Effective Ways to Save Money on Prescription Eyeglasses

Pair of affordable prescription eyeglasses

Getting prescription eyeglasses for your family if you have an unusual prescription or don't have insurance can be a nightmare. Thankfully, there are several ways you can save money on your next pair of specs.

Lenses Matters

When you are getting new prescription glasses, you want to consider everything from your frames to your lenses. Do your research and look for the lens that will suit your prescription for the least amount of dough. For example, polycarbonate lenses are one of the top impact resistant lenses and have a UV coating built in. They also typically come with a scratch resistant coating. This can save you money by not having to buy add-ons like UV protection and anti-scratch coatings.

Frames for Less

Eyeglass frames on a rack

Prior to your appointment, shop around online and in the reading glasses section of large department stores. You might be able to find your must-have frame for almost nothing. You can then remove the lenses and have your eye doctor put your lenses in the frame. This can save you $50 or more. It should be noted, however, that the grooves on some store readers might not work for a prescription lens. Therefore, it is important to talk with your optometrist first.

Shop Online

There are several great online eyeglass specialists that can save you hundreds of dollars. However, these are only beneficial if you have a fairly simple prescription and pupillary distance.

  • Zenni Optical offers frames from regular to safety glasses for as low as $7.95 and free lenses for specific prescriptions. They don't offer any name brands though.
  • Warby Parker lists eyeglasses for as low as $95, and you can try on frames for free.
  • EyeBuy Direct sells frames for as little as $6, and they have a 14-day fitting period.
  • Glasses USA boasts the latest fashion brands like Prada and Oakley with prices starting out at $38.

Remember if you are going to shop online for your specs, you will need to get your prescription from your doctor first. It can be beneficial to get your pupillary distance as well.

Comparison Shopping

Don't just accept the price listed at your eye doctor for your must-have frames. Instead, shop around. Find the frames online or through another vendor. Sometimes, you can get your doctor to meet the deal or you can just have them put your lenses in those frames. The key here is negotiation.

Coupons and Deals

Large eyeglass manufacturers like America's Best or LensCrafters will typically offer 2-for-1 sales on their lenses or glasses. This way, you can get the lenses you want for a fraction of the price. Additionally, some online eyeglass places or frame manufacturers will offer online coupons through sites like RetailMeNot.

Only Get What You Need

Maybe your prescription hasn't changed. If you still want to spice up your specs, talk with your optometrist about finding a frame that fits your current lens. Additionally, if your frames are still working for you, but your prescription changed, have them put new lenses in your old frames. Just replacing what you need can keep the Benjamins in the bank and off your face.

Programs for the Needy

If you don't have insurance or fall below a certain income level, you can look into some available programs that can provide you with free or reduced cost lenses. A lot of these programs will provide kids without insurance with an exam and a pair of specs.

  • Sight for Students offers glasses to kids of needy families with no eye insurance.
  • New Eyes offers free glasses to low-income adults and children. However, your household needs to be 200 percent below the poverty line.

Finding Glasses for Cheap

Getting new prescription glasses for your kids and yourself can put a dent in your wallet. However, there are ways to save money by shopping around, looking online and only getting what you need. Now find the best price available on those frames you've been eyeing.

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Effective Ways to Save Money on Prescription Eyeglasses