General chatter - Where are the cheapest eye exams?

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11-14-2006, 04:27 PM
I'm nearly out of contacts, and my prescription is WAY expired, and I've got to put the bill on my credit card, so I'm looking for the cheapest eye exam (not really contacts -- I buy them online). My optometrist died, and he always overcharged, and I'm thinking Wal-Mart, Lencrafters, Target, Sears, etc. would be cheaper than a regular eye doctor. Has anyone shopped around? Thanks everyone!!!

11-14-2006, 04:32 PM
I used to work for a Lenscrafter Optometrist (WORST job ever), but I think we charged $65? That also included rechecks and samples and what-not. Oh, also Sam's Club is reaaaally cheap and contrary to popular belief, you do not need a membership.

11-14-2006, 04:53 PM
Optometrists are always going to be less expensive than an ophthalmologists, and all the places you listed will have optometrists working there to give you a prescription. You might call around to several in your area to see what the cost of the exam is. I'm thinking $60-$80 is about on target for our area (including independent optometrists).

11-14-2006, 05:48 PM
Do you live in an area that has "America's Best?" I think they say the eye exam is free, but I haven't been there, because I have insurance. A friend of mine did go there and she said it's really cheap.;)

11-15-2006, 12:54 PM
You get the free eye exam ONLY if you buy your glasses or contacts from them. It's a lure and a lot of places have this kind of offer. Usually they mark up the prices on the glasses/contacts to make up for the free exam. I looked at the ad for America's best, it says 2 pair of glasses plus free exam for 69.95, but you probably won't find the cutest frames at that price (and they usually only have a few to choose from). If you don't like the choice, you pay extra. Like they always say, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
BTW, I worked at an optical shop for six years any my Dad is a retired optometrist who has worked at many of these chains.

11-15-2006, 01:13 PM
We always got America's Best customers- they were always messing up perscriptions and they wouldn't do follow ups. I do not reccommend them. They seem to give out wrong rx's a lot and don't correct their mistakes.

11-15-2006, 01:24 PM
Well thanks for the info. I had no idea they were so misleading, but good to know since I had an appointment there last month because I wanted contacts right now, but decided to just wait until my insurance coverage would pay for them as of March 2007.:o

11-15-2006, 01:25 PM
I got my last eye exam at Wal-mart, and I don't recall it being as much as $60. I think it varies quite a bit, though, because I believe the actual optometrists at places like Wal-mart have their own practice and are just located in the Wal-mart, not run by them. I know when I got my eye exam there, I got the exam in the optometrist's office (which had its own private direct entrance from the outside), and then if I wanted to buy contacts or glasses from them, I had to go into the actual store to the "optical center," so it was separate.

11-15-2006, 02:46 PM
Thanks everyone!!! I *almost* made an appointment at America's best -- but I'm not anymore :D I think I will try Wal-mart. Wal-mart is cheapest for everything else - so I'm thinking they will be cheapest for this too. And they are the closet too. Just as comparison, my optometrist charged me $200 for an eye exam and extra for my contact fitting!!! I knew he was over-charging, but not THAT much. And he wasn't even regarded as "the best" in town.

Thanks again!!! :D

11-15-2006, 04:18 PM
We get charged a "one time" contact fitting of $75, and then every time we go back, our insurance covers the eye exam and so many $ towards the contacts or glasses. Have you ever considered the laser surgery? My aunt had it done, but our insurance doesn't cover it, but I would really like to consider it in the future.:D

Suzanne 3FC
11-15-2006, 04:44 PM
I had my eyes examined at WalMart a few months ago, and it was just $36. The price may vary, but it's worth it to call them.

11-15-2006, 05:22 PM
Have you ever considered the laser surgery? My aunt had it done, but our insurance doesn't cover it, but I would really like to consider it in the future.:D
Laser surgery would ROCK my world (I've been in glasses/contacts since 3rd grade), but I know my insurance doesn't cover it. I believe most insurance companies view it as "cosmetic" since it's not really required in order to be able to see. *sigh* when I have an extra few thousand dollars laying around...:dizzy:

11-15-2006, 05:48 PM
I had my eyes examined at WalMart a few months ago, and it was just $36. The price may vary, but it's worth it to call them.

:carrot: Can't beat that!!!


I don't want to get laser surgery, because I've heard your eyes can revert back to poor vision within months of getting the surgery. I don't mind my contacts, so I'll probably never consider getting them fixed. They aren't that bad anyway (-1.75 for the right and -1.25 for the left).

11-15-2006, 11:41 PM
We got ours at Costco they might not be the cheapest but if anything ever goes wrong they will take care of it. That is Costco's way. ;) But I think I paid $300 for a years supply of contacts (disposable), my glasses, hub's glasses (and he got two pairs) and our exams. I don't think that is bad. But you have to have a Costco membership.

Oh about the laser surgery, my friend had it done. His eyesight was awful and now he can see perfectly! I think his vision is better than 20/20. He said it wasn't bad at all! ;)

Good Luck wherever you decide to go!