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Fail: Saving Money on Contact Solution

Posted: 05/14/12 1:00 PM (Modified: 05/14/12 1:24 PM)

I have been wearing contacts for a million years. Yes, I am as old as a dinosaur. This past year, I got all new contact lenses. They are a new brand and a much nicer pair so I've been pretty excited about it. Of course, Lasik surgery would be better but anyway...

Right before I left the doctor's office he said, "Please make sure you do not buy generic contact solution. Stick with the brand I gave you, it will work best." We discussed that for a little while and then I left.

I used up all of the samples he gave me and I went to Walmart and bought the same contact solution. No problem.

The second time I ran out of contact solution though, there was a problem. You see, I did not go to Walmart. I decided to stop by a local grocery store on my way home from work. I went in to find that the contact solution recommended by the doctor was $13. Ouch.

I looked around and found generic for about $4 but I did remember his warning and I steered clear of generic. However, I did buy some no-name contact solution for about $5 and went on my way. Two days later, I had 'pink eye.' Or what I thought was pink eye.

For six weeks, I was in and out of my family doctor's office and urgent care trying to figure out what was going on. I wore glasses for most of the six weeks which drove me crazy. My eyes were bloodshot and at one point, I was doing an interview with a man who had to stop taping because he could not concentrate with my eyes looking the way they did.

At this point, I had tried every eye drop out there both prescription and non-prescription but the pain was only increasing. I would wear glasses for a few days and it went away but the second I put my contact in my eyes, everything started all over again.

Finally, out of desperation, I called my eye doctor. I don't know why I didn't do this to begin with, I guess I assumed my family doctor could take care of it.

Let me just say, I was not in his office 10 minutes before he looked at me and said I was using cheap contact solution. WHAT?!!? For a split second, I thought he was crazy. Then, it dawned on me that this whole mess started when I switched to the cheap stuff.

Oh. My. Goodness.

That cheap $5 contact solution cost me $250 in doctor's visits and medication. Seriously.

As it turns out, sometimes cheap is not always best.

So tell me, what products do you refuse to skimp on?

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May 14, 2012 03:45 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Wow. I completely relate, only mine was a habit I was not thinking about because I was tired. One false move on my part, rubbing my eyes when my hands were dirty, cost me about the same as what cheap contact solution cost you. I had "intraorbital cellulitis" and it took WEEKS to get better. Five minutes of not thinking=lots of money and a good bit of suffering.

Also, I just made a VERY costly mistake, ordering return air filters online. Ours is an unusual size, so I have to order through my HVAC company or someplace else, and cannot buy them locally. Well, I did not want to pay the HVAC company's mark-up for the name brand filters so bought something online. Guess what? Bought the wrong thing (dont' really feel it was my fault) and did get a refund, but it cost me $50 - YES, $50 - to mail back the filters through UPS. I paid way more in money, time and aggravation than it would have cost me to just pay the HVAC company markup.

May 14, 2012 07:20 pm
 Posted by  Kristen B

I cannot go cheap on makeup, body wash, hair care items, nor on laundry detergent--really anything that touches my skin.

Most mass produced makeup (Revlon, Neutrogena, Maybeline, L'Oreal, etc.) will burn my skin, turn it red, and then cause bumps of all sizes all over my face. Certain body washes will make me itch all over and cause my skin to turn red. Perfumes in laundry detergents and dryer sheets (especially the knock-off brands) will make me want to claw my skin off. Aerosol dry shampoos will make me want to scratch my scalp until it bleeds and then some. Anything that's in an aerosol can will make my skin burn and itch until my next shower.

I have found frugal ways to deal with my skin allergies by using natural alternatives, trial and error with products, and lemme tell ya, there is nothing better for my skin than homemade lye soap. When I use it, my daughter and I have no problems with acne, dry skin, oily skin, itchy skin, or any "weird" stuff with the epidermis--at all. The lye soap is expensive, but totally worth it once you figure how much time and MONEY saved because I buy little to no lotions, cremes, salves, or whatever to combat itch, dryness, oil, or anything else the skin does to protect itself.

May 15, 2012 10:45 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I can't go cheap on maxi pads. For obvious reasons, lol.

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