Four Tips For Saving Money on Eyeglasses

A few years ago I noticed that I was having difficulty reading small print. After a visit with my optometist, I discovered that I would need glasses. As I started browsing through the store looking for frames I liked I was absolutely shocked at the high prices I saw. In addition to the frames the prices of the lenses were quite high, since I would be getting the progressive kind. Because I was nervous about spending that amount of money without first comparison shopping, I decided that I would wait and shop around before making my purchase. After doing a bit of research and asking friends and family for their recommendations, I was happy to discover several ways to save money on my frames and lenses. Here are a few tips that have worked for me:

Check Your Insurance Coverage
Look over your insurance coverage to see if vision care is included and if it is, what specifically is covered. While not everyone’s insurance plan covers the purchase of glasses or contacts, it may offer a discount when you purchase these items.

Shop Online Sites
I’d heard friends mention shopping online for their glasses but I had no idea how much was available. I found the same frames I’d seen in the optometrist’s office but at a fraction of the cost. To buy glasses online you will need the prescription from your eye doctor as well as your frame size and the measure of your pupillary distance (PD).

Check Your Memberships For Discounts
Some membership groups like AARP offer discounts on eyeglasses and contact lenses. Check the organizations you belong to and see if there are any discounts available. My local Sam’s Club had some pretty good discounts for frames and lenses but they had to be purchased together.

Watch for Coupons and Sales
In the Sunday newspaper I regularly see sales for eyeglasses and contact lenses. Sometimes these are a Buy One Get One Free promotion or a straight percentage off discount. These types of sales can really help out when you have multiple family members wearing glasses. In addition, certain times of the year seem to have more sales. In the Fall I noticed there were some really large back to school sales with quite a few special promotional deals including discounted exams, eyeglasses, and contact lenses.

The bottom line is that there are always going to be ways to save money. You just need to take some time to research what your savings options are.

Reader Questions:
1. How do you save money on your glasses and frames?

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  1. says

    That’s funny – I just received a new pair of glasses I ordered and I’ve been complaining about the dizziness from switching. I normally wear contacts so I waited about 5 years to update my glasses.

    My prescription is really strong (I’m -9.75 in one eye and -9.50 in the other), so my glasses cost like $400 from my eye doctor. Most of that cost is the thinner lenses; otherwise I would look like a praying mantis.

    Anyway, I ordered online and spent $50. The quality is good and I’m very pleased. This is my third time ordering them online and I will never purchase through my optometrist again!

  2. says

    I never purchased online. a thing to consider. I get one new pair every yera as this costs only $15 due to my insurance coverage. I stay out of addons to keep it at $15.After reading I am now thinking of getting one online with anti glare and scratch resistant…long pending improvements.

  3. says

    My coverage seems like it’s similar to Robert’s. I only get an allowance for contacts or glasses each year. I should probably set a schedule to get glasses since the last pair I bought was more than a few years ago.

  4. says

    I used to get a new pair of glasses every year (alternated between sunglasses and regular glasses because my insurance covered it). I had really fancy taste in eye-wear and always got the best lenses so I ended up paying about $200-$300 out of pocket every year, which was totally worth it because it allowed me to see and look good.

    I had PRK laser eye surgery in February for about $3000, so I have a 10ish year payback period on it. But it is nice to not have glasses!

  5. nicole says

    I found the best website for buying new glasses. You can buy prescription glasses for as little as $10. They have a great selection. I recommend this website to all of my friends. The glasses come from China so it takes a few weeks to receive them in the mail. I’ve never had any problems with this website.