I wasn’t thinking about senior discounts when I stopped by a local bakery for my morning latte last week; I didn’t even know the bakery offered them. But then I heard the person in front of me in line say, “senior discount, please”. In the past, I would have thought, “I don’t need a discount; I shouldn’t bother to ask for one”.

But with the launch of Boomerang Giving, I’m thinking about senior discounts in a different way. For someone like me, who can afford the luxury of a morning latte, I now see senior discounts as a wonderful way to accumulate small amounts into larger charitable donations. Unlike my previous trips to the bakery, I’m now looking for opportunities to get senior discounts and pass them on to a favorite charity. In my case, that’s a childcare center in my community that provides scholarships for children from low-income families. So on that day last week, after I stepped up to the counter and placed my order (double short nonfat latte), I said, “senior discount, please” – and I suddenly had sixty-three cents (20% of $3.15) in unexpected money.

Then I took the bus downtown to meet a friend at the art museum — another $1.50 in savings on my bus fare ($.75 senior rate vs. $2.25 regular fare). And then I took advantage of an astonishing $8.00 in the difference between the admission charge for seniors and non-senior adults to the art museum. Add in the $1.50 in savings on my return bus trip and I now had almost $12.00 in senior discounts that I could redirect to the childcare center. Not bad for one day.

I realize that not all days are quite so productive in terms of senior discounts. But when I started being more aware of discounts, I realized that they are all around us and that individual small discounts can add up to more significant amounts. For example, when my husband and I go to the movies, we each save $2.00, or $4.00 total. Then if I remember to shop at the local Rite Aid on the first Wednesday of the month, I can save 20% on most items, resulting in several dollars in money that can be boomeranged. So, if I take my day at the art museum, add in a movie with my husband later in the week, and pick up some shampoo and toothpaste at Rite Aid on the first Wednesday, I could have almost $20.00 to send to the childcare center.

That’s a nice amount to be able to donate once a month or so – and easy to do using the Network for Good link on the Boomerang Giving website.

“Senior discount, please.”