My husband just joined the American Legion. Right now he doesn't have time to become an active participant, but we paid the $20 membership fee for two reasons: we value the educational programs run by the Legion, and becoming a member opens the door to all kinds of discounts. We will more than pay for his dues with our upcoming stay in a particular hotel.
Do you belong to a large organization or association? Many groups provide discounts as a benefit to members, but these savings go largely unnoticed. We buy our homeowner's insurance through the TN Farm Bureau...and in addition to its superior claims service, get special savings. My husband belongs to a union (solely for the purpose of its legal liability insurance)--the union discount plan has already saved us $85 this year on tires and services. My mom's AAA discount card gave her a bigger savings on her new eyeglasses than the store promotion, coupon and insurance combined!
I have a hard time keeping up with all these offers! To simplify, I keep a folder containing each organization's list of discounts. Before I make ANY major purchase or reservation, I pull out the folder and scan the list. Sometimes I have to have the reservationist check multiple discounts, to see which one gives the most money off--and believe me, they're all different! Sometimes it really pays to be a member.