After the kids moved out and I had to cook for one, I quickly grew tired of it. At home, I get caught in a routine of chicken soup, pasta and sauce, or fish and potatoes. But when I dine out, I am a global traveler – spicy ethnic food, or juicy burgers and fries. I don’t have to shop, and I don’t have to wash dishes. I feel like a queen. Unfortunately, the prices are fit for a queen.
According to a recent Zagat survey, the average individual cost of dining out ranges from $28.77 (in Detroit) to $48.44 (New York City). If you eat out once per week, you could be spending $1496.04 to a whopping $2518.88 per year. You could stay at home and pretend that tuna casserole is pecan-crusted salmon. Or you could take advantage of deals and discounts to cut your spending on dining out. Take pride in your age and take advantage of the savings. Pay attention to the age requirements, as they vary according to the establishment. We’ll continue to update this list.
Applebee’s. Diners who are 60 and up used to get 10% to 15% off with a Golden Apple card, but most Applebee’s restaurants have discontinued the card. However, your local Applebee’s may have a senior special in place, so ask your waitress or call ahead for information.
Arby’s. Get a 10% discount on your purchase, and some locations offer a free drink with purchase.
A&W. The offer varies by location, but you can get a 10% discount off your purchase. Always ask about a discount.
Backyard Burgers. Get a free soft drink with purchase.
Ben & Jerry’s. Seniors who are at least 60 years of age can get 10% off at participating warehouse and Scoop Shop locations. And remember, you can ask for a free taste of any flavor in the scoop freezer.
Bonefish Grill. Present your AARP card for 10% off.
Boston Market. Most Boston Markets have a senior discount available. Ask your local restaurant about age requirements on any discounts.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Another 10% off deal with your AARP card.
Captain D’s Seafood. Those who are 62 and older get special discounts on Sundays and Wednesdays. But the deal varies by restaurant, so ask before ordering.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill. Show your AARP membership card to get 10% off.
Chart House. AARP members receive a 10% discount.
Chick fil-A. Small drink or coffee plus a 10% savings for those over 55.
Chili’s. Seniors who are at least 55 years old can get 10% off at participating locations.
Dairy Queen. Participating locations offer free drinks or 10% off purchase to customers who are 55 years of age or more.
Del Taco. 10% discount for customers 55 years of age or older.
Denny’s. AARP members receive 15% off their purchase. And if you are feeling spunky, ask your server for something off the secret menu. It’s so secret that some locations don’t even know about it. French Toast Grilled Cheese Sandwich. You are welcome.
El Pollo Loco. You must be 60 years of age or older to receive the 10% discount.
Fazoli’s. Join Club 62 for deals.
Fuddrucker’s. Fuddrucker’s has a senior platter (hamburger and side dish) for 10% off.
Hardees. Seniors over 55 years of age receive up to 10% off any order, plus all drinks are 59 cents. Be sure to ask at your local Hardees before ordering.
IHOP. The 55+ Menu offers lower prices for smaller portions of dinner entrees such as pot roast and lemon chicken and breakfast favorites such as French toast. And most locations have a 10% discount for seniors, although the age requirement may vary.
Jack in the Box. Seniors age 55 or older can get up to 20% off their entire order.
KFC. Seniors who are 55 or older can get a free small drink with meal purchase. But we found the franchises may offer a discount of up to 10%, excluding any coupons or sales. Ask before ordering.
Krispy Kreme. If you’re lucky, your local Krispy Kreme participates in a 10% off deal for customers over the age of 50. Ask before ordering.
McDonald’s. Customers who are 55+ can receive discounts on coffee and other drinks.
Outback Steakhouse. AARP members can show their card to get 10% off their meal.
Panera Bread Not just for senior citizens, Panera Bread has special deals for MyPanera club members, including surprising members with a free bagel every day of one month.
Popeye’s. Get a free drink or a 10% discount for guests who are 55 years of age or olde
Sonic. Drive in and go home with food and a 10% discount, or a free drink with purchase, if you are at least 60 years old.
Steak ‘n Shake. Eat at Steak ‘n Shake on Monday or Tuesday for 10% off to those who are 50 or older.
Taco Bell. Get 5% off and a free drink.
TCBY. Enjoy your yogurt for 10% less if you are over 55.
Wendy’s. If you are 55 or older, ask for a 105 discount on your purchase.
Whataburger. Guests over 55 years of age receive a free drink with meal purchase.
White Castle. You can get 10% off deals on those little square hamburgers and more if you are older than 62.
For more senior discounts, deals and tips: