WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

How I saved $396 on glasses and contacts this week

Posted November 15, 2010 11:50 p.m. EST

Here's my tale of why it pays to comparison shop when it comes to buying glasses and contacts. I hope you enjoy my little  story.

Last week, one of my daughters needed a new pair of glasses and the other was getting contacts for the first time. After their appointments, we went to the attached optical center to look at glasses and get fitted for contacts.

My daughter had a hard time finding a pair of glasses she liked in the kids section, so she was directed to the adult section repeatedly (she is 9). I really felt like the adult frames she was trying on were too big for her head, but the staff was encouraging her. After at least 30 minutes, she finally found a pair she liked and after the lenses, frames and lens upgrades the total was going to be $379. Our insurance only pays for $200 per year and I was really not comfortable with an additional $179 for glasses for a 9 year old (who looses stuff... a lot). So, I decided to wait and see what we could find at Walmart (where we had purchased her glasses last year).  The next day after school, we headed on down to Walmart and she found frames she loved in about 10 minutes in the kids section. They were $9.00. Yes, I said $9.00. I just about fell over. When all was said and done, she got all the same amenities as the glasses at the other place as well as the feature that turns them into sunglasses when you go outside during the day. Total cost: $79.00. Fully covered by our insurance with extra $ to spare.

Then comes the part about the contacts. We decided on daily disposable contacts, at least for the first 6 months while she gets used to them. Daily wear contacts are expensive. No getting around it. The contacts at the optical place: $52 per box. The contacts at Walmart: $44.99 per box. The contacts at 1800Contacts.com: $39.99 per box when you buy a years worth or $40.99 per box when you buy 6 months worth. Shipping was free. What is so funny is that Walmart actually orders their contacts from 1-800 Contacts. I saved $4 per box just by typing in the order myself vs. having the Walmart eye center employee type it in for me. And, they will be delivered to my house which means I don't have to make another trip to a store to pick them up.

I am so glad I listened to my gut and did not get talked into the $379 pair of glasses and the $52/box contacts just so I could be done with it. This week I saved $396.08 and my girls look great in their stylin' new eye wear!

What did you save money on this week?