Glasses and gift cards

Last week, the kids had their eye exams. The girls eyesight got bad pretty quickly over the course of the year, and Patrick’s also got worse, but not as bad. So it was time for new glasses, and when you’ve got three kids, that can be an expensive proposition.

Last year, we ordered from an online source, Zenni Optical. It worked fine, and the price certainly was right–all told, we got two pair of glasses (regular and dark) for each of the kids for the sum total of about $100. But there was a hassle factor involved: one order was wrong, it took over a week to get the glasses, and there is certainly some question about the fit.

So we’d decided to just go ahead and get them from a local store where we could actually try them on, and then pick them up in a few days and get them fitted.

I’d shopped around to get a lay of the land for bargains, and we ended up going to Vision World, mainly because of the coupons I got off their website, though I didn’t use them because in-store specials came out better anyway.

Tonight we headed over to get them picked out because my gift cards came from the Recognize bonus I got from work–this was the recognition given to me by my supervisor for finishing the major part of the Windows 7 printer project. He gave me 200 of these Recognize points, which then you can use at a special website to buy various items. Or, as most of us have discovered, you can cash them in for Visa gift cards. My 200 points, coupled with 14 points saved from a previous award, brought home $475 in gift cards.

Now go figure, that it was cheaper to get 4 pair of glasses than three…Patrick gets some dark glasses, because two buy-one-get-one deals were cheaper than buying one pair on its own.

So while most of the gift card booty is gone as of tonight, we’ve got the kids glasses without an out-of-pocket outlay. That’s my kind of shopping.

Perhaps after we pick up the new specs, I’ll put up some pictures of the kids here for you to see.

See you tomorrow.