Our vision is extremely important, but around 20% of us either do not wear glasses when we should or are wearing the wrong prescription. So it’s important to have your eyes checked regularly, but the cost off new glasses can be so high - $200 or more.
Have no fear because that is no longer the case! There are several things you can do to find the perfect pair of glasses without spending a lot of money - you just have to keep an open mind.
So, here are a few tips to buying percription eye- and sunglasses on a budget.
Stay away from designer frames
You might be thinking, “Why? They always look better than anything else in the store.”
That may be true, but that doesn’t always mean you are buying something that will last or be nice to your wallet.
Designer frames are really expensive ($200 and up) and the mark up on them can be huge. Most of the cost for designer frames goes to paying for the “name” not the quality of the products used to make it. And there is ALWAYS something similar that will save you a ton of money.
So, if you are dying for a pair of designer frames, make sure you look at everything available before deciding because you will find a similar style for a lot less.
Wait for a deal
Just because you have your new perscription doesn’t mean you have to buy new frames and lenses on the spot. Several times during the year, a lot of stores will have a sale and you might even be lucky enough to see a 2-for-1 offer. That’s worth waiting for, right?
So, take some time to look around and see what your options are and could be.
I’m sure a lot of people are skeptical about buying their eyeglasses online, but think of all the money it could save you. Online stores, like Zenni Optical, Coastal and GlassesUSA are able to provide cheap, stylish frames at a much lower cost than a physical store. Why? Because they don’t have to pay for expensive rental properties or pay high salaries of optometrists and support staff, which makes life so much easier for you. From these three sites you can find fashionable, long-lasting frames and lenses starting at $8 (Zenni). Can’t beat a price like that can you?
Granted, buying online isn’t always problem free - you just have to know what to look for. If you are shopping for single-vision glasses, then you really don’t have anything to worry about. But if you’re shopping for multi-focal or high perscription lenses, you have to pay attention to the style of frame you choose because they aren’t all universal. To make sure your lenses will fit in the frame you want, make sure you have all of the proper measurements taken by your doctor. You can try to do it yourself with online guides, but it’s not always accurate.
IMPORTANT: If you do decide to purchase frames online, make sure you have your doctor measure your pupillary distance (PD). You will need it when ordering your glasses - I found out the hard way and had to measure it myself the first time I bought my glasses online.
Pick the right frame for your lenses
If you do have a high prescription, you are likely to be asked about getting high index lenses, meaning they will be thinner and lighter. This is undoubtedly a cosmetic advantage (no more Coke-bottle lenses), but it does add to the total cost. The higher the index, the more expensive the lens, which can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of your glasses.
For some people this will absolutely be worth the money, but there are a few simple pieces of advice that you can follow that may lead to not having your lenses thinned and save you a ton of money. The first piece of advice is to choose a small frame. The smaller the frame, the thinner the lenses. The second piece of advice is to choose a plastic frame with thick rims. This allows for the thickness of the lens to be hidden behind the frame, significantly improving the appearance.
Re-glaze or re-use what you already have
Get a little creative, or have someone else do the work for you.
SelectSpecs has a service that reglazes your current frames and replaces the lenses with your new prescription. All you have to do is fill out the order form with information about your frames and send them to SelectSpecs.
If you don’t want to go through all of that, just tell your Optometrist that you want to have your new lenses put in your existing frames. Whichever you choose, you will save a lot of money.
Don’t ever be afraid to try something new. I have been buying my glasses online for years without any problems. The frames last longer than my prescription, fit perfectly and the lenses are always made right. Hopefully, these tips will help you the next time you buy glasses. They have really helped me save some money over the last few years.