These smart tips can help Canadian seniors save money on essentials like gas, groceries, and insurance.
Cut Your Cable Bill
Do you have cable or satellite TV? If so, how many channels do you actually watch?
If you’re like most people, you flip back and forth between only a handful of the dozens of channels you pay for each month. That’s a lot of money to spend on something you don’t use!
Fortunately, there are a few ways to reduce what you pay for television without missing your favourite shows.
Since December 1, 2016, the CRTC has required that all cable companies offer a basic TV package that costs no more than $25 per month, with options to add more channels individually. Most companies call this the ‘a-la-carte’ option. This can be an excellent option if you are paying for channels you don’t watch.
Seniors who have a good internet connection also have the option of replacing cable/satellite with a television streaming service, like Netflix. These services usually have a lower monthly subscription fee than cable, plus the benefit of having hundreds of shows available on-demand. There are downsides, however, like the lack of live sports and news broadcasts.
Shop Around For Insurance
Between the house, the car, and yourself, insurance probably accounts for a significant portion of your monthly expenses. When was the last time you had a good look at your rates?
Just because you’re a loyal customer does not mean your insurance company is giving you the best deal. Car and homeowner’s insurance rates change from year to year, and different providers will weigh your risks differently.
It is worth taking time to see what different insurance providers can offer. Shopping around is a powerful way to save money on this essential. It takes some time, but it could free up a big slice of your income!
Try Bargain-Hunting Websites and Apps
One of the best ways to save money on essentials is to watch for sales. There are lots of easy-to-use websites and smartphone apps that take the legwork out of bargain-hunting. These tools can be a bit tricky to use at first, but once you know your way around them, they’re an excellent way for seniors to save money on essentials like gas and groceries:
- For gas: GasBuddy lets you see the price of fuel at all the nearby gas stations. Just type in your city or postal code and search! It is also available as a smartphone app so you can check the prices on-the-go (though not while driving!)
- For groceries and toiletries: Flipp shows all the latest grocery and drug store flyers in one place. Like GasBuddy, you can type in your postal code and see what’s on sale in your town. Check the flyers individually or search for a specific item, like milk or eggs, to see where it is on sale this week.
- For gifts and electronics: Red Flag Deals has up-to-date information on discounts in many Canadian websites and retail stores. It’s a great place to check when you are gift-shopping, especially around the holidays.
Bills. The homeowner’s bane. We can’t stop them from coming, but we do know a few quick ways to make them lighter (or at least less irritating):
Sign up for paperless billing. Just about every bank and utility company gives you the option to receive bills via email instead of your mailbox. Many utilities even offer incentives, like a credit to your bill, for customers who opt-in.
- Pay bills online. Visit your bank to find out how to pay your bills electronically. It will save you the cost of a stamp — and, more importantly, your time.
- Set up automatic payments. While you’re talking to the bank teller, ask about setting up an account to pay some of your bills automatically. This eliminates the chance of unpaid bills getting lost in the shuffle and racking up interest.
Use That Seniors Discount!
Students never shy away from using their discount. Why should you?
Stores don’t offer the seniors discount as charity — they do it because older adults are valuable customers. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of it!
Here’s a partial list of retailers who offer a senior’s discount in Canada. If your favourite store is not on the list, don’t give up. Many retailers who provide a discount for customers over 65 don’t advertise that fact, so it is always worth asking!