Discounts for all ages
Sure, it's easier for seniors to
find discounts, but you should look for deals whatever your age.
Membership has its discounts
Check with clubs to which you or family members belong. A swim club
may negotiate discounts on swimming gear and other paraphernalia
at local sporting goods shops. Your ski club may get group rates
for lift tickets. Even a knitters' club may work out a deal with
the local yarn shop for discounted goods. And don't forget to check
with national organizations, such as your college alumni association
or the American Automobile Association. These groups often arrange
discounts for their members.
The "I screwed up"
Retailers and service providers will often offer a discount on their
goods and services if they've made an error. The wrong size, the
wrong color, poor service can all add up to a discount if you ask
"It's the last one" mark down
If you're buying the floor model vacuum cleaner or the last pair
of shoes on display, ask for a discount. Since these goods generally
are not as "fresh" as those coming straight out of the
box, you might get a price break.
Off-peak price break
Everything from health clubs and spas to seaside resorts and ski
areas offer discounts to clients who use their services at less-than-popular
times. For health clubs, it's generally times that 9-to-5ers can't
work out: between 9 a.m. and noon and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. A ski
area might offer reduced lift tickets early in the season since
it may not be entirely open.
Medical profession discount
Members of the medical profession -- doctors, nurses, emergency
medical technicians or paramedics -- sometimes receive discounts
on trips, particularly active or adventure
excursions. In exchange for the discount, participating medical
personnel agree to be on call for some or all of the trip, carrying
medical supplies in backpacks and offering assistance to trip participants.
Volume or loyalty discount
Vendors value your business and often will reward you with discounted
or free goods. For example, the pet shop selling premium dog food
will give you your 13th bag of chow free. Or your favorite espresso
bar may give frequent sippers a punch card. Get a coffee pot stamp
with each latte, and when the card's full you'll receive your next
drink on the house or at a discount.
Some hotels or motels located near top-notch medical centers will
offer discounts to out-of-towners who are getting treatment. And
it works for pets as well as people patients. When my dog underwent
radiation treatment at Washington State University's Veterinary
Teaching Hospital, we booked a discounted room at the local Quality
Inn. Don't be afraid to ask about such price breaks when you contact
the treatment hospital and nearby lodgings.
Jenny C. McCune is a contributing
editor based in Montana.