Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Buy Contact Lenses Online - Save Big

I have found another reason to keep one of those credit cards after you've paid off your debt. Buying contact lenses online.

I had no idea how much money you could save buying contacts online until my partner was advised to switch from rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses to soft lenses (replacement/disposable).

Switching from gas permeables to soft lenses meant an increase in cost of almost 100% since gas permeables can last for years and soft contacts last, at most, 2 months per pair (soft lenses are recommended for 1 month's use, but most eye docs will ok their use for 2 months or until there is a noticeable difference in vision or comfort).

After being quoted a price of $30 for a box of 6 soft contacts lenses at the docs office, I decided it was time to do some research. I knew there was big online market for contacts, I'd just not looked into it since my partner hadn't needed contacts for the last 3 years.

After reading up on contacts and learning what I needed to know (OD, OS, Base Curve, etc.) at AllaboutVision.com, I did a Google search to compare prices. And, boy was I surprised.

It seems the eye docs really mark-up the contacts they sell. The highest price I found online for the contacts my partner needs is $25 a box, but the lowest price was only $15.

Even after you add in shipping (most online companies won't charge shipping if you spend $99 or more) you still come out saving about 40%.

So, how do you take advantage of this great savings? You order online and pay with a credit card, of course.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm certainly in favor of buying ONLY what you have the money for, but paying with cash is sometimes NOT the best way of being frugal.

So, hold on to at least one of those credit cards. You might find that with a little discipline, it actually helps you SAVE money.