I am a disabled senior trying to live as frugally as I can, considering Social Security isn't anything to brag about. I get around in a motorized wheel chair. Our state has a law that seniors and disabled do not need to pay bus fair on our city buses. I can ride any bus, they all are wheel chair accessible, free.
When I shop, I almost always buy generic. In my building, residents who get groceries from food pantries, may take items they don't like downstairs and put them on our 'give away table'. I do the same.
I have a home aide three days a week, two hours each day. This is government program covered and never costs me more than one or two dollars a month, usually nothing. On our 'cooking' day, we make up 3-4 of the same meals and freeze them. Saves time and mess for me during the week. I go out usually two days a week.
Tuesday it is to a grocery store that has a senior bingo every week. Everyone is guaranteed one prize, but can win more. One week I won 8 items. Prizes are grocery items that are in a cart provided by the store. Items are $1 or less. There is also a gift certificate for $10 for the store.
On Saturday I go 'bumming'. My one splurge for the week is I eat either breakfast or lunch out, I may do shopping, or go to a movie. There is a theater group here that has the policy that says if you are in a wheel chair, you don't take up a seat, you get in free. Haven't paid for a movie in four years.
The only problem to my plans is the weather. In summer, etc., rain can keep me from going out if it is bad enough. In winter, snow creates problems, because there can be slippery conditions or just can't get over/around it, if it is not cleared. So sometimes I have to alter my plans as necessary.
I do what I can, when I can, watch for sales, save when I can, every little bit helps.
By knitter926 from Bloomington, IL
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In our area there is a senior center. They have a van and will pick up seniors who are unable to drive to the center. They have fantastic meals. At least 5 items. They ask for a small donation of $2, which is cheap for what you get. They play cards, scavanger hunts, speakers, bingo and other activities. You can stay if you want or go home after the meal. It is a very handy place to go for socializing.
In Sioux Falls, SD the city has a bus service called paratransit for people with mental, mobility problems and also includes the people in chairs and scooters. This is in addition to the regular fixed route buses that the city has. They also have lifts, but the paratransit buses fill in for the people who live too far from bus stops or can't get to one for some reason or another. The cost to ride the paratransit buses is $2.00 each way, and if you are on are medicaid and going to any type of appointment that had "doctor" in it, you ride free. The only drawback is you have to plan your right at least a day ahead. The drivers are real good about helping people get on the bus and tieing the chairs down. I am ambulatory but I still use the lift because I can no longer do steps. If we qualify we can get a box of "senior" commodities on a monthly basis. Every now and then we get a not in the box that we aren't supposed to give any of the food away, if it is something we can;t use. Sometimes a person ends up eventually having so much on hand that they can't begin to use it all. In apartments a person doesn't have a lot of storage. I guess I can't quite figure out how they would know if a person gives some of the food away----it would sure be better than throwing it away and there are some things I just won't eat---like canned spinach.
In our city elderly disabled have a van that uses their Vet and Disabled Card for free rides anywhere in the city, and those vehicles have to be handicapped accessible. So if you're surprised by what the public bus system does, don't be. It is required by federal law.
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