May 15 2009

How do you save money on contact lenses?

Shane needs a new box of contacts (Acuvue Oaysis) and it’s up to me to find the best deal. The only trouble is, I haven’t really had time to deal-hunt lately. Johnny is keeping me super busy lately and his nap times have been reserved for me trying to return our apartment to order. That isn’t going too well.

So before I spend time browsing contact lens web sites and comparison shopping, I thought I’d ask you first: Where do you buy contacts? What do you do to save money on them?

We’ll pay for our purchase with our flexible spending account debit card, which allows us to use pre-tax funds.

Thanks in advance! Have a good weekend.

 



15 Responses to “How do you save money on contact lenses?”

  1. in my research I’ve found it’s cheaper for us to just buy them from walmart or the eye dr as opposed to ordering them from 1-800 contacts or some of the other mail options. The reason is that we buy one box per eye and wear them for an entire year (sometimes longer.) Until this most recent exam we were always told (by our optometrist) the acuvue contacts were one month contacts. I also had one of my eye drs tell me that if I took good care of them (clean them well each time I take them out) that I can make them last two months. So that’s what we’ve always done. This last eye dr we saw told us that they were two weeks contacts. I had a hard time believing her, but when I looked that is what the Acuvue site says. However, if so many eye doctors have told me they are one month contacts, I have no problem using them for one month. Neither my husband or I get head aches, or sore eyes or anything from wearing them longer than 2 weeks. But before a bunch of people judge me- I’m not telling you to do that if you’re not comfortable.

    All that being said… the mail order contact places require you to buy a bunch (I think 4 or more boxes). If you do that it is cheaper per box, But you can see how it’s more expensive for us.

    So there’s my long comment. :)

  2. I just went through this a few months back. I was actually surprised to find out that 1-800-CONTACTS and Wal-Mart were not the cheapest option at all (their prices are the same because they’re linked). The best deal for me ended up being Costco with a rebate.

    Ordering them directly from the doctor’s office wasn’t much more expensive than Costco, though, because my insurance qualified me for a 20% discount (only if I purchase through the doctor, though), and they were offering a pretty good rebate deal on top of that. But even with that, Costco ended up being a little cheaper.

    If you don’t have a membership to Costco or Sam’s, be sure to check out whether you get an insurance discount and see what kind of rebates the doctor’s office offers. I know that for me, the doctor’s office was a good $50 cheaper than 1800-CONTACTS with the rebate, so it’s worth checking.

  3. I usually find the best deals at http://www.visiondirect.com/

  4. I don’t know if Sam’s sells contacts, but here’s a coupon for a free day pass:

    http://www2.samsclub.com/smallbusiness/media/onedaymembership.pdf

    Maybe you could use it just to buy contacts if they offer the best deal?

  5. Visiondirect is where I go. About 60% cheaper than buying them from the doctor’s office.

  6. I have found the cheapest contacts online, but then I also discovered that my eye doctor will price match. So, I just bring in a print off of the website price to my eye doctor, they adjust the price and I walk out with my contacts that day – no waiting on them to be shipped.

    Also, sometimes the doctor’s office will have rebates going if you buy multiple boxes at once, but I’m leary to buy more than a year’s worth in case my prescription changes.

    Let us know what you discover!

  7. I wear Oaysis too and it’s nearly impossible to not break the bank while buying them. They offer a rebate ($30) if you buy a year’s worth at a time from the eye doctor.

    I also stretch mine out by wearing them longer than 2 weeks. I am not sure if that is the healthiest option or not, though! I take good care of them and change my solution, so I doubt it’s really affecting much.

    Never heard of VisionDirect, I will check them out next time!

  8. I also give a vote for visondirect.com

    Here are vision direct coupon codes:

    http://www.couponcabin.com/coupons/vision-direct/

  9. Thanks for the help, everyone! I knew you’d come through :)

    I tend to only want to buy one box per eye at a time, because if our prescription changes we’re left with a bunch of unusable contacts. Maybe you can return/exchange them but I dunno. Sounds like kind of a hassle.

    Shane tends to wear contacts daily but I don’t know how often he changes — I’ll have to ask. I wear contacts just once in awhile. I guess I’m just too lazy to mess with it every day, though I need to start doing it again because Johnny likes to grab at em. Many years ago, I wore contacts all the time (napped in them on occasion, but never slept through the night in them). My eyes developed a contact-related problem so that’s when I switched to wearing glasses most of the time.

    Oh, and Karen — I have a Sam’s club membership already but thanks for the coupon!

    OK time to start shopping.

  10. I wear the same contacts and I have good luck at ACLens.com. I had been told before they were two week contacts, but I clean them good, and make them stretch. I also go to MrRebates.com first to get the rebate for the aclens website to make them even cheaper. We just got a Sam’s Club membership, so I need to check there since I’m due for a new prescription. I know a friend of mine just went to CostCo to purchase her glasses and got two pair cheaper than her optometrist was charging for one pair…..and that was even without using her insurance!!!

  11. I would be happy to purchase them at Costco for you and send them if you wanted. :) I don’t wear contacts, and neither does Mr. Money so I’m not very much help.

  12. I have a upromise account that I get rewards for shopping online put into a 529b college tuition savings account for my child. I then do most of my online shopping through upromise, so I get a little bonus money back. I buy my contacts through 1800 contacts from upromise then since they are a partner, and also turn the receipt into my flex spending account to make the purchase tax free.

  13. I also get mine from Sam’s Club a sit seesm they have a good price on Acuvue Oasys 2.

    By the way, YOU DO NOT NEED A MEMBERSHIP to buy contacts from optical. Just tell the person at the door you are going to optical.

  14. I have one of the most expensive kinds of contacts (gas permeable). Even through 1-800-Contacts, I was being quoted over $100. The regular vision place wanted to charge closer to $150-170.

    So I gritted my teeth and called up America’s Best. I got my contacts for around $60. I was astounded. Granted, one day, when I have vision insurance, I’ll happily go to a more reputable place. But the contacts are great and have lasted quite a long time. (In fact, I need to get the prescription updated after around three years. But the lenses themselves are the same quality I’d get anywhere else.)

    In other words, if money is a big deal, call America’s Best and compare prices with 1-800-Contacts. I don’t recall Sam’s Club having all that great of deals, but then again that was on my type of lens.

  15. I find them cheapest through Drugstore.com. If you go through ebates first, then drugstore.com, it turns out to be pretty cheap.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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