I remember the first time my husband had to buy glasses. He didn’t have access to a military hospital and we ended up paying out of pocket for his glasses. It was over $300 which was about 1/4 of our monthly paycheck. I immediately began dreading the day our children would need some specs. I knew I needed to find a way to save money on glasses.
Thankfully my children have great vision insurance, but most people aren’t so fortunate. There are many online retailers that sell eyewear now as well as big box stores like Costco. There are still many opportunities to save on glasses.
While there are definitely ways to purchase glasses cheaply, I’m sharing some other tricks to save on eyewear. Every penny counts!
Reuse your old frames.
If you already have eyeglasses but you just need to change lenses, don’t buy a new pair. Just reuse your frames for custom lenses for glasses. A whole new pair of eyeglasses can set you back a few dollars compared to the cost to replace lenses in glasses.
Do your research.
Check for prices in different stores for cheap glasses. Look for eyeglasses online reviews. Check for price matching. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll be able to save at the end of it all with just a bit of research.
Zenni Optical is a great choice seeing as they have impressive reviews and customer service. Also, research on what frames you want because you’d want to keep your eyeglasses for long and frames will usually be a huge factor in that.
Take into account comfort, sizes, shapes, as well as the seller’s customer service and extent of warranties. Research on the frame’s material because some metals are not hypoallergenic and can cause you to have allergies.
Check your company benefits.
Some people skirt over these when contract signing. Don’t do that, take advantage of your perks and save money! If you’re employed, ask your employer to explain the benefits more. There might be a plan from the partnered healthcare provider on getting glasses for cheap. Don’t forget to check if your dependents are also listed in the coverage just in case your kids will also need eyeglasses.
Maximize your insurance.
It pays to know what your insurance covers for you. You may not have a separate vision insurance plan but you may be covered with a regular medical insurance plan. Once you’ve chosen your eyeglass store, call ahead if they accept your insurance plan. If not, talk to a customer service representative of the company of your insurance plan if they will reimburse you for your consultation fees and eyeglasses.
Watch out for internet deals.
If you have a cashback app like Rakuten, you can get a percentage of your money back if you snag a deal here. There are even online coupons available that you can download and have it scanned at the store for certain perks (maybe an add-on to your specs) or a discount for eyeglasses.
Keep your eyeglasses for longer.
If you follow the doctor’s orders for eye care, you’ll be able to keep your pair for much longer than a year. You wouldn’t need to replace your glasses after just a year. Opt to change them when the doctor finds that you need a lower or higher grade. Please refer to reusing your old frames tip as well.
Save your warranty.
People sometimes disregard this and find out after a while that their glasses needed maintenance! You might call a representative to check on your warranty, be prepared to wait on hold for a bit.
REALLY consider if you need the add-ons.
They do sound tempting, with ads saying just a few more dollars and you can get anti-reflective or polarized lenses. Before you know it, you may be paying more than half of your eyeglasses worth with add-ons you’ll barely need!
Here are some of the add-ons you might encounter:
Polarized lenses: This may seem to be a good idea for your eyeglasses if you always drive in the sun but if your car’s already tinted, you might not need to have these installed.
Polycarbonate lenses: These are usually for active sports. Reserve these for kids who are athletes, adults may not need this if you’re an office employee or an at-home freelancer.
Transition lenses: Depending on the lighting, this will automatically lighten and darken. You won’t need this much even for driving because your windshield can do the job of shielding your eyes.
Anti-reflective lenses: If you do a lot of public speaking, you may be able to use this or when you’re in front of a computer the whole day. But if you’re only getting reading eyeglasses, you won’t need these.
You should also check if the shop you chose is offering free add-ons for each eyeglasses purchase.
Take care of your eye glasses.
This may be the most obvious tip, but we can’t help but overlook certain steps, like not leaving them inside the car especially during summer months. Also remember not to put them in your bag without their container. If you remember these, you can save a lot of money from not opting for the add-ons such as the anti-scratch lenses.