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Best Discount Contact Lenses

Discount Contact LensesHalf of my family of eight needs corrective eyewear. As of this writing, two wear glasses and the other two wear contacts. One other family member should be wearing glasses, but s/he is in denial about her/his age and is content to squint and hold that teeny, tiny print at arm’s length for a few more months at least. Because she’s NOT THAT OLD.

Anyway, glasses and contacts can give your wallet a beating. So I’ve been looking for less expensive solutions. Recently I wrote about how purchased glasses online for Sam and Samson and saved a bundle. Now Belinda is in need of new contacts, so the search began anew.

While I have purchased contacts online for a number of years, I have found that with regular online purchases — just like insurance — it’s a good idea to review the available options every few years to see if there are better sources.

Below is a chart with a price comparison of the various online contact lens sources I considered. After my research, I chose Discount Contact Lenses.

[Update: January 2011 I found a company that — at least at this time — provides even better prices on some of the lenses Jessica wears. When comparing, include Vision Direct in your list!]

If you’ve never ordered prescription eye glasses or contact lenses online, it’s a simple process:

  • Make sure you have your prescription handy. (Get this from your optometrist. In most states they are required by law to give it to you on request.)
  • Go do the online company.
  • Select the brand/style you want.
  • Enter your prescription information.
  • Enter your eye doctor’s name and phone number.
  • Complete the sale.
  • The company contacts your optometrist to confirm the prescription.
  • The company ships your selection.

When checking prices, be sure to include shipping. This can add a great deal to the cost. Some companies offer free shipping when a minimum purchase price is reached. I’ll also include some links below to some current specials.

Discount Contact Lenses$93.80Free ship over $99
AC Lens$97.80Free ship over $99
Lensmart$107.96Free ship over $99
Contacts America$103.80Paid shipping
Just Lenses$103.80Paid shipping
Lens.com$103.80Paid shipping
1-800-Get-Lens$103.80Paid shipping
1-800-Contacts$135.96Free ship over $50

Our Experience

I just ordered eight boxes of Acuvue Oasys lenses for Belinda from Discount Contact Lenses. The cost per box was the same as the four I initially intended to buy, but purchasing eight qualified for both free shipping and the $10 discount listed above. (An additional savings of about $16.95.)

If you intend to use a listed rebate, be sure to check the details carefully. You must send in a separate rebate certificate directly to the manufacturer (the online companies do not process these). There are multiple restrictions. Even though we purchased within the rebate period, we did not qualify for the $75 rebate because Belinda is not a first-time wearer of these lenses and we did not qualify for the $25 rebate because her eye appointment was more than 90 days ago.

The contact lenses are scheduled to arrive between May 11 and May 13. I’ll update this post when the order arrives to describe our experience.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Kelly Lester May 6, 2010, 8:52 am

    Great info Alison! I have the same eye issues in my house but (a few!) less family member than you. I’ve ordered contacts on line before and the savings are usually pretty good, but only if you order multiple boxes. Great to know about Discount Contact Lenses! Sorry to say I’ve been lazy(?) enough to just grab them at Costco (where we also get our eye exams – the doc in Northridge, CA is fab) and not hassle through all the rebates, paperwork, etc. for the online purchases in a while, especially since one of our kid’s eyes keep changing and we only buy a box at a time. At least you’ve narrowed down some choices here though for when we’re ready to stock up again. Thanks for that! Now if only you could give us some advice on how to pick fastest checkout lane at Costco….

  • Alison Moore Smith May 6, 2010, 10:19 am

    Kelly, I’ve never bought prescriptions of any kind at Costco, although I purchase far too many other things there! We were there on Saturday and surprised to see the line at the pharmacy winding around a couple of aisles and clear down to another section. Long wait time. Do they have killer prescription deals or something going on?

    Most of the time we get our prescriptions filled at the local Walmart pharmacy because it’s only about three minutes away and costs $4.00. The nearest Costco is in another city.

    We used to get glasses/contacts at the optometrist in our local Walmart, but he is not covered by our current vision plan, so we found a new doctor since moving here. I’m willing to drive further to purchase glasses/contacts anyway, because it’s not nearly as frequent. Next time I’m at Costco I’ll check the contact prices to compare. But have found buying online to be really inexpensive and convenient.

    I did notice, by the way, that the rebates mentioned specifically do not apply to purchases made at Costco, Sam’s Club, and Walmart. There is other fine print there as well. Read carefully.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 6, 2010, 1:56 pm

    Hey, Tara. Thanks for your input. Good to hear about Discount Contact Lenses. I’ve used AC Lenses a number of times, but decided to see if there were any better deals. Glad to have found them.

    Next time we get glasses, we’ll look at costco prices. This last time our online sources gave us great savings, too.

  • Tara May 6, 2010, 1:47 pm

    I’ve used Discount Contact Lenses before and have always found them the cheapest. Never had any problems either with getting the lenses. The best place for glasses has to be Sams club…no Costco here! They replaced just the lenses in my son’s glasses for $50 bucks. The optometrist wanted $95.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 31, 2010, 10:39 pm

    Update: Just ordered contacts for my oldest daughter, Jessica. Went to Discount Contact Lenses and entered coupon code EMP10 in the instructions box of order form. Got 10% off the entire order and free shipping. Woot!

  • Kelly Lester August 15, 2010, 9:49 am

    Thanks to this post, I ordered from Discount Contact Lenses a couple of weeks ago for 4 of us. Very fast shipping and easy. Very easy. Thanks for the tip Alison!! Saved me a lot of research 🙂

  • Alison Moore Smith August 15, 2010, 5:10 pm

    So glad this was helpful!

  • Alison Moore Smith February 28, 2011, 11:05 am

    Jean, you are correct! Some day I’ll break down and go get the glasses I need. Augh!

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • Jean February 28, 2011, 10:39 am

    You need a lot of eye wear in your family. That can get hard on the wallet fast. I am glad that you found discounts on everthing you needed. Hope you and your family are having great vision now.

  • R Scott Alden November 9, 2013, 9:58 pm

    I just wanted to add [redacted] to your list of resources. Great deals there!

  • Alison Moore Smith November 10, 2013, 10:43 am

    Scott, I would have let your link stand, but from what I can tell, it’s not an actual contact lens merchant. Rather, it’s a link site. No no no.
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