I'm a glasses girl and have been ever since I got those hideous looking frames back in the third grade. I always "knew" that I would never get contact lenses because I'd heard so many issues about contacts, and quite frankly, I thought my glasses did a pretty decent job of covering up the perpetual bags under my eyes. I also knew that even if you had contacts, you still needed glasses as a backup, and I didn't see the point in spending money on something extraneous like contact lenses.
Life happened, and before I knew it, I was working as a lifeguard in a day camp. I was able to wear my glasses just fine while on chair guard duty, but the second I was in the water, my glasses needed to come off. I was teaching a swimming class to a bunch of 8 year olds and I realized one day that I was barely able to see some of the kids! That scared me into getting myself to the store to buy contacts, because you can't have a lifeguard who isn't able to see the swimmers.
While at the eye doctor, I was in a dilemma. What should I do about contacts? I didn't want to get something that was so expensive, because I still wanted to use my glasses as my daily wear. I needed something that was good for my extra sensitive, extra dry eyes.
I opted to go for Acuvue Oasys contacts because of my extra dry eyes. I got 2 packages of 6 at a discount 4 years ago, and they've lasted me until now, so I must say, it was a remarkably frugal purchase, especially as having those contacts allowed me to make money as a lifeguard.
No, I did not wear those same 12 lenses for 4 years running- I open a pair of lenses as needed, like when I was lifeguarding or at my wedding. You get one week worth of use out of each pair of contacts.
If you're looking to get contact lenses but not looking to spend a lot of money, I suggest buying at an online discount contact place like Buymorecontacts.com as you're able to get contacts for much cheaper online than in brick and mortar stores. I also suggest staying away from daily disposables. Go with weekly or monthly contacts, preferably monthly, as they cost nearly the same as the daily but last considerably longer.
Contact lenses are one of the few areas in life in which I do suggest getting disposables. The non disposable are both more uncomfortable, and if anything happens to them, you're stuck. At least with disposables you have spares; they're also more forgiving on sensitive eyes.
As for contact solution- stick with saline. You can buy it at a drug store for cheaper than contact solution, and it works just as well.
(Disclaimer: I cannot verify the safety of this suggestion. Ask your eye care professional before switching to saline.)
Do you wear contacts? How do you make sure that wearing contacts remains a frugal choice? Or are you not as concerned about frugality when it comes to looking and feeling good?