August 1st, 2022
Everything seems to be more expensive today. And while you can’t fight inflation, you can find ways to substantially save money. There are assistance programs that can reduce utility costs, lessen the pinch at the supermarket, and offset Medicare costs.
Find tips and resources below that can help you keep more of your money:
You might be financially eligible for a Medicare savings program that can help you save on copays and premiums. Specialists in our Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) can talk to you about whether you qualify and help you sign up. Certified counselors are also available to answer your questions, and during Open Enrollment, help with a free, unbiased assessment of your prescription drug plan (s) to see if it still fits your needs. New to Medicare? They can help with that, too: 800-803-7174.
There are smart ways to spend less at the market. To avoid impulse buying, do your shopping once a week, with a list. It will help you plan meals better, too.
Ask a friend if they’d like to split the large-quantity items like toilet paper and paper towels.
If you are 60 and older and are either homebound or unable to leave the house without help, consider Meals on Wheels. Call us: 800-852-7795.
You might also seek food assistance offered by Gleaners Food Bank and other pantries (see below).
Restaurants, parks, movie theaters, fitness centers, museums, pharmacies, colleges, universities, auto shops and perhaps even your local grocery store may offer discounts. Becoming a member of AARP can also save you money on services and goods.
Veterans should look for discounts too. It’s a good idea to carry your valid military ID.
Michigan offers property tax exemptions for veterans who are 100-percent disabled as a result of service and a homestead tax credit and property tax relief for active military personnel. Call your tax assessment office of your local municipality to inquire.
With gas prices in the $5 range, carpooling looks very good. Share rides if you can.
Riding the bus is another way to avoid heavy gas prices. Call a mobility specialist at myride2 at (855) 697-4332 to learn about transportation options in your county.
Your auto insurance company might be able to give you a lower rate on your plan. There’s no harm in asking.
You’ve seen the cards at your pharmacy but maybe you haven’t taken advantage of the savings they might offer:
Use generic medicine and retail items.
Generic drugs are typically identical to the brand-name ones but may be dramatically less expensive. Ask your doctor to prescribe the generic counterpart of a medicine if it exists.
Choose the store’s brand when shopping for staples.
You can transfer high-cost debt to a credit card with a lower interest rate or low/no annual fee to save money. Call your credit card company to ask if it offers a break on interest rates to seniors.
It is easy to order online, but your local library has a lot to offer – at no cost to you. If you use a tablet to read, ask about e-books. Some libraries will deliver or bring books out to your car. Ask!
Pay household bills automatically
Avoid late fees and anxiety by setting up autopay. Your bank will send in payment for you through your bank account, on time.
When you’re not using them, turn off appliances like TVs, computers and lamps. You can program your thermostat in order to set the temperature at various times around the house.
Don’t run the washer and dryer or dishwasher unless you have full loads.
Check out utility assistance programs (see below).