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 royal budget.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spent about $250 per month on restaurant meals in 2021 (the most recent figure available). 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.
An important note: Pay attention to the age requirements, as they vary according to the establishment. We’ll continue to update this list, but the deals may change without our knowledge, and participation may vary by local restaurant. Always check with your local restaurant about senior discounts.
Applebee’s. 10% to 15% off at participating locations for customers 60 and older.
A&W. 10% discount at participating locations. Ask your local restaurant about age requirements.
Ben & Jerry’s. 10% off for seniors 60+.
Burger King. Seniors can receive a 10% discount on their purchase.
Chick-fil-A. Offers vary by location but are usually a free small drink or a 10% discount.
Chili’s. Seniors who are at least 55 years old can get 10% off at participating locations.
Culver’s. Seniors age 60 and over get a 10% discount at participating locations.
Dairy Queen. Participating locations offer free drinks or 10% off purchase to customers who are 55 years of age or more.
Einstein’s Bagels. Seniors 60 and over can get a 10% discount on certain bagels.
Hardee’s. Seniors over 55 years of age receive up to 10% off any order, and there is a special price for beverages. Be sure to ask at your local Hardee’s 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.
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.
McDonald’s. Customers who are 55+ can receive discounts on coffee.
Subway. Get a 10% discount if you are age 60 or older.
Taco Bell. Get 5% off and a free drink at participating locations if you’re 65 or older.
The Original Pancake House. Seniors can get discounts on Friday mornings.
Restaurants with AARP discounts
At the following eateries, you can get a discount if you are an AARP member. As always, participation may vary and can change without notice. See details for the discount offered at each restaurant on the AARP site.
Buffalo Wild Wings
Denny’s. 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.
Falbo Bros. Pizzeria
PJ’s (Papa Jimmy’s) Pizzeria (Cottage Grove)
Ticino Pizzeria (New Glarus)
This deal is from Living on the Cheap, our sister site.