How to save money on your contact lenses, glasses & sunglasses

Eye-wear can be expensive, can’t it? I’ve winced at the price of prescription glasses many times! But this year been I’ve searching for ways to cut costs on my frames, prescription sunglasses and contact lenses. Read on to hear about the bargains I discovered online…I’m short-sighted and have been since I was a teenager. As I write this blog post, I wouldn’t be able to see the laptop screen clearly without the pair of vintage-style cat-eye glasses perched on my nose. I quite like being a glasses wearer at times (when I want to look especially clever!) and I wouldn’t ever opt for laser eye surgery to correct the problem. Nope, I’m too much of a wimp.So, that leaves me with two options if I want to drive a car, go to the cinema or generally see where on earth I’m going as I walk along the street. Pop on my glasses or wear contact lenses. Oh, or use my prescription sunglasses when it’s a bright day.

CONTACT LENSES

For many years I was a contact lenses girl. I had the budget-friendly ones that lasted a whole month. The kind needed to be cleaned with solution each night. But, over the past couple of years, I found my eyes felt really dry after wearing lenses all day and I started to regularly see blood-shot veins in the whites of my eyes. I sometimes had to take out the lenses after only a couple of hours because they were making my eyes water.After seeing my optician I discovered that the problem was that my eyes were drying out quickly and that those use-all-month lenses wouldn’t suit me anymore. I was sceptical, as I liked the super-low price of that type of lenses and I thought that the optician might just be trying to upsell the daily lenses to me. But I gave them a go and what a difference they made!I could wear the daily lenses for many more hours without any kind of discomfort. I no longer have bloodshot veins in the whites of my eyes and my eyes don’t feel dry, even after a full day of wear.  Plus, I realised just how hygienic it was to put in a fresh pair of lenses in the morning – now there’s no chance of any bacteria getting into my eyes and causing an infection.I now use Dailies AquaComfort Plus, which come in packs of 30 lenses. I was worried that the cost would be a lot more  than monthly lenses – but, then again, I now have healthy eyes, so is it really worth cutting costs in this instance? Plus, when I added the cost of the cleaning solution to my old monthly lenses, there’s not much difference in the price. My new lenses release moisture through their blink-activated moisture technology – and when you consider that we blink around 30,000 times each day (!) they’re keeping my eyes feeling fresh and moist right until bedtime.And, now that I have been fitted for my daily lenses prescription with my optician, I can order the lenses online and find a lower price. The best rate I’ve come across so far is on www.Lensite.co.uk, where a box of 30 is £13.50 and delivery is free. Plus, they have a 10% discount code FIRSTORDER for new customers too, so I stocked up with 60 lenses when I put in my first order. They retail countless brands of lenses so it’s worth checking if you can get your contacts cheaper there too.

GLASSES

Having daily lenses means that I don’t automatically reach for contact lenses when I get up in the morning. I consider whether I actually need to wear them that day, or would my glasses be fine? That means that my eyes are getting more oxygen on those ‘days off’ too! I previously bought my glasses from Tesco Opticians, which were the cheapest provider at the time. But they have since closed down and have been taken over my Vision Express, so I took my current glasses prescription online to find a pair of frames that I liked.I’m a fussy girl and can spend hours in the opticians trying on glasses and dithering over a handful of pairs. So when I first considering buying my frames online, I was worried about not knowing if they would suit me. That is until I went to Glasses Direct and used their free home trial. This service posts your choice of 4 frames to you so that you can try them on at home and decide on your favourites. I did this three times, so I tried on 12 frames in total, before I found a pair that was the right size and shape for me.

PRESCRIPTION SUNGLASSES

And, at the same time, I found a pair of frames that I thought would look great as a pair of prescription sunglasses so I added a warm tint when I ordered this pair, which was only £10 more for the sunglasses tint. The frames range in price from £20 upwards and I liked two styles from the 2-for-£49 range.You won’t believe how much – or should I say how little – I paid for my two pairs of glasses. I got a voucher which gave me £30 off my frames so I paid £29 in total for both pairs, including paying extra for the tinted sunglasses! If you bought two straightforward pairs of glasses using this recommend-a-friend voucher to take £30 off it could be as low as £19 for two pairs, wow! This blog post isn’t sponsored by Glasses Direct, that’s just the voucher they gave me to share with friends when I ordered my own glasses – hope it helps!

Fingers crossed that my experiences of shopping for my eye-wear has given you you some ideas for where to get a bargain on your own contact lenses, glasses and prescription sunglasses. Let me know if you’ve found any bargains yourself by leaving me a comment below 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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