Our youngest son has to wear glasses. He is five and as anyone with a five year old knows they are clumsy and destructive, especially the ones who need glasses.
When he first started wearing glasses we ordered them through the optical center at our Optometrist’s office. Hello, expensive. Our insurance gave us a little bit of a discount but they still cost us $275 out of pocket. Ouch!
I was complaining about it one day and a friend mentioned ordering their glasses online through Zenni Optical. So I checked out the website and got our son a backup pair of glasses for $12 with shipping! Seriously?!?! He broke them pretty quickly and I was a tad disappointed but for the price I wasn’t too upset. Especially seeing as though his pair from the eye doctors office also broke and weren’t going to be covered under their warranty (the nice lady at the office had them fixed for us for free anyway).
A few months later the doctor changed my son’s prescription. Our new insurance covered another pair from their office. But they are so bendy that we have to bring them in for adjustments all the time. So for a backup pair I ordered another pair from Zenni. These ones lasted much longer. He had them for 6 months or more before he fell at school and broke them on the sidewalk. I love that the plastic frames don’t bend or need adjusting too. I had also ordered my hubby a pair, which he loves, and I ordered a pair of sunglasses for our son. Both of those have held up very well.
Now that our son broke his backup pair I ordered him another pair, my hubby a second pair and myself a pair with the clip on sunglasses. Total cost, $30. Thank you very much! (And I also will be getting 4% cash back through ebates.)
I have also ordered glasses through CostalContacts before and am very happy with the pair I have from them. I have had them for years now and got the special protective coatings, springy hinges and all that and they only cost me $30!
The same idea applies for contacts as it does for glasses. If you order them from the Optometrist’s office they will be more expensive then if you order them online. I have ordered through OptiContacts the past few years but have used Vision Direct and CostalContcts in the past as well. I just shop around online to find the best price when it is time to order. A lot of times you can get rebates on contacts through the manufacturer too so be sure to look into that on their website too.
In both cases you need a valid prescription from your eye doctor (some sites ask for a copy). For glasses you will also need to measure your pupillary distance but that is very easy to do. If you have a current pair of prescription glasses there should be information printed on the inside arm of your frames and/or on the nose bridge that can be useful in making sure you get the right fit. Also, you should be able to use your FSA (if you have one) to pay for these online purchases by submitting the receipts to your FSA company.
A word of warning. Your eye doctor and their office will probably not be kind when you ask for a copy of your prescription. They lose money when you don’t order your glasses and contacts through them. However if you ask nicely and aren’t thrown by them being nasty they should give you what you ask for.
And as always remember to click through ebates first to get cash back and check there and/or google to look for coupons or promo codes. I almost always find one for a discount or free shipping.
* As with everything online, this is not medical advice. Go to your eye doctor for your regular checkups and follow their expert medical advice.