offer low prices but many have a senior discount day (or days) as well. Frequently, senior center thrift stores will offer a special discount day, too—call them.
  12. Transportation and Travel: Amtrak travelers age 62+ may receive up to a 15 percent discount. Greyhound offers a small discount for passengers age 62+. Locally, bus, streetcar, and ferry passengers age 65+ can apply for a Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP) that saves on fares throughout the region. Once you have an RRFP, you are eligible to purchase discounted taxi scrip, saving 50 percent off. Many hotels, car rental companies, and cruise lines offer senior discounts—just ask.

Don’t forget to look online for discounts and money-saving tips:

Have a favorite senior discount that isn’t listed here? We’d like to hear about it! E-mail Now go out and save some money!

Contributor Molly Holmes is the chair of the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services, which publishes AgeWise King County. Molly welcomes input from readers via e-mail ( as well as applicants for open positions on the council. For more information, visit

ADSadvisorycouncilThe Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services meets monthly, except January and October.

  • Next meeting: September 9, 2016 (12:00–2:00 p.m.) in Seattle Municipal Tower, Room 4060 (700 5th Avenue, Seattle). Meetings are open to the public. Agendas are available within a week of the meeting. For more information or to request an accommodation, contact Gigi Meinig at or 206-684-0652.
  • Legislative Candidates Forums: See How Will Your Elected Leaders Address the Age Wave? In this issue.
  • Statewide Senior Lobby Fall Conference: Thursday, October 27, 2016 (8:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.) at Hotel Murano, Tacoma. Pre-registration is required. For more information, visit the Washington State Senior Citizens’ Lobby website at information on joining the Advisory Council, contact Aging and Disability Services planner Gigi Meinig at 206-684-0652 or