According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 9.5 percent of seniors who are 65 or older are living below the poverty line, which currently stands at $11,011. Even for those who don't fall into this category, the reality is many seniors spend their golden years living on a fixed income with limited means. Thus it's important to find ways to make the most out of every dollar.

1. Budgeting

The best financial advice anyone will ever receive is to create a budget and stick to it. This is especially true for fixed-income living. In a report released by The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics, it was determined that seniors spend a third of their income on housing costs, roughly 12 percent on food, 13 percent on healthcare, 14 percent on transportation and 20 percent on miscellaneous expenses. 

Having a clear picture of where your money is going each month will help highlight what expenses can be eliminated altogether and where to focus to increase savings. 

2. Senior Discounts

As consumers, seniors can save anywhere between 5 and 20 percent on most purchases. Many businesses such as supermarkets, big-box retailers and phone companies offer a senior discount, even if they don't advertise the policy, so some research may be required. To this end, there are a few websites, seniordiscounts.com being one example that serve to help you find businesses in your community offering discounts for the elderly. 

Each business will have their own terms, whether it's the specific age requirement, the day of the week or month when the policy is in effect or even the time of day. Make a note of the requirements and alter you shopping schedule to take advantage. 

Public transportation services also offer discounted fare prices for seniors. 

3. Affiliations

Related to senior discounts are the benefits offered by affiliations. AARP is one such example. Membership costs just $16 a year and members are provided with access to a wide range of shopping, travel, food and entertainment discounts. Members also have access to discounted healthcare products and services, including supplemental insurance if Medicare doesn't provide full coverage.

For veterans, the American Legion also offers a discount program for members that includes insurance, financial and healthcare services. 

4. Saving Opportunities with Recurring Expenses

D Thode & Associates reminds us that the majority of any monthly budget will be dedicated to bills, which makes this a great place to find savings. For homeowners, property tax fees are a good way to save money. The total savings will differ by region, but in New York, for example, homeowners over the age of 65 with an annual income of less than $29,000 can have their property tax reduced by 50 percent. 

Another way to save is to pay in full instead of by installments. Home insurance, property tax and car insurance are three areas where you can avoid the service fees tacked onto monthly payment plans by paying up front. Finally, for those still with a landline, paying a separate monthly fee for a wireless contract is a waste of money. Instead, opt for a prepaid plan and spend only what you need. 

5. Saving on Healthcare Costs

Using generic drugs is the number one way for seniors to save money. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services, the average price of generic drugs is $39.73, 76 percent less than the cost of brand-name alternatives. Whenever possible, request the generic option for prescription medication. 

Regarding medical bills, inquire if your doctor is willing to offer a discount for paying in cash. Be sure to choose in-network doctors and hospitals, shop around when you need a procedure and negotiate the final billing price to secure a competitive fee. Referencing the Healthcare Blue Book is a good way to know whether or not you're being overcharged. 

Limited means doesn't translate into a limited life, and finding ways to stretch each dollar will help make your golden years happy and comfortable. While all expenses can't be eliminated, changing where, when and how you spend your money on the same goods and services can and will make a big difference.

Author's Bio: 

Karleia is a freelance blogger.