10 Things To Know Before Using Costco Optical to Buy Your Next Pair of Glasses

November 19, 2019 by Kyle
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I must have walked past the Costco Optical desk a dozen times before I realized that you can actually get your eyes examined in the warehouse. Once I realized this, I immediately had a bunch of questions. Who does the actual eye exam? What does it cost? Does Costco carry all the popular brand-name frames? Do they accept vision insurance? I figured I wasn’t the only one with these questions so the idea for this article was born. I hope I answer all of your questions so you can make an informed decision the next time you need new eyeglasses or sunglasses.

10 Things To Know Before Using Costco Optical

1. What Does a Costco Eye Exam Cost?

Costco Storefront

At my local Costco a regular eye exam costs $65 and a contact lenses exam costs $99.

Your $65 gets you an eye exam as well as a copy of your Eye Health Evaluation and Prescription.

You are under NO obligation to buy eyewear from Costco and can take your prescription anywhere you want.

It’s also worth noting that dilation and visual fields may require an additional fee.


2. How Do I Schedule an Eye Exam?

While walk-ins are welcomed when available, you’d be smart to call ahead and schedule your next eye exam.

Just call your local Costco and schedule your appointment.

At my Costco, exams are available from 10 am – 7 pm Monday-Friday, 9:45 am – 5 pm on Saturday, and 10 am – 3 pm on Sunday.

3. Do I Need to Be a Costco Member?


You do NOT need to be a Costco member to get an eye exam, but you DO need to be member to actually purchase eyeglasses or contact lenses.

If you’re getting an eye exam without a Costco membership, just tell the “card checker” at the door and they’ll happily let you in the warehouse and direct you to the optometry center.

See Also: 8 Cool Things You Can Do at Costco Without a Membership

4. Does Costco Have an Optometrist on Staff?

While Costco has an optometrist on-site, they do NOT work for Costco.

They are considered an Independent Doctor of Optometry.

This means the doctor has completed optometry school and is licensed to perform eye exams.

They basically “rent the space” from Costco and set up their optometry practice.

The name of the doctor is ALWAYS posted in front of the optometry department at Costco.

So the next time you’re shopping, take note of the their name and do a quick Google search and read any reviews about them, especially on Yelp!.

While the majority of them come highly recommended, it’s always smart to do some research before trusting them with your eye balls.

5. Can I Bring a Prescription from Another Optometrist?


By no means do you have to use Costco’s optometrist to take advantage of their prices on new eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Just bring in your current prescription and a staff member will help you out.

6. What Eyewear Brands Does Costco Sell?

Costco Eyewear Section

Here are some of the more popular eyeglass frame brands that Costco sells…

  • Bebe
  • Bottega
  • Burberry
  • Fendi
  • Kirkland Signature
  • Mikli
  • Tod’s
  • Veneta

Here are the most popular sunglass brands…

  • Balmain
  • Furla
  • Hobie
  • Kate Spade
  • Kirkland Signature
  • Maui Jim
  • Nike
  • Oakley
  • Ray-Ban
  • Serengeti
  • Vera Bradley
  • Vera Wang
  • XOXO

Of these brands, they carry the most frames by Maui Jim and Ray-Ban.

7. How Do Costco Prices Stack Up?

According to a recent study by Consumer Reports, people who bought eyeglasses at Costco had an average out-of-pocket cost of $184.

In many cases this number was hundreds of dollars less than what respondents paid at stores like Lens Crafters or a boutique eyewear store.

Costco also has an ongoing promotion that gets you $30 off ANY additional pair of eyeglasses when you buy 1 complete pair of prescription eyeglasses.

The $30 savings is a good deal if you want to have a spare pair lying around.

The study also concluded that Walmart and Sam’s Club have very competitive prices as well.

Also, a Costco Optical employee on this Reddit thread said that Costco only marks up frames, contacts, and lenses at 1% over cost.

8. Does Costco Sell Contact Lenses Too?


Not only does Costco perform “contact lens” eye exams, but they also sell them along with contact accessories.

Top brands they sell include CooperVision, Bausch + Lomb, Kirkland Signature, and Alcon.

The Kirkland Signature contact lenses are by far the best value, with savings up to 50% off.

9. Do They Accept ALL Vision Insurance?

Costco accepts “most” vision insurance plans.

Their website says to “ask your local Costco Optical department for details.”

I decided to dig a little deeper and discovered that Costco accepts the following insurance plans:

  • VSP
  • EyeMed
  • Davis Vision
  • VBA Vision
  • FEP BlueVision
  • MES Vision
  • United Healthcare
  • Spectera

Most Costco locations will also accept regional vision insurance plans.

Unfortunately “Discount Plans” are not accepted.

I found it interesting that a comment in this Reddit thread made the point that even without insurance, Costco Optical is often cheaper.

10. What About Costco Customer Service?

I initially thought that the customer service at the Costco Optical counter must not be very good since they’re a big warehouse and are selling $1.50 hot dog meals a few yards away.

But according to Consumer Reports and this Reddit thread, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here are a few examples of great customer service at Costco.

From RicksterA2: “They’re very open to fixing any issues (including changing a lens or both if they don’t work right for you) LensCrafters used to get very annoyed with something like that.”

From JJB723: “One of the little nose rests broke on one of my pairs of glasses. They replaced both nose rests on the same visit for free.”

From Deleted: “I scratched my lens and asked if they could fix them, they couldn’t but the lady was having a good day and just replaced them for me.”

So…What Are the Cons of Using Costco Optical?

It’s not all rose colored glasses when considering Costco for your next pair of frames.

Here are some of the negatives that many people pointed out.

1. Limited Selection – Most locations have about 2.5 cases of men’s frames and 3 cases for women’s frames. While it’s a lot to pick from, it’s significantly less than places (and websites) that sell only frames.

2. Two Week Wait – Once you pick out your frames, expect to wait up to 2 weeks for them to be ready.

3. Not Enough Help – This complaint came from a user who noted there was not enough employees during busy times of the day.

4. Some Websites are Cheaper – I noticed during my research that more than one person recommended Zenni Optical.com as the single cheapest REPUTABLE option for buying frames and contacts.

Ask the Reader: Have you used your local Costco for eye exams or new glasses? What’s been your experience?

By Kyle James

7 Genius Costco Bakery Hacks That Will Save You Money and Time

November 15, 2019 by Kyle
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Some items in the Costco bakery are better deals than others. By knowing which products provide the most bang for your buck, and which bakery items can be “hacked” for even MORE savings, you’ll be way ahead of the game. Here are 7 such bakery hacks that will make you feel like a Costco genius.

7 Costco Bakery Hacks That Will That Will Save You Money


1. The Famous $50 Wedding Cake Hack


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A post shared by Jessica | Cottage Farmhouse (@cottagefarmhouse) on

Are you familiar with the couple who recently created an AMAZING wedding cake by using only 2 sheet cakes from the Costco bakery and some flowers from Trader Joe’s?

Well…that’s it in the Instagram post above. It came out kinda amazing and only set them back about $50.

How did they do it?

“Basically we cut them into squares, stacked them with homemade buttercream frosting and then threw some flowers on it from Trader Joe’s,” they told ABC News.

Go check out the pictures for yourself.

2. The Freezer Is Your Friend

Costco Fresh Croissants

My kids absolutely love the 12-pack of Costco muffins.

But they’re HUGE and they weren’t finishing them all before they got stale.

So we decided to try freezing them and much to our delight they freeze great. We found that you can microwave them at 50% power and they defrost quickly and evenly.

Apparently muffins is not all that freezes well from the Costco bakery. This Reddit user said “The butter croissants freeze wonderfully as well! I freeze them 4 a piece in a Ziploc bag, and throw them in the oven in the morning. Turn the oven on to 350 and by the time it’s preheated, my croissant is crispy and delicious.”

Speaking of the croissants at Costco, check out this yummy (and easy) recipe for Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches.

See Also: Costco Hack: How to REALLY Buy in Bulk and Save Money

3. Pies the Size of Manhole Covers

Costco Pies

Not sure why you’d buy pie anywhere other than Costco, especially when feeding large groups around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The pumpkin pie comes in at 3.63 pounds and only costs $7.99.

The lattice-cut apple pie (made with organic apples) is a little more spendy at $12.99 but the thing is HUGE, weighing in at 4.69 pounds.

With an apple pie weighing that much, you’re essentially getting 2 full pies for the price of one.

But this hack is all about the pumpkin pie. The creative ladies at Krazy Coupon Lady have come up with some really clever ways to dress up an otherwise boring Costco pumpkin pie.

From creating mini pies, to making some really clever toppings, to dipping “pie bites” in chocolate, you’ll never look at pumpkin pie the same way again.

Plus, you’ll be less likely to waste leftover pie if you have some creative things to do with it.

4. Costco Bread Prices are Solid

Costco Bread

TheKitchn did a thorough comparison of bread prices (and varieties available) at Costco, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s.

They discovered that Costco won on UNIT price with their french bread, sliced whole wheat, sandwich rolls, and hamburger buns.

Their hot dog buns won as well but they gave the prize to Trader Joe’s as the buns at Costco are too small for jumbo dogs.

You tend to get more bread than a normal family can eat so be sure to use your freezer.

5. The Tiramisu is a BIG Bargain

Costco Tiramisu

The Costco tiramisu cake comes in at $15.99 and is bigger than most logs that I’ve seen Kermit sitting on.

Plus, the 2.38 lb cake is really delicious.

If you’ve ever tried to make tiramisu yourself, you know just how time consuming it is to make and the ingredients can get expensive.

Skip the effort next time and save BIG by buying Costco’s yummy version.

My only complaint….more ladyfingers, less mascarpone.

6. Sheet Cakes are a BIG Bargain

Costco Sheet Cakes

Since I’ve already mentioned Costco sheet cakes with the “wedding cake hack”, I thought I should expand on them a bit.

Coming in at $18.99 for a cake with 2 pounds of filling, the prices at Costco are hard to beat.

But the best part is they’re completely customizable to fit whatever occasion you’re celebrating.

Justine at the Little Dove blog has come up with a very clever way to order a blank “scored” cake from Costco that she can easily decorate however she wants.

The results are amazing and will change the way you buy and decorate cake forever.

7. Check Out the Pull Apart Cheese Bread

Costco Cheese Bread

While not exactly a bakery item, the new pull apart cheese bread at Costco has the Internet in a total frenzy.

It’s essentially a crusty loaf of pre-sliced bread filled with Brie, Emmental and mozzarella cheese.

Warm it up in the oven and apparently you’ll head straight to heaven on the first bite.

You’ll find it in the refrigerated section at Costco and it’s made by Tipiak. It comes with 2 loaves as well.

Have you tried it? Let me know in the comments section.

Ask the Reader: What Costco bakery hacks or tips do you have up your sleeve? Let me know below.

By Kyle James

Verizon Customers Get Disney+ FREE For a Year Starting Today

November 12, 2019 by Kyle
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If you’re a Verizon customer I have a REALLY cool freebie that will take some of the sting out of your monthly bill. Starting today, many Verizon customers can get the new Disney+ streaming service FREE for an ENTIRE year. Here’s everything you need to know to start streaming today.

Verizon Customers Get Disney+ FREE For a Year Starting Today

Are All Verizon Customers Eligible for Free Disney+?

Unfortunately, NO, not everyone is eligible for a free year of Disney+.

Only those with a Verizon Unlimited Plan or 5G Home Internet are eligible.

Specifically, eligible Unlimited plans include Verizon Unlimited, Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited, Above, Unlimited, Get More Unlimited, Do More Unlimited, Play More Unlimited, and Start Unlimited.

Verizon Business plans are not eligible.

Disney+ costs $6.99/month, or $69.99 for an annual membership, so the savings is nothing to scoff at.

If you have an Unlimited Plan it’s a total no-brainer to take advantage of this Disney+ offer.

See Also: 5 Painless Ways to Lower Your Verizon Bill

How Exactly Do I Sign-Up?

Star Wars on Disney+

Just sign-in to your Verizon Wireless account and the Disney+ offer will be on the homepage.

Just follow the prompts to add Disney+ to your Verizon account.

You’ll eventually be redirected to the Disney+ website where you can create your free account.

Then you can start viewing Disney+ programming on your smartphone, tablet, computer, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, or smart HDTV.

Don’t forget to download the Disney+ app to your device for the best viewing experience.

Remember to set a reminder on your smartphone for 12 months from now to reevaluate your Disney+ experience and cancel if need be.

If you don’t cancel you’ll be billed for Disney+ at the regular monthly price of $6.99.

What Kind of Programming Can I Expect?

Star Wars on Disney+

Not only will you get most of the classic Disney movies, but you’ll also get original programming like Star Wars “The Mandalorian” and the new “Lady and the Tramp”.

BTW, I just signed up for my free year and already watched The Mandalorian. It’s totally awesome and full of some fun Star Wars “Easter eggs”. But having grown up in the 80’s, I’m a bit biased.

You’ll also get all of your kid’s favorite Disney TV series, as well as everything Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and even National Geographic.

In case you’re wondering, you WON’T get any ESPN or Hulu programming on Disney+.

Any Other Cool Disney+ Features Worth Knowing?

Yep, here are the 3 biggest….

1. Stream content on as many as 4 devices at once.

2. Many titles are available in 4K HDR as well as Dolby Atmos Sound.

3. Unlimited downloads on up to 10 devices.

Ask the Reader: What Disney+ programming are you most excited to watch first?

Happy streaming.

By Kyle James

8 Starbucks Benefits ALL Employees Should Know About

November 8, 2019 by Kyle
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Maybe you just got hired, or maybe you’re thinking of applying to be a Starbucks barista. In either case, it’s important to know all of the Starbucks benefits and perks that are offered. After all, one of these 8 benefits could easily sway your employment decision. Starbucks has been a leader in employee perks for years, especially for part time workers. Here’s a breakdown of all of their most important benefits so you can make an informed decision.

8 Starbucks Benefits ALL Employees Should Know About

1. Starbucks Employee Discount

Their employee discount comes in at a very solid 30% off.

That means you get a 30% discount on all drinks when you’re not working as well as retail merchandise.

This discount is good at ANY Starbucks location on the days you’re not working.

But probably the coolest Starbucks employee perk is you get to take home a FREE bag of coffee, Tazo tea, VIA Ready Brew packets, or a box of 12 K-Cups EVERY week.

Plus, when you’re on-shift you’ll score free coffee drinks (up to 4) PLUS a free food item each shift.

2. Health Benefits (Even For Part-Time Work)

Starbucks Health Plans

Starbucks will share the costs of health benefits for you and your family if you opt into one of their health plans above.

Starbucks says that the Silver Plan typically only costs employees $40 per paycheck, significantly less than other retailers.

The BEST part is that these health benefits are also available to part-time employees.

Just log at least 20 hours per week and you’re eligible.

Also, it’s worth noting that you have to be employed for 90 days before you become eligible.

See Also: 7 Starbucks Menu Hacks Guaranteed To Save You Money

3. Free Tuition to Arizona St. University

Starbucks Free Tuition

Via the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, both part-time and full-time employees are eligible for FREE tuition to Arizona State University via their 4-year online bachelor degree program.

Starbucks will actually “reimburse any tuition costs not covered by need-based financial aid directly in your paycheck near the end of the semester.”

Pretty awesome.

The only thing the program doesn’t cover are the cost of books or any special course fees.

It’s important to note that if you work at a “licensed Starbucks”, like in a grocery store, you’re NOT eligible. You must work at a standalone Starbucks location.

4. Maternity Leave

All mothers who work at least 20 hours per week, are eligible to receive 6 weeks of 100% paid maternity leave.

The same 6 week paid leave is also extended for adoptions as well as foster parent situations.

If you’re a non-store Starbucks employee, and work for the corporate office, this maternity leave is extended to 12 weeks paid.

5. Almost Free “Backup” Child Care

Back in 2018, Starbucks instituted the [email protected] program to help parents fill-in child care gaps.

It offers parents 10 subsidized “backup care days” per year.

Parents only pay $5 per day, per child, for child care and Starbucks pays the rest for a maximum of 10 days a year.

Prefer in-home child care? Starbucks will provide that at only $1 per hour and they’ll pay the rest of the bill.

6. Paid Time Off

Retail Starbucks employees start earning paid vacation after 12 months of continuous service.

Part-time employees will also earn paid vacation at a rate of 1 hour per 30 hours worked.

Salaried Starbucks employees earn 1 personal day every July 1 and January 1. They must be used within the following 6 months or they expire.

It’s worth noting that vacation benefits vary by location, position, and length of employment.

See Also: All the Retailers That Pay a $12+ Hourly Wage with Benefits

7. Good Commuter Perks

If you pay for transit passes in order to get to work, Starbucks has your back in a big way.

They offer “pretax payroll deductions” to all employees who fit this bill in order to “make up” for their commuter expenses.

These deductions reduce your taxable income, meaning you’ll owe less tax which more than makes up for the costs incurred during your daily commute.

8. Solid 401(k) Savings Plan

All Starbucks employees are eligible to throw money in a 401(k) retirement plan once they’ve worked for 90 days.

They cleverly call it their Future Roast 401(k) and you’re allowed to add up to $17,000 per year, even more if you’re over the age of 50.

The best part is Starbucks will match your contribution on the first 4% and will often bump this up to 6%.

It’s free money, you might as well take advantage of this benefit if you can.

Ask the Reader: Which Starbucks employment perk do you find the most enticing? Let me know in the comments.

By Kyle James

Hobby Lobby Return Policy: Exactly How It Works + Clever Savings Hacks

November 6, 2019 by Kyle
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Hobby Lobby is an interesting store as they appear to sell very little actual “Hobby” products. They’re more of a home decor store (along with arts & crafts) similar to Michaels. They sell a huge inventory of products and have a large number of returns everyday, making the Hobby Lobby return policy important to understand. Here’s EVERYTHING “return related” that you need to know plus a few bonus hacks to help you save money […] Continue Reading…

5 Online Holiday Shopping Scams You NEED To Be Aware Of

November 5, 2019 by Kyle

I keep hearing in the news that online scammers are out in full force this year. So I figured it was time to write a post on how to protect your personal information, especially your credit card information. If you are planning on doing any online shopping between now and Christmas morning you need to read this post. After all, a great deal or coupon ain’t worth a darn thing if your personal info […] Continue Reading…

Amazon Fresh Now FREE With Your Prime Membership

November 4, 2019 by Kyle
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For those of you not familiar with Amazon Fresh, it’s a grocery delivery service that will pickup and deliver fresh produce, meat, eggs, dairy, frozen items, and household items to your home. It use to cost $14.99/month but now it’s completely free with your Amazon Prime membership. Here are all the details so you can try it out for yourself…

Is Amazon Fresh Delivery Really Free?
If you’re a current Amazon Prime member, YES.

As long as […] Continue Reading…

Walmart Black Friday 2019: Everything You Need to Know to Save (Plus Some Insider Hacks)

October 28, 2019 by Kyle
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Black Friday at Walmart is always a big event and this year is no different. Here is everything you need to know to save money plus a few insider hacks to save even more. Also, I’ll be adding the Walmart Black Friday ad as soon as I get my hands on it. Hope it helps you navigate the craziness at Wally World this year.

When Does Walmart Open on Black Friday?
They’re open for 24 hours […] Continue Reading…

5 Must-Do Amazon Hacks for Big Holiday Savings

October 22, 2019 by Kyle
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Last holiday season over 80% of online shoppers used Amazon at least once. As the retail giant continues to grow in popularity that number will only go up. So this year, before you doing any Christmas shopping on Amazon be sure you know about my insider hacks that will save you both money and time. From getting paid when your package arrives late, to knowing the absolute best date to start your free Prime […] Continue Reading…

Apple Return Policy: 7 Reasons Why It’s Great & 5 Reasons Why It Kinda Sucks

October 18, 2019 by Kyle
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Apple products have connected the world in a very profound way. From the smartphone revolution to the way we take in media, Apple has their hands in a lot of stuff and sells many different products. But what happens when we aren’t happy with an Apple product and need to return it? That’s when things can get a bit murky and it becomes important that we fully understand the Apple return policy. Here’s a […] Continue Reading…