How to Save Money on Your Next Pair of Glasses

The association between glasses and geeks is one that has withstood generations. While one may not always be connected with the other, long hours in front of the computer can take their toll on your vision as your eyes strain to keep focused through countless hours of gaming, reading, and YouTube viewing.

So why should your need for glasses result in a large chunk being taken out of your budget? The money some people spend on a single pair (even at discount stores) can equate to a brand new tablet computer, laptop, or a gaming console. It seems like an awful lot to pay for a technology that’s been around for over a century and does little more than adjust the focus between your eyes and the object(s) in front of you.

This article focuses on solutions. We’ll go over several tips and tricks to help you avoid spending a fortune on your next pair. In some cases, you may find yourself with enough left over to fund your next tech purchase. After all, isn’t that a lot more fun?

Buy Kid-Sized Frames

Kelly Clay, a writer for LockerGnome and fellow four-eyed geek, suggests: “If you have a small face, buy kid-sized frames. This can save you hundreds!”

I have a big head, but many adults out there can actually get away with buying frames made for youth and save a boatload on them by doing so. Even lenses can come with a steep discount if a pair is billed with a child-sized frame.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a child to receive the child discounts. These offers are generally tied to the frame rather than any specific age question of the customer. This is especially true when ordering online.

Order Online

How to Save Money on Your Next Pair of GlassesThere is one option that my wife and her entire family of glasses-wearing folks choose over any other when it comes to saving a pretty penny on eyewear. Buying glasses online can be an excellent choice for the optically challenged as it enables you to pick a frame and lens that fits your needs and benefit from the savings that comes with a business that operates with less overhead.

Zenni Optical is one of these options. With some of the best prices found anywhere, we’ve ordered almost a dozen pairs of glasses between us, and every pair has arrived in perfect condition, lasting just as long as comparable options from local retailers that cost hundreds more. Zenni also provides an impressive range of lens options including Transitions, bifocal, progressive, and anti-glare coating. With quality frames in adult sizes available for as little as $6, we’ve been hard-pressed to find a better option out there.

Another advantage to ordering online is that many online retailers offer a virtual fitting room where you can submit a photo of yourself, your eye measurements (usually noted in your prescription), and try on different frames before adding them to your cart. This is also a great way to get the opinion of your social network as you can take a snapshot of your virtual fitting and share it with friends on Facebook or Twitter for their opinion.

Social Media

Speaking of social media, did you know that you can find great deals through your social network account? Many national and international retailers post special offers to followers of their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. This is a great way to keep updated with the latest specials and deals so you will be less likely to miss a big sale when one comes along.

Not only that, but you can ask your feed/friends for the best deals in your area. Buying eyeglasses is an expensive endeavor for everyone, so people tend to hold on to their money-saving tips and share them willingly with friends whenever the topic comes up.

When it comes to saving money, there is no stone too large to leave unturned. Your online contacts can surprise you with how frugal they can be when it comes to these often hefty expenses.

Optical Insurance

Optical insurance policies can be found fairly cheap. In fact, they’re usually much cheaper than dental or medical. In addition to saving you money at the optometrist’s office, these policies often include a discount on the glasses themselves.

While these savings don’t usually apply on top of in-store discounts, sales, and special offers, they can save you quite a lot of money in the right situation. If you already have optical insurance, you may have this benefit already and don’t even know it.

Coupon and Discount Sites

The eyewear industry is extremely competitive, and that can be a very good thing for customers. One advantage to this competitive market is the abundance of coupons and discount offers shared through social media and online coupon sites such as LockerGnome’s own coupon site, Groupon, LivingSocial, and Google Offers, among others.

Discounts found on these sites range from free shipping to sharp discounts on frames. Bear in mind that the majority of the money spent on glasses in the US is on the actual lenses themselves, so frames are frequently reduced in online deals. If you can find a coupon for a free upgraded lens technology or buy one get one (BOGO), then you will likely have found a great deal.

Saving money on large purchases such as eyewear can free up your expenses for more important things, like gadgets and energy drinks. All kidding aside, everyone could use a bit of extra scratch in their pockets these days, and keeping your eyes open (no pun intended) to potentially large savings can make all the difference in the world.

So what are your money-saving tips for purchasing eyewear?

Gnomie and LockerGnome community member ThePCBuild suggested VoucherCodes for the UK and its American sister site CouponCodes4U as a great source of money-saving coupons to retailers both inside and outside of the eyewear business. If you’re looking for a discount to a major retailer that you know and trust, it might be worth checking this site out first to see if you might be able to save 20-40% on your eyewear. After all, every little bit helps, right?

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • Meninz

    If your frames are ok just get lenses and put them in the same frame.  Can save a lot of money.

  • Atenor

    If you have an HSA, (Health Savings Account) it will pay for glasses.  Since that money is taken out of your check pretax it can make a huge difference.

    • http://twitter.com/MattRyan Matt Ryan

      Interesting, awesome tip!

  • http://twitter.com/michelejmartin Michele J. Martin

    (repost from G+)ok, I LOVE glasses and consider them an opportunity to show my style. I’ve spent a ton on them and never regretted it. Here is a site with fun frames at a good price … for your sight. ;)http://www.warbyparker.com/I’ve not used them, but I have friends that swear by them!

    • http://twitter.com/MattRyan Matt Ryan

      Nice. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/Lord_Moon Lord_Moon

    To go along with what Meninz said below, a friend of mine likes old style frames.  He buys them at second hand stores and Goodwill then has his lenses put in.

    • http://twitter.com/MattRyan Matt Ryan

      Great tip indeed. Thanks.

  • http://www.jgpseo.com/ Jeff

    Dude!!! You just saved me money!

    THANK YOU!!!

  • http://twitter.com/ThePCbuild →THE P© Build←

    Thanks for the mention 

    • http://twitter.com/MattRyan Matt Ryan

      Thank you for the tip.

  • http://twitter.com/MattRyan Matt Ryan

    Great tip, thanks.

    • Meninz

      Thanks for the recog.  I have done it for years they even put new nose pads on the old frames, at no charge.  This is especally cost effective if you forked out $300+ for spring steel, unbreakable frames when times were better.

  • Pat James

    This is a pair of Versace frames that fit my 5 year old transition lenses perfectly. The first prototype for this design was created using rusted pieces of wire found wrapped around a tree in downtown Portland. 
    We are only as good as our adaptions. My glasses are scratched to oblivion, not by on 730ft freight ships sailing around the Great Lakes or 100ft oil rigs facing -40 conditions for natural gas in Alberta, but by a rainbow girl who sat on them in San Francisco. Hopping freight trains and living the Kerouacian Hobo life has taught me many things, the most important being: “The less you have, the less you can take for granted”. Now you have to ask yourself a simple question: “If I can provide services like this to myself, if I can essentially govern myself, what else am I capable of autodidactly adapting to?”