You don't have to depend on your grandkids to pamper you this Grandparents Day.
On Sept. 13 (and all year round), reward yourself for all the time you've spent raising your kids and spoiling your grandkids by taking advantage of senior discounts.
Go ahead, you've earned it.
Tempt Your Taste Buds
Treat yourself to delicious meals without paying top dollar for them.
Dine at breakfast staple IHOP, for instance, and order something off the 55-plus menu. This special menu offers some of the same items as the normal menu, but at lower prices. Denny's also has a 55-plus menu.
Fast-food chains such as Arby's, Taco Bell and McDonald's have been known to offer special discounts for seniors, sometimes even giving away things for free. Offerings may vary by location, so you'll want to check with your local franchise.
No matter where you eat, always inquire about any senior discounts or senior menus that the restaurant may offer, even if they aren't clearly advertised.
How about dinner and a movie? Seniors can follow up that discounted food with some discounted entertainment.
At AMC Theatres, moviegoers who are 60 and older can purchase a senior discount ticket. Prices vary by theater. For example, a senior ticket for a Sunday evening showing at an AMC location in Allentown, Pennsylvania, costs $8.79; a standard adult ticket costs $10.29.
At Cinemark, participating theaters host a Seniors Day when seniors can receive a discounted ticket to any movie at any show time. Visit the theater's website for a list of participating locations.
If movies aren't up your alley, you can usually find senior discounts on other popular activities, too, such as miniature golf and bowling.
Shop and Save
Forget clipping coupons; seniors can save money simply by shopping at some of their favorite retail stores.
At Kohl's, shoppers age 55 and up can receive a special 15 percent discount every Wednesday in-store. Simply bring an ID to verify your age.
Savings can be found at Belk, too. The department store hosts an in-store Senior Day on the first Tuesday of every month for customers age 55 and older. Sign up for the retailer's mailing list for advance notice about upcoming deals included in these senior promotions.
Beyond department stores, drugstore Rite Aid offers discounts for its senior members over age 65. Simply sign up for the free wellness65+ program to get 20 percent off every Wednesday at the store on qualifying purchases. A similar membership program -- called Balance Rewards -- is offered at Walgreens, and the retailer hosts a Senior Day for those over 55.
Take a Trip
At Choice Hotels, guests who are 60 years old and up or who are AARP members can save 10 percent with advance reservations. Be sure to request the senior rate when you call to book your room. Similarly, seniors age 55 or older who stay at Best Western can save a minimum of 10 percent on their room. Some participating locations also offer early check-in, late check-out and a complimentary breakfast.
You'll be able to save on a plane ticket, too. Various deals are available through Southwest, Delta and Priceline. Call the company you're booking with for specifics and availability. You'll need to be prepared to verify your age.
Reorganize Your Responsibilities
Insurance companies reward students for good grades, but did you know they also reward older drivers for maintaining their safe driving skills? The DMV offers a Mature Driver Course for senior motorists. Pass the test and you may be able to qualify for a mature driver discount from your insurance company. Ask your insurance provider if it gives any senior-related discounts.
Cellphone companies offer senior discounts, as well. AT&T, for instance, offers customers age 65 and older a chance to join the AT&T Senior Nation Plan to enjoy 200 anytime minutes, unlimited nationwide calling to AT&T mobility customers and more for a monthly price starting at $29.99. Keep in mind this deal is offered for basic phones only, not smartphones.
Verizon Wireless has a similar deal with its Nationwide 65 Plus Plans. These plans offer a lower number of minutes for lower prices. You must be 65 or older to be eligible for one of these plans.
Finally, if you want to enjoy a host of additional discounts, consider signing up to be an AARP member. For $16 a year, members receive discounts on travel and everyday necessities. Before registering, consider if you'll use the membership enough to benefit from it and offset the cost. You must be 50 years or older to qualify.
Word to the Wise
Before you jump on any special senior discount, sale, freebie, giveaway or other type of offer, be cautious. Scammers tend to prey on senior citizens, so if a discount sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
Prior to making any purchases (especially over the phone), the FBI recommends that seniors check an organization's credibility with the Better Business Bureau and verify the business's address and phone number to ensure its authenticity.