How to Save on Your Contacts and Glasses Spending

Americans spend about $28.7 billion on vision services annually, including $16 million on lenses and eyeglasses. Are you looking to buy some new glasses but don't have a lot of money to spend?  

contacts and glasses

There are ways you can save on contacts and glasses. Check out our tips to help you spend less on new eyewear to help you see and look good.

Price Shop Offices

Prices can vary between offices. You will need to get an exam before you can order your glasses or lenses. 

Check out the prices of large chains like America's Best or Walmart along with your local optometrist offices. You will still see a doctor at the chain store, and paying more for the same services doesn't mean you get a doctor that cares more about you.

It's important to get an eye exam because your eye doctor can watch the overall wellness of your vision. The eyes can also show signs of other diseases such as diabetes.

Some places will honor price matches. If you see a good deal, make sure you keep the ad and ask your eye doctor to match the price.

You should also ask about free repairs and adjustments. If you buy from an eye doctor, this could mean savings, especially if these glasses are for a child.

Comparison Shop

After you visit the doctor, don't just settle for a pair of frames you see. You don't have to buy them immediately. Take note of the frames you like and then shop around to see if you can find a better price online or elsewhere.

Check with local retailers and reputable online sites. Make sure you check out the online sites to make sure they are legit and their products are acceptable quality.

Don't Replace Glasses Each Year

If you don't need to, don't replace your glasses each year. You can always keep the same frames and update lenses if your prescription changes.

It takes a lot of effort and time to find the perfect frames, so there is no need to go through this each year if you don't have to. Simply ask to switch out lenses if your vision changes, and you can save a lot of money.

Buy Cheaper Glasses if You Wear Contacts

If you wear your contacts out and about and your glasses at home, why spend extra money on your glasses?  Choose the budget option on your glasses since no one will see your glasses anyway.

Don't let the staff talk you into expensive frames—just let them know you wear contacts more often.

Skip the Add-Ons

You can save a great deal of money by skipping the add-ons. If your prescription is above +/- 3.00, you may not need them. These add-ons include ultrahigh index lenses and light-adjusting lenses.

All plastic lenses have an anti-scratch coating, so you can probably skip this add-on. You can also skip the coating to block blue light. The studies between the damage from blue light to the retina are pretty weak at this point. 

You may not want to skip anti-reflective coating. It does reduce the glare, which can be helpful at night. Others can also see your eyes better without the glare.

Buy Online

With new technology, it's easier to buy online than ever before. The same glasses or contacts you would buy locally. You could save as much as 70 percent.

For example, you can shop this designer eyewear to help you find today's looks at better prices. 

Most sites offer free shipping. Be sure to check return policies as well. You will need to get the pupillary distance to make sure your glasses fit properly in addition to your lens strength. 

Find Trial Offers

If you wear contacts, some contact lens providers such as Dailies or Acuvue offer free trial lenses. This is a great way to make sure you like the lens before buying. They may also have rebates available.

Talk to your optometrist about rebates and special offers available. You can choose different lenses that are less expensive but are similar to your current ones.

Utilize Vision Insurance

See if you have vision insurance. Even if you don't have a separate vision plan, you may be covered under your regular health insurance. You may have to pay for the glasses, but you may get a portion of your exam paid.

Make sure that the provider you select is in your network if you have vision insurance. Take advantage of what you can. See if you can get any reimbursement if you pay out of pocket by talking to your plan's administrator.

There are also vision plans that you can buy out of pocket. Make sure you add up the monthly costs and out of pocket costs to see if you can save money. There are many low-cost options available.

Use FSA Funds

If you have a flexible spending account (or FSA), you can use this pretax money to pay for vision expenses such as contact lenses and prescription glasses. Your FSA funds do not cover expenses like extended warranties. 

You want to use all of your FSA funds before the end of the year, so you don't lose that money. If you still have money, buy a pair of glasses to use this money. It's pretax dollars, so you are saving money.

If you do not have an FSA, see if your employer offers this benefit. You can save money on your medical expenses.

Consider Lasik

Lasik surgery may seem expensive, but if you add up your yearly costs on exams, contacts, and glasses, you may realize the savings sooner than you thought. You can also use your HSA or FSA to pay for the surgery, so it's pretax dollars. 

Final Thoughts on Contacts and Glasses

There are ways you can save money on contacts and glasses. Make sure you do your research ahead of time to find the best deals. Check your vision insurance to make sure you stay in-network. 

Use these tips to help you find the best prices. If you are looking for other ways to save, you came to the right place! Keep checking out our site to find useful money-saving tips, recipes, and other advice to help you save your precious time. 

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