Do your kids wear glasses? No? Then move along, this post isn’t for you. However, if you’re one of the lucky parents whose children need corrective eye wear, then you probably have experienced my pain.
You see, in our family of six, only one doesn’t need glasses to see more than a foot in front of them. I’m not sure how he won the genetic lottery, but I despise him for it. For the rest of us though, it’s eyeglasses all day, every day. And that means a trip to the optometrist to get exams.
Exams aren’t so bad, by themselves. Sure, they’re $60 and sure it’s inconvenient to have the angry little Vietnamese eye doctor scream at you not to blink as she drops dilation solution into your eyes. She’s a great doctor, she’s just angry all the time. But that’s getting away from my greater point here.
Even if you or your kids only need single vision lenses, you’re presented with so many options for coatings and colorings, frames and styles, lens materials and for some reason a garbage disposal option, that you get easily confused. You think your vision insurance is going to take care of you, right? WRONG. The frames and lenses they pay for aren’t fit for your worst enemy.
Your insurance company, if you’re fortunate enough to have one, only cares about function. So what if the glasses are made from asbestos and weigh about 10 pounds? They correct your vision, it’s up to your plastic surgeon to take care of your permanently smashed in nose. And if you don’t like what you can get on your insurance, you can choose from the other ten thousand choices they have available on the racks.
Only, you can’t choose that unless you’re willing to take a second mortgage on your home. Frames cost anywhere from $100 to $holyshitareyouinsane? It’s crazy. And when it’s a kid getting glasses, you’d be better off taking $300 and wiping your butt with it. At least that provides you some modicum of temporary relief.
Kids and glasses. It’s a perfect storm of tearing into your life savings. My boys can break a pair of glasses faster than you can say “Don’t clamp your brother’s head in the wood vise until he takes his glasses off!” It’s a common occurrence around here to replace glasses quarterly. And frankly, it’s getting expensive.
We found a few online retailers of glasses though, and through them, we’ve whittled down the cost from $holyshit, to $damn. It doesn’t seem like much, but I’ll take a dozen “damns” over one “holy shit” any day. We alternately choose between Coastal and Eye Buy Direct. Neither of those links are affiliate links, just two companies we use to keep the costs down. All you need is your prescription and you’re good to go ordering a backup or replacement pair of specs.
What about you? Do your kids destroy eye wear like it’s their job? What have you done to keep both your savings and your sanity?