We’re all looking for new ways to save money without compromising on quality right now, and that includes looking after our eyes. I’ve written about saving money on glasses and prescription sunglasses before, and today I’m going to be looking at ways to save big when you’re buying contact lenses.
I used to get my contact lenses on a pay-monthly contract with a high street optician. For a flat fee every month I was sent daily contact lenses through the post, plus annual eye test and an extra eye health check. However, I have quite sensitive eyes and I was paying a lot extra for the most comfortable lenses.
By shopping around and using a few tricks, I managed to save over 35% of my annual costs, so here are some ideas that could potentially help you to cut your bills if you’re a contact lens wearer too.
- First of all, I switched to buying my lenses in bulk online, instead of pay-monthly schemes. This helped me to save about 13% on the big brand lenses I had previously been buying. I did have to pay for a contact lens checkup and new prescription for the high street optician I normally use, but even factoring this cost in, I still made a decent saving.
- If you go to an optician for an eye test and contact lens fitting, it’s your right to be given your prescription when you ask for it. One branch of a chain I won’t name tried to prevent me from getting a copy of my prescription – but I knew my rights and made sure I didn’t leave without it. I was honest with them about just wanting a prescription when I went in, so they had no excuse really…
- With contact lenses, own brand is NOT always cheaper. Why is this? Own brand contact lenses from many high street opticians are often just repackaged versions of popular contact lenses from brands such as Ciba Vision, Biofinity and Sauflon. The only difference between own brand lenses and the high street equivalent is the name on the box and the packaging. I made big savings by switching to an equivalent brand with no change in quality or performance.
- Vision Direct sells these popular contact lenses directly, which tends to be considerably cheaper than the repackaged high street versions. If you usually use a high street repackaged brand, you can look up the brand name version using this handy table and work out whether it’s cheaper. For example, their Dailies AquaComfort Plus lenses are made by Ciba Vision and they’re identical to the premium lenses sold by a well-known high street optician, but if you buy now from Vision Direct they’re 16% cheaper.
And finally, remember to look out for sales, offers and voucher codes. If you’re shopping at Vision Direct, new customers can get 10% off with this code: SURPRISE. Orders over £45 also get free postage.
If you make all of these changes, there’s the potential to save up to 45% on high street opticians’ prices, so it’s well worth taking a few minutes to see whether you could save.
Full disclosure: I have been given store credit to try out Vision Direct’s latest contact lenses. I’m a genuine longstanding customer of this company.