You need a new pair of lenses, but you’re not sure what you want just yet. First, you go to the eye doctor and get an updated Rx. Then, it’s time to shop around for your options. You basically have two choices. You can buy new eyeglasses or new contacts. Everything seems so expensive. What do you do?
Saving Money On Your Exam
Going to the eye doctor should be a fairly straight-forward affair. Saving money, though, is not. First, check to see if your eye doctor is offering any special promotions right now. Check online. If he is part of a large retailer, odds are they run discounts seasonally.
Check with your insurance company. Most insurers offer prescription eye care if it’s maintenance care. In other words, major medical plans typically offer coverage for eyeglasses and contacts once per year. Take advantage of any special pricing here because many companies negotiate special discounted rates with insurers.
Saving Money On Glasses and Lenses
If you choose to buy new glasses or lenses, you can always just visit Lenstore or another online retailer. Also try to find coupon codes online first. Go to sites like MrRebates or Ebates. Check out their list of online retailers to see if you can earn a rebate for shopping through these types of online portals.
If you find a nice rebate for an online lens retailer, look for coupon codes from coupon aggregators. Aggregators pool discount codes together and make them searchable via a custom search engine interface.
It doesn’t take as long as you might think to save 20, 30, even 40 percent. You just have to have a little patience and be willing to search for the savings.
Saving Money On Contacts
Saving money on contacts is super-easy. Most contact lens manufacturers want you to buy their product so badly that they’ll offer you discounts for buying in bulk, promo deals where you get a box of lenses for free just to try them out, and coupon codes that can slice into the retail price a decent amount.
Here’s a tip: don’t buy the lenses at your doctor’s office. Why not? Typically, those prices are marked up. Lens manufacturers may sell to retail lens stores at wholesale, but those stores have rent to pay, employees to pay, overhead to cover, etc. Expect to pay a premium compared to online stores that may only have a few employees and a drop-shipper warehouse.
Don’t be afraid to try generic or off-brand lenses either. You might get burned a few times, but if you’re buying daily wear lenses, you’re only suffering for a week, maybe a month, if you get a bad box. Of course, many manufacturers offer some type of money-back guarantee if the quality isn’t up to snuff, so check before you buy if this is important to you.
Finally, many online lens stores will offer you free shipping, but only if you buy a certain dollar amount worth of product from them. Since shipping can add up quickly, it pays to call customer service or check the FAQ before you buy.
Rosalind Miller is a retired family law attorney. She now spends her time gardening and blogging on various websites.