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Contact lenses are a great way to remove the clutter of eyeglasses, but they can be expensive to wear. Some popular brands of contacts can cost as much as $50 a month to wear! Fortunately, there are many ways for the thrifty shopper to pay less for their lenses. Below are six money saving tips that will help you spend less on your contact lenses.
Compare Prices OnlineComparing prices online is a smart idea for almost every purchase you make. With the large number of contact lens retailers on the web today, it would be a waste of time to check them one by one. Sites like Lens Shopper and Contact Lenser will check all of the most popular stores including 1800 Contacts, Coastal Contacts, AC Lens and more to make sure you find the best price.
Coupon CodesFat Wallet features a HUGE selection of coupon codes, including coupons for 1800 Contacts, Coastal Contacts and more. These codes will usually get you free shipping, or 5-10% off your order. These coupons will also work with FW's cash back program (see next).
Fat Wallet Cash BackWith a quick search at the FW Cash Back and Coupons page, I see that Coastal Contacts has 11% cash back and 1800 Contacts offers 6%. Drugstore.com, Walgreens, and Walmart all offer cash back as well. The beauty of this is that you might be able to stack some of the coupons and free shipping offers with the cash back bonus to save you even more.
Buy in BulkIf you know you are going to be wearing the same contact lenses for the next year, you can get a nice bulk discount on multiple boxes. Ordering a years worth of a contacts at a time can save you 10-15 percent on the cost of the lenses. It can also save you some money on shipping, as you won't need to have lenses shipped to your house every 2-3 months. If you are ordering contacts for the first time, I wouldn't suggest doing this. You will want to make sure you are comfortable wearing contact lenses every day before you spend hundreds of dollars on them.
Brick and MortarWhile you will usually find the best deals on the internet, sometimes local stores will give you the best savings. If you have a Costco membership, I highly suggest checking there for contact lenses. I've seen people save 10-15% by purchasing their lenses at Costco compared to 1800 Contacts. Costco doesn't have as many brands as the online retailers, so if you wear a specialty brand you may be out of luck. You can even call ahead to save yourself a trip out there.
Manufacturer RebatesManufacturers like Johnson and Johnson (makers of the Acuvue line) often have rebates that will work in conjunction with the other savings methods. Right now on Acuvue's website I see over 10 rebates ranging in value from $25 to $100 based on which lenses you wear. Other manufacturers offer similar rebates on their lenses.
With the aforementioned tips you can easily save anywhere from 20-40% off your contact lenses. Know of a tip that I've missed? I'd love to hear them in the comments section.
Vinnie Thomas is the founder of ContactLenser.com, a free comparison site for contacts.
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