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Saving money on eyeglasses and contacts

Sunday - 9/4/2011, 9:12am  ET

WASHINGTON - If you're in the market for new eyeglasses or contacts some shopping and research can save you hundreds of dollars.

For exactly the same Flexon Select frames with the same prescription lenses, prices at local stores ranged from $260 to $474 dollars. That's a $214 difference.

For exactly the same Gucci frames and same lenses, prices ranged from $308 to $565.

Price differences can be even more striking for disposable contacts with exam, fitting and follow-up visits.

Washington Consumers Checkbook surveyed more than 14,000 customers of 234 local eyeglass and lens outlets.

Independent stores usually rate higher than big chains for service, but the big stores tended to have better prices.

WTOP's Bob Kur contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)