Seeing and eating are two of the most important things to me. Yet, when money gets tight, the first thing I do is postpone going to the eye doctor or dentist.
(For those of you lucky enough to have a flexible spending account, you have two more weeks to use the remaining funds. I recommend a visit to your eye doctor or dentist.)
I have always felt guilty about getting my eyeglasses locally. I had a friend who went to the local optometrist and took her prescription to a larger city to get the glasses.
Then I read an article in the December, 2010 “Consumer Reports” magazine. In the article it said…
“…you might do better getting your specs at a doctor’s office or independent optical boutique; those typically scored high marks across the board, particularly when it came to employee know-how, service, and the quality of the finished glasses. You might even spend less than you would at some high-profile chains.”
There was only $1.00 difference between the private doctor’s office cost and the independent optical boutique.
So, we each need to decide what works best for our family.
My friend was frequently going to the larger city so it made sense for her to get her glasses there.
I live in a small town in a rural area. I do not have any reasons to make frequent trips to a larger town.
I do have allergies that can wreak havoc on my eyes. I have had to be seen, after hours, several times to stop a severe allergic reaction.
So, I purchase my glasses at my local optometrists office as a way to thank them for being available.
In making your decision, be sure to include the cost of food, gas and lost wages for the trip to a larger city.
As for the dentist, I have two words…
A small cavity is cheaper to fill than a large one. You can prevent expensive repairs, or worse, the loss of your teeth.
If you live near a teaching university, you can get discounts on services by letting a student, under a teacher’s supervision, provide those services.
The most frugal thing you can do is to take care of your eyes and teeth yourself.
Protect your eyes with safety glasses when you are working and sun glasses when you are outside.
Protect your teeth by regular brushing, flossing, and using enamel building mouthwash.
Refrain from chewing on ice and popcorn hulls. Skip the toothpick and go for the floss.
Hm, floss would be a good stocking stuffer!
After all, last year I gave them “Spin Brush” toothbrushes.
Santa would approve.