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Good eye-dea

What with all household bills forever on the rise, it's easy to overlook your eyes and go without an eye test. Research from Simplyhealth suggests that more than a third of us put off buying new glasses or contact lenses because of the cost (I know I do).

But there are ways you can cut costs. If you are in full-time education up to the age of 19, over 60, over 40 with a history of glaucoma in your family or if you're diabetic, then eye tests are free. Check out nhs.uk to see if you qualify, and if you don't then Tesco offers free sight tests at its in-store opticians.

Remember that you are not obliged to get glasses or contact lenses from the place where you've got your eyes tested. By law, an optician must provide you with a prescription, but after that you're free to shop around.

Frames don't have to cost the earth either. A new pair of specs can cost as little as £19 if you shop online. With glassesdirect.co.uk you can save up to 68 per cent on new frames. If you're not happy then you can return them, and if you visit the site through cashback site quidco.com, you can save an additional 18 percent.

The cost of contact lenses can also be cut. Use your optician's prescription to buy lenses from as little as £8 a pair. Check out online stores getlenses.co.uk, visiondirect.co.uk and postoptics.co.uk for the best bargains.

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