New Jersey Senior Money Management

If you’re like most of us, you’re probably still digging out from the spiraling economy. Seniors, with crashing 401(k) plans, tend to be the hardest hit.  As a means of recouping some of the losses, here are some money saving tips for seniors to consider:

The senior discount at your favorite New Jersey retail stores: Some stores offer a 5-10% discount on all purchases made by seniors every day of the week. Others have a senior day, where seniors get a 20% discount. You may have to ask for the discount, although many stores now just automatically figure in the discount for anyone who looks as though they might fit into the “senior” category. The important thing is to be armed ahead of time with the policy of each store so that you can arrange your shopping trips in order to take advantage of any savings you are entitled to.

Some items can be altered or used less often to save money: The recommended amount of laundry detergent is often far more than necessary to get clothes clean. Try experimenting to see how little you can actually get by with.  Reuse dryer softener sheets. Save them in a small cardboard box and then place them in the laundry room and use two each time until they are gone. This may not be a huge savings, but a worthwhile one.
Dilute thick shampoo with water. Keep a spare bottle on hand and pour half of your new bottle into the spare bottle. Then fill both the rest of the way with water. Once they are shaken up, you can barely tell the difference, and it takes less time to get the shampoo to come out of the top opening like it does with the thicker shampoo. Try taking several used up tubes of toothpaste, snip the bottom off of each one, and see how many brushings you can still get out of an empty tube of toothpaste. Buy large economy sizes of items, then divide them into smaller containers so that the extra won’t spoil after the package or bottle has been opened.

Buy gifts and holiday items throughout the year; not just when needed: If you keep your eyes open, you will find gift items for a fraction of their original cost this way. Keep them tucked away in a closet somewhere so that they will be ready at a moment’s notice. Cards and wrapping paper are also great items to stock up on ahead of time. No last minute rushing out to buy a birthday gift.

Lists are beneficial: Grocery shop with a list to discourage impulse purchases. Post a list at home so other members of the household will be reminded to keep an eye out for a good buy on posted items. Update your lists frequently.

Consider online shopping: Do your homework and you will often find brand-name products at huge discounts. Watch for special times when online stores are offering “no-shipping cost” prices. Many stores like Target, Circuit City, Staples, and Walmart now have online outlets where you can order online and choose home delivery or you can pick up the item at your local store.

Watch where you eat: As well as being less expensive, home-cooked meals are usually healthier. Watch for coupons offering senior discounts or special prices at your favorite restaurants. Eating out too frequently can quickly become so routine that it no longer seems to be a special treat. Save eating out for special occasions.

Posted by: Frank Esposito, Vice President of Expert Home Care.  New Jersey’s Expert Home Care provides professional and reliable home health care and companion care for NJ elderly, helping them with their daily living activities since 1984. Please call us toll free at 800-848-2336 when you have home care related questions or need assistance for a loved one. Get a Free Home Care Assessment (a $375 value!) when you mention this post.

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