Keeping up to date on your eye exams is vital to maintaining the health of your eyes, but chances are that you already knew that. 🙂 The thing that tends to hold people back from going to the eye doctor for an annual appointment is finding out you need corrective eyewear for your not so perfect vision.
It might be vanity and the desire to not have to wear glasses or contacts, but more often it seems the biggest hang up for people is the bill that comes from both the eye exam, and even more so, the bill from buying eyewear.
Your new contacts or glasses might cost you hundreds of dollars. How will you fit that added expense into your budget if you haven’t been saving up for it?
Although the extra bill isn’t going to disappear by reading this article, there are some ways you can save big money on eyewear for the whole family.
Pair the Old with the New
Sometimes vision changes occur slowly over the course of several years, allowing you to get a better value for your money when it comes to eyeglasses since you may not have to update the lenses each year. However, depending on the person, significant changes can sometimes happen from one year to the next, requiring you to spend money two or more years in a row for new corrective eyewear.
One way to bring down the cost a little is to ask if your glasses frames can be reused so you only have to pay for new lenses. This is not always possible if your frames are too outdated or if they are damaged in some way, but it’s worth asking about since it could save you anywhere from $100 to $300 or more by not having to buy new frames.
Take Advantage of Two for One’s
Some companies offer BOGO sales periodically on eyeglasses. This is a great way to get a new pair of glasses for yourself and another for someone else in your family, saving you a bundle of money. It doesn’t hurt to ask your optometrist if they have similar deals going on, some will even price match if you bring in a print ad. If not, maybe you can order them online and have a discount eyewear store, such as Walmart, fit them for you for a small fee. There are big savings to be had by ordering your glasses frames online. That said, if you are glasses only person vs. a person who regularly wears contacts and just keeps glasses “in case”, the fit of your frames will be extra important since you’ll be wearing them all the time.
Ask to See the Budget-Friendly Frames
The optometrist that I see has a tray of less expensive frames under the counter, not out on display. The only reason I was shown these options is because I asked to see if they had frames with a cheaper price tag. Once again, I only wear glasses when I take my contacts out at night or as a “backup” when I need them, so it didn’t make sense for me to shell out a lot of money for my glasses. For a little over a hundred dollars, you can get a decent pair of frames from the budget-friendly box that will last for several years if you treat them right.
Find out About Rebates
If contacts are more your thing, ask if there are any rebates available for the type of contact lenses you wear. Often it means a little paperwork on your part, but you could end up with between $50 and $100 back in your pocket. You also need to read the fine print because you usually have to buy a year’s supply at one time to get the rebate instead of just one box for each eye to last you a few months. It may not be in your budget to do so, especially while you wait for your rebate to come in the mail.
Skip the Eye Doctor
OK, I’m not saying actually skip the eye doctor completely. What I’m saying is when you go to the optometrist, just get your prescription. It’s become very easy to find budget-friendly glasses online with services like Zenni Optical, Coastal, and Warby Parker. These are two of the most popular places to buy glasses online. I know Grayson uses Zenni and has for years. He just uses his prescription and buys them online. He can get glasses for about $20!
The same goes with contact lenses. You can easily find places like 1-800 Contacts and VisionDirect to buy your contact lenses. You just need your prescription. They will call your eye doctor to verify and then ship them to you.
You can literally save hundreds every year by using these services. The eye doctor can’t usually meet these prices as they have a markup on their goods. You can typically get two boxes of contacts online for the price of one at the eye doctor. Stack these savings with using online coupons and free cash back sites like Ebates, you can really do a number on your overall savings.
While it is true eyewear is not cheap, it is necessary for many people. However, with a little more work on your part, you should be able to save on eyewear for the whole family.
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