A senior at age 50? Indeed. That'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.
Breakfast.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.
Lunch.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.
Entertainment.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.
Dinner.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.
Dessert.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.
Travel.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.
Extras.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.