Americans spend 33 billion dollars every year on prescription glasses and contact lenses. I understand how expensive eyewear can be since I wear contacts. And because glasses and contacts can be so expensive, I want to share some tips, as well as my personal experience, on how to save money on eyewear.
1. Get an eye exam at Costco, Sam’s Club, or Walmart
If you don’t have insurance that covers an eye exam and you are in need of an eye exam, don’t go to an eyeglass chain or a private eye doctor office. It will cost so much more money. Instead, get an eye exam at Costco, Sam’s Club, or Walmart. At Costco, it’s usually about $70 for an eye exam and $120 for a contact lens eye exam. Sam’s Club and Walmart cost about the same. Store prices vary by region, so call and check a few stores prices before making an appointment. And these stores have licensed optometrists that perform the exam in an in-store exam room.
2. Buy Eyeglasses and Contacts Online
Don’t get stuck purchasing glasses and contacts from the optometrist. I’ve worn contacts, and sometimes glasses, since I was a teenager. For years, I always just ordered my contacts and glasses from my optometrist following the appointment. And for the longest time I didn’t know that there were other options out there that are less expensive and just as good quality. The contacts I wear normally cost $55 per box if I order them from my eye doctor, but by purchasing them online I was able to save nearly 50 percent! I researched many online stores to find the best deal for contact lenses and here is what I found.
The best deal for my contacts was from DiscountContactLenses.com. They were $34.99 per box, which includes six contacts and is a 3-month supply. Plus, I found a 20 percent off promo code for being a new customer, which brought the total per box down to just $27.99. And they shipped the contacts to me for free. So instead of paying $55 per box, I only paid $27.99 per box! That’s nearly half of the cost of what I’d been paying to purchase them from my eye doctor. And it was the exact same brand and box of contacts. (Side Note: For about 7 years, I purchased my contacts from VisionDirect.com, but unfortunately, as of May 2017 they shut down, so I did a lot of research to find which online stores had the best prices on contacts.)
I researched other online sites and found that the next best places to purchase contacts is from Sam’s Club and Costco. Then Walgreens if you locate a good promo code, and then Walmart.com. Other sites that I haven’t tried but I’ve you might want to consider looking at for contacts is 1800AnyLens.com and 1800Contacts.com. It is always a good idea to check a few sites before you order contacts online to make sure you find the best deal for what you need to order.
If you are looking for eyeglasses, purchase them online from Coastal.com or ZenniOptical.com where you can get generic frames and lenses for $20 shipped! The reason they can sell them so inexpensively is because they make them, and they don’t have to go through a middle man. And sometimes, Coastal.com has promotions where you can get your first pair of glasses free. All you’ll pay is shipping and handling and the cost of any lens upgrade. This promotion comes and goes, so you have to watch for it. For your first pair of glasses, you might want to consider ordering them in-store to ensure the fit is right, but after that, order them online!
3. Keep Your Old Frames
Just because you have a new prescription, it doesn’t mean you need new frames. While you may need new lenses for your glasses if your prescription has changed you don’t need to purchase new frames if your old ones are still in good condition. When shopping for new frames, be sure to stick with elegant and classic styles, rather than the latest trend that way you can have with them for a few years.
By doing these things, you can save a lot of money on glasses and contacts. What other tips to do you have to help you save money on eyewear?