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Smart Buying

Need New Contact Lenses? Warehouse Clubs Offer Better Deals

You'll find deeper discounts at Costco and Sam's Club compared to traditional eyewear retailers and drugstore pharmacies.

If you're buying contact lenses from anywhere except Costco or Sam's Club, you're probably paying too much. For example, we shopped for ClearSight 1 Day daily disposable soft contact lenses, by Cooper Vision, at the websites of pharmacies, opticians and the optical departments of large retailers. Costco and Sam's Club charged $35 for a box of 90, compared with a range of $48 per box at CVS Pharmacy (regularly $60) to $72 per box on sale at Lenscrafters (regularly $85). The price differentials for other brands of contact lenses are similar.

If your middle-aged eyes need correction for close or distant vision, your eye doctor may prescribe more expensive "multifocal" contact lenses. Costco and Sam's Club sell Proclear 1 Day Multifocal daily disposable lenses, by Cooper Vision, for $75 per box of 90 lenses. At other retailers, the price ranged from $70 on sale (regularly $88) at CVS to $100 at Lenscrafters (discounted from $118 per box if you order eight boxes).

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Keep in mind that the cheapest lenses may not work best for you, and your eye doctor may offer recommendations of the type and brand you need. If your eyes are changing, you may not want to buy more than six months' worth of lenses, even if you would get a deeper discount. When you order, be prepared to present or upload a copy of your current prescription (depending on the state, they expire after a year or two).

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