Senior discounts

Senior discounts (photos.com)

Who doesn't like a discount on much-needed and much-wanted items and services during this stagnant economy? Saving pennies here and there helps and so, we asked Chicago and suburban residents:

'Do you utilize senior discounts? If so, what are they? If not, why not?'

Here's what they had to say:

Mary DePasqua - 74, Addison - "I use discounts for Kohl's and Dress Barn. I use Carson [Pirie Scott]'s for clothes and housewares. When we go to the movies at Marcus Cinema, it has senior discounts every day and a special one on Fridays. Using the discounts saves us a lot, especially during Christmas when you're buying a lot of gifts."

George Endean - 66, Bartlett - "I use the senior discounts when I go to the movie theater in St. Charles. Sometimes, if we go to a motel, we'll use the AARP card. I get a discount when I go for a hair cut. Sometimes, we'll order from the senior menu. Kohl's and Carson's have senior discount days where you save about 15 percent. "

Ron Fangusaro - 69, Bloomingdale - "Yes, I do. I just got the CTA bus pass and I use that. A few stores give me discounts such as Party City. I'll go to Brunch Café in Roselle and it gives you a 10 percent discount. We rely more on coupons from the newspaper and we try to patronize the businesses in Bloomingdale if we can."

Salvatore Fulco - 60, Schiller Park - "I don't use senior discounts because I heard that you have to be 65 years old to use them. Some people tell me that you have to be 65 while others say that's not true. At 55, you should get a discount because most people have been laid off during this economy."

Joan Graves - 71, Huntley - "We don't usually ask for them. We feel that there are other people who need them more. My husband Jim and I are very blessed. If we go to a restaurant and the wait staff automatically give us a discount, we accept it."

Priscilla Guzzi - 77, Addison - "I use them every chance I get. If I go to Wendy's, I can ask for the senior discount though it's not advertised. Addison Park District offered a two-year membership for a one year price and I bought it. I believe I earned the discounts and deserved them."

Ethel Holzman - 74, Chicago - "I use a senior discount when I take a CTA bus or a taxi. I don't think to ask for senior discounts because I receive regular coupons in the mail for stores which will give a percentage or a cash discount. When I travel, I go to a hotel and I say that I have an AARP or AAA discount. "

Marty Karson - 75, Chicago - "When I buy coffee at Burger King or McDonald's, I get a senior discount. It's under 50 cents instead of paying $1. I get a senior discount at the movie theater and I never miss that opportunity. I would pay about $5 or $6 instead of $8 or $9. My lady friend and I prefer to do business with theaters that give senior discounts because we save money, it's offered to us and when you're on a fixed income, it's liking having money back in your pocket."

Perry Knutson - 61, Roselle - "The main ones that I use are for a local car wash, a movie theater and restaurants. I see what restaurants will have coupons when they come in the mail. If you don't ask the young people who work at the theater about the discount, they don't know. You have to make the statement."

Dorothy Kosmal - 74, Addison - "Yes, my husband Don and I do. Generally speaking, we take whatever is offered. Specifically, we use a senior discount on Mondays for the Addison Park District's Links and Tees, an outdoor/indoor golf course. Marcus Theatre has a senior discount on Fridays and International House of Pancakes has a senior menu. Seniors are more likely to be on a fixed income compared to other people. These discounts are helpful and make us feel special."

Alana McBride Piech - 58, Lombard - "When I turned 50, I was actually horrified at the thought of belonging to AARP until I realized the advantage. I use its discounts at hotels and wherever I know it is offered. There is a beauty clinic that I visit which has 50 percent off services on Wednesdays for 55 and older."

Jane Ott - 76, Berkeley - "The only ones we ever use are discounts for hotels or motel lodgings. If we are somewhere where it says there is a senior discount, then it's fine. We never think to ask for it. I think about the free bus rides that our former governor gave which was a blanket discount to all seniors. The cost of these rides has been tremendous for the transit system. The discounts should only be given to seniors whose income is low so that this is a benefit for them."

Zygie Poderys - 70, Marengo - "Yes, but only if someone reminds me or asks me if I'm a senior. I have a friend who reminds me of these discounts. If I go to a restaurant and someone asks me if I want a senior discount, I'll take it. "

Sharon Sarley - 62, Villa Park - "The one discount that I like the most is something I use once a year. My husband and I go to a golf resort called Devil's Head in Wisconsin. Through an AARP discount, we get 10 percent off a package deal that includes food, lodging and golf. We save about $80. We've been going for eight years with a group and it's been a lot of fun."

Dick Weltin - 65, Elmhurst - "Yes, we do. I use them at Culver's, Kohl's and Perkin's Restaurant when we're in South Bend, Ind. after watching football games. I need to save every bit I can get because I'm still working at 65 as a part-time substitute teacher."