Don’t Let Buying Eye Wear Rob You Blind – Smart Ways To Save Money On Eye Care

Eyeglasses and/or contacts are a necessity for most of us — a necessity that can be quite expensive. It doesn’t have to be that way. With a bit of research and time, there are plenty of ways to cut the costs associated with eye care. Here are some tips for keeping your vision care costs down.

Don’t assume that national chains or mall stores are cheaper: The most expensive eye experience I ever had was with Lens Crafters. The cost of my exam, contacts, and glasses exceeded $600 (by contrast, I could have gotten the same thing at Costco for closer to $300). I have also heard that Pearle Vision is expensive, though I haven’t used them myself. Though you might expect an e


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12 Responses to Don’t Let Buying Eye Wear Rob You Blind – Smart Ways To Save Money On Eye Care

  1. gloria says:

    This post was most timely. I’m in need of a new pair of glasses and the information will be of great help. Thanks for the information.

  2. Kim says:

    You mentioned using an HSA, which I have but is not valid for use on dental or eye care. I have to use my Flexsaver account for that…not sure if that is true for all HSA accounts, though

  3. Amy F. says:

    It is my understanding that what you can and can’t use your HSA for is based on IRS rules, and thus no matter what bank you have the actual HSA account at or what high deductible health plan you use, certain expenses will always be allowable and other will always not be allowable for payment from your HSA account. Perhaps you have a different type of account, such as an MSA, FSA, or HRA, or are confusing the rules of an HSA with the things that are covered by your health insurance? See
    for a list of expenses that are and aren’t covered–eye care is covered. You can also consult IRS Publication 969 (go to and do a search) for HSA rules.

  4. Teri says:

    Agreed – as far as I knew, HSAs covered all allowable medical expenses (allowed by IRS) – which would include dental and glasses.

    Thanks for the info. Never thought about buying glasses online. I could use new glasses but couldn’t justify the expense all the same – so thanks for the info.

    I definitely have my last pair laying around for the day which inevitably will come, when the kids break my glasses. Surprised it hasn’t happened yet, but I am prepared. 😉

  5. Cindy says:

    I have been very satisfied with Zenni Optical on line, having ordered from them 3 times now. I first got an eye exam at Walmart (yes, Walmart, the docs there are as competent as the higher-priced places, and I do have a more complicated prescription and wear bifocals). Then I discovered Zenni on line and took a chance. It’s not a difficult process and the service is great. The frames are the same as I’ve paid much more for in the past. The prices are terrific, and they do have marked-down frames. Lately, my old faithful prescription sunglasses broke and I when I saw a sale at Zenni on some frames for $8.97, I ordered a pair of sunglasses also.

    After years of wearing contacts, my eyes feel much healthier now that I no longer wear them and with cheaper prices at places like Zenni, you could afford to have a small wardrobe of neat-looking eyeglasses. I never considered the laser surgery after my sister-in-law had this done and said you had to go back for “tune-ups.” I notice she is back to wearing eyeglasses again these days, so I figure I’m saving a bundle.

  6. Becca says:

    Great post! I might add, I always buy my contacts online at visiondirect and use online coupon codes. I get a box sometimes for 15.00…with shipping!

    Thanks for the tips on cleaning solution and buying glasses online as well.

  7. Bill says:

    Just got back from Costco’s eye lab and after 45 minutes of waiting and waiting, I gave up!
    So, guess I’ll go to my old eye doctor…

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  9. mike says:

    I’m so glad AMY is endorsing extending contacts beyond their FDA approved and doctor recommendations so others too can risk losing their eyesight. It’s amazing what chances people take when it comes to their vision and trying to save a buck by getting inferior products either online or in a impersonal big box store. So next time you cheapskates go running to your private doc to fix problems with eye health or repair your cheap glasses, don’t complain when the expensive bill comes.

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  11. Rachel S. says:

    Watch out for Costco–you get what you pay for, plus damage. I got my lenses replaced there, and the frames needed to be adjusted once they got back from the lab. Not a big deal and expected. However the first saleswoman they had help me automatically bent the frames (“boxed off” in her words) back to being perfectly symmetrical, in line with what she thought frames should be. Any professional or seasoned eyeglass wearer knows that most people’s faces are not symmetrical, and the frames don’t necessarily need to sit square on the table. The second woman, who came in because the first couldn’t adjust them, slammed and twisted my frames after seeing them for about 0.2 seconds on my face (metal Fendi 662’s, not purchased at Costco) so that they’re irrevocably damanged. She later became defensive “I’ve been here just as long as Marilyn” when I told her to stop adjusting them. “It’s metal, they can be bent back” she said. Have you ever tried to bend back a paper clip that you’ve pulled apart? The metal frames are now wavy and utterly destroyed, and her “fix” was the worst–completely warped and squeezing the sides of my face. I almost cried at the counter after seeing them. The first saleswoman told me to come back to see the manager tomorrow. This is the biggest display of incompetence I have seen in my 12 years of wearing glasses. Now, I’ll need to wait probably a month to get new glasses as the lab really does take 2 weeks, so I won’t have them when I return to college. Don’t go to

  12. john says:

    Stay away from Their follow-through, communication and customer service is terrible. Their customer service reps don’t know what they are talking about, either. My glasses took more than a month to deliver, and I was promised “next day” delivery at least four different times. There are more reputible places to deal with on-line than 39 dollar

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