9 Practical Ways That Retirees can Save Money Every Day

Working with a fixed budget can be scary, but there are many ways to cut expenses and save more money during your golden years.
Last updated April 3, 2023 | By Jenny Cohen Edited By Chris Kissell
senior couple planning for a vacation

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Many retirees constantly worry about how much money they are spending. After all, once you retire, you no longer can count on a paycheck arriving every couple of weeks.

Fortunately, there are many ways to save money on a fixed income.

So if you’re retired or planning to retire soon, here are some ways to cut costs and save money on a daily basis.

Cook at home

Monkey Business/Adobe man standing in the kitchen cooking with his partner

Now that you are not working, you can afford to spend some real time in the kitchen. Look up recipes you wanted to try but didn’t have time to prepare when you were still working.

Once you choose some meals, head to the supermarket and look for store-brand products that can help you save money on groceries.

Enjoy free activities

Daisy Daisy/Adobe mature man cycling along autumn country road

As a retiree, you have plenty of time on your hands. Don’t fill that time with expensive activities.

Instead, think about leisurely fun that costs little or no money. Consider free outdoor activities such as walking or biking that require a little bit of money for equipment or clothes, but are not costly once you get past the initial outlay.

Also, look into events such as free lectures at your local library or community college.

When you enjoy free activities, you save money that you can use to pay down your debts or to add to your savings.

Spend more time comparison shopping

sepy/Adobe woman sitting at desk and using laptop while working at home

It’s fine to occasionally spend some money on big-ticket items such as electronics or clothing. But before you do, dig in and do some comparison shopping to find the best deals.

Sign up for newsletters from your favorite companies so you learn about the latest deals. Also, check online for coupons that help you save extra cash when you go to the grocery store or your favorite retailer.

Use free services when you can

Laura/Adobe man looking for a book in a classic bookstore

Local libraries have access to many different kinds of materials, from books to DVDs and more. And they are all sure to keep you entertained without you having to spend a dime on them.

Also, check out nearby museums, which may have free days that you weren’t able to take advantage of when you were working.

Drive less

Kurhan/Adobe senior couple in the car

Ditching your daily commute can save you a lot of money. You may drive less overall in retirement, which saves you cash on gas and likely reduces the amount you will need to spend on maintaining your car.

If you are part of a two-car household and you and your spouse are both retired, consider getting rid of one of your cars. This can save you a lot of cash, especially in terms of insurance, registration and maintenance costs.

Enjoy happy hour prices

Davide Angelini/Adobe happy friends group cheering mojito drinks at cocktail bar restaurant

Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy the bargain prices at your local restaurant or bar during happy hour? You can do that now that you’re retired.

Also, try new places during happy hour to see if you like the fare and the atmosphere. Testing a restaurant in this way is a lot cheaper than buying a full meal without knowing if you will even like the place.

Relocate and downsize

Daisy Daisy/Adobe mature couple carrying boxes on moving day

Do you currently live in a larger home that’s close to your old office? Now, you have the freedom to consider living somewhere else.

Reconsider how much space you need, especially if you don’t have to worry about having a home office and your nest is empty.

In addition to downsizing, consider moving to areas with a lower cost of living.

Take advantage of senior discounts

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe woman with smartphone in hands sitting on bed

Ask about senior discounts at restaurants, movie theaters, hotels, and more. These offer great opportunities to keep a little extra cash in your pocket.

Consider joining organizations such as AARP or AAA, which may get you additional discounts for a small yearly membership fee.

Create a budget

bongkarn/Adobe female accountant using calculator

Creating and adhering to a budget is a great way to save money on a daily basis. Look at your current monthly spending and see if there are places you can cut costs.

Even if you aren’t retired yet, it’s a good idea to build a retirement budget now. Factor in everyday costs such as groceries or utilities, and remember to adjust your costs for inflation based on when you plan to retire.

After doing this exercise, you might even find you can retire sooner than you expected.

Bottom line

Gorodenkoff/Adobe senior couple doing gymnastics

There are plenty of ways to save money when you’re on a fixed income. So, spend some extra time looking over your budget to see where you can cut costs and save more cash.

Carefully consider your mix of investments to make sure they are generating enough income, and look for ways to make extra cash — such as getting a part-time job — if things are really tight.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.