This weekend has been a mix of exhaustion and getting homework done. I am slowly, but surely figuring things out and adjusting nicely with my four new classes for this semester (Global Health, Mental Health, Healthcare Literature, Gerontology). It's still a mess regarding the syllabi, but I am hoping my professors sort that out this upcoming week.
Something happened the other day that prompted me to write a post about saving money again. I saw a guy in CVS, checking out not one, but THREE boxes of name-brand Claritin! Name brand! I felt so bad for that guy- either he does not realize that the generic stuff works just as well or he is not aware that there is a generic for Claritin.
I have a rule of thumb everywhere I go: look for generics if possible. It saves so much money! If you have coupons and can get a name-brand product discounted down to the same price as the generic and you absolutely want the name-brand product, knock yourself out.
Otherwise, I say steer clear from name-brand items if possible because it really adds up.
There are exceptions and you'll realize that from experience or research. I've purchased generic-brand cat litter and it was not the best. I ended up switching back to a name-brand (Dr. Elsey's Cat Litter), which I've been using for over a year.
I'm not perfect by any means when it comes to buying generic items. Up until earlier this week, I realized that there are generic-brand contact lenses out there for anyone, including those with astigmatism. I've never thought to consider doing research for generic-brand eye contacts. What is wrong with me? Even I cannot answer that question! I'll discuss the eye contacts in a moment.
For years, I've been buying generic-brand disposable contact lens cases. My favorite are the ones at walmart (pictured above in multicolors!) and found here: www.walmart.com/ip/Equate-Contact-Lens-Cases-6-Ct/22309237 . There's a 12 count jug of contact lenses available through that same link as well. I'll definitely be buying the jug when I go back to Walmart again soon. They're awesome cases and they're worth it!
For contact lens solution, I've used Opti-Free solutions since 2010. My favorite one is Opti-Free Replenish, but it's soooo expensive! I get really sad every time I have to go buy a refill. Life was not fair! I guess Walmart realized that there is a demand for more generic products, because earlier this week I found the generic versions of Opti-Free Replenish in their store and it's made by Walmart's generic brand: Equate. Let me tell you guys, this is the legit stuff! I'm pretty sure Opti-Free's company made the generic version to sell at Walmart because there is literally no difference. I have very sensitive eyes and cannot tolerate Bio True or a lot of other contact solution brands out there. Give Equate a chance! It's under $5! www.walmart.com/ip/Equate-Sterile-Multi-Purpose-Contact-Solution-12-Oz/10324536
For contact lenses, I was not able to find any SofMed lenses for astigmatism. I'm guessing they have been discontinued. The manager at my eye clinic gave me a trial for BioInfinity Toric lenses and they feel wonderful on my eyes! I cannot feel them when wearing them. I will save a little bit of money by switching to this brand. For years, I've used Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism and for one year, I used Acuvue Moist (daily contacts). Both of those brands are awesome, but they're slightly more pricier compared to BioInfinity Toric lenses.
What I have found is that no matter which brand of Toric lenses you choose for Astigmatism, they're going to cost way more than non-toric lenses. So frustrating! Am I really that blind? Someone is making serious money off of astigmatism patients! :(
My life advice for you is to never order your lenses through your eye doctor. There's multiple middlemen involved and you will get stuck with a high bill. If you want to save money, shop through Ebates website and type in "Contact lens" in the website's search box. Some stores are offering up to 15% off and so lucky me, I'll get 15% off through Ebates via ACLens.com on my contacts for this year plus an extra 10% off through ACLens.com just for subscribing to get my lens every 6 months. Don't opt for the 12 month option! You'll save more money if you subscribe for the 6 month option! I'll include all the links mentioned in this entire post at the end of the post, so don't worry. I will not let you miss out on money-saving opportunities here!
You'll notice in the picture at the beginning of this post that shows Blink Contacts eye drops. The reason for this is to inform you that sadly, my Walmart does not seem to have any generic eye contact drops for Toric lenses. Be careful about which eye lubricant drops you get for contact lenses. Apparently some are not designed for Toric lenses. People with Astigmatism usually have the Toric lenses, just so you know!
Allergies. Hayfever. Achoo!
Let's talk about saving money on over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medicine for a minute. Chances are, there's a generic brand out there for every name brand of allergy medicine or almost every one of them. Almost. Maybe all? Who knows!
If you're looking for Zyrtec, consider Costco's Allertec. It's the same ingredient and formula as Zyrtec and plus you get a year supply for super cheap. This is what I've been using for the 2nd year so far and it is amazing. Consider getting a Costco membership and ordering it online if Costco is not in your area or you can possibly order it from Amazon: Kirkland Signature Allertec is the name of it! I haven't had any hay fever cases since last winter. That's huge for me. Usually every season I'll get a bad case of hay fever and I never miss a season! Ugh, it's the absolute worst. Allertec has been a dream come true for me. Living the best quality of life without those nagging allergies. I'll still sneeze a few times daily, but that's better than nasal and chest congestion, itchy nose, watery and itchy eyes, body aches, the whole 9 yards. I'm horribly allergic to everything outdoors and to indoor dust. Allertec has been a life-saver for me!
Happy Sunday, friends! I've got a long day with studying and prepping for the school week ahead. Pray for me!
Guys, please stop buying your ink cartridges from stores or online. STOP! You can save zillions of dollars if you subscribe through HPInstant Ink here: try.hpinstantink.com/fzv7C . They send you the ink cartridge refills automatically when they see your ink levels are running low. I have never run dry before new refills arrived at my house. The subscription plan is cancellable at any time, no questions asked. I have been using it since 2014. I freaking LOVE it and I still can't wrap my mind around why some of y'all still pay full price for ink cartridges to this day. I feel bad that some of you don't even know about this plan, so I'm here to save your day and your wallet. Bless you! No more wasted money.
Here's a run-down of the plan pricing:
I have been using the "Frequent Printing" $9.99 per month option because ya girl over here prints like mad and so does her husband. Oh, oh, oh!!! Even better, there's "Rollover Pages"! See below for proof of that! It does go by how many pages you print, not by how much ink you use. That's a GOOD thing because you could print pictures out and use a lot of ink, but it won't count! It's only the page numbers that count!
Wait a minute! Before you subscribe to the service, you have to make sure your printer is compatible with HP Instant Ink. Only some HP printers are compatible and no, no other brand is compatible (sorry). To shop for a printer on amazon, here's the link for all HP Instant Ink ready printers:
Or you can shop through or research on HP Instant Ink's website to find a plethora of HP Instant Ink ready printer models! (Click the button below)
Disclaimer: Nurse Zahra works with affiliate programs at no cost to you to earn compensation for these thorough blog posts. I may make commission from when you click on any buttons on this website. All reviews are thorough and unbiased. I will not recommend products if I do not personally use them and if they are not reliable. I will not write posts regarding any sponsored content if I find out the company is advertising something that they are not. Honesty is my motto on this blog and I will never post about misleading content.
Since last year, I have been buying my eyeglass frames and their lenses from a lovely online store called Eye Buy Direct! This is not sponsored and it is not an ad! This is solely based on my personal experiences and I have to say, I am very pleased with this company. They claim they remove the middlemen and other folks from the supply chain and that's what keeps the costs down. I believe it because some of their frames start around $6USD and up! Don't believe me? Go see for yourself! They have frames for everyone of every age and gender in the family, so it really is a one-stop stop! I use the virtual try on tool to see what the glasses look like on me.
(Above): I utilized the "Try On" feature on their website to virtually try on any of their sunglasses and eyeglasses. It's a super helpful tool to use and it really helps! I used it last year for my first pair of Eye Buy Direct eyeglasses and I used it again recently for my new frames.
Contrary to a lot of negative reviews online about Eye Buy Direct (EBD), the glass frames are really good quality. If you're like me, you probably prefer to get new frames every year even though you only need to get them every other year. Since I have Astigmatism and insane near-sightedness issues, I prefer getting new prescription glasses every. single. year.
Let's talk about the quality. If you do a good job and take care of your frames, they shouldn't break on you unless they're defective. My frames are 100% acrylic except for the lens. I thought the frames would break! They felt cheap and too light. Here we are a year later and the frames and lenses are still as good as new. I have never stored them in a case. They sit on my bedside table at night and I wear them all day, every day. I've dropped them many times and they have zero scratches or scuffs. Heck, even the lenses on them are spotless. I have the top-of-the-line lenses with my frames and they're excellent quality.
Trust me when I say this: you don't have to spend a fortune on eye glasses! I remember a few years ago, I got ripped off severely by an eye doctor in the area. I paid for eyeglass frames and contact lenses at her office the same day along with my visit. Mind you, I even used my vision insurance policy. Please explain to me how all of that costed me $600 in her office? Never again!
That's what prompted me to do a lot of research and find my eye contacts and frames elsewhere to save a fortune. Oh, I also use America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses office for my annual eye exams and fittings. I am a member of their Eye Care Club which is $99 for 3 years worth of eye exam and fitting visits! I don't even need to use my insurance. I walk away and pay $15 the day of each visit every year for an extra exam that can detect other conditions that the other exams may not be able to detect. I forgot the name of it, but if you ever visit one of their locations, mention the extra $15 eye exam and they'll know exactly what you're talking about.
America's Best is not the absolute best when it comes to contact lenses and customer service. What I mean by that is you're lucky if your contact lens trial pairs are in-stock at their office the same day. If not, you're lucky if they ever place an order through their computer for a trial pair. It's been about 3 weeks since I had my recent eye exam and I called every week to figure out where my trial contact lenses are. At first they were giving me the cookie cutter response: "Ma'am, it takes 7-10 business days for the orders to arrive." I called last week and was furious when I was informed that no one ever placed an order for my trial pair lenses and that they just placed the order at that moment. They weren't very accommodating about that. I reached out to them on Twitter to voice the concerns and all I got were the sound of crickets. When it comes to customer service, they give 3 thumbs down for it. However, you do end up saving a lot of money when you get your exams through them. Do not buy their frames or lenses!! DON'T! Buy your frames through Eye Buy Direct! I have a referral link for you to save $10 off your purchase through EBD! Woot woot! Please see the clickable buttons down below!
Also, please do not shop for your frames or contact lenses unless you've signed up with Ebates.com because if you activate the Ebates button in your browser while shopping, honey- you will get cash back and I love me some cash back! Ebates does work with Eye Buy Direct.com so what are you waiting for? I told you I would hook you up with some money-saving tips! We all are dead-broke while in college, but donut (haha) worry because ya girl has you covered! If you have not signed up with Ebates, click on the Ebates logo below and it will take you to the sign-up screen and you'll get $10 cash back after you spend $25 or more on a purchase eligible for Ebates cashback! If you click on the America's Best Eye Care Club image (below) , it will take you to the Eye Care Club screen. Same goes for the EyeBuyDirect.com logo (below). Click on any or all of those and it will open a new browser and take to where you need to go! I've done all the work for you. :)
Disclosure: This blog post was not sponsored by any of the companies. This post was written by me based on my experiences. It is not an ad. However, If you do sign up through the links provided, I may receive referral commission from each new customer sign-up. I did not get paid to write this post! -Nurse Zahra