6 Ways to Save Money on Eyeglasses
This article shares tips from the newest episode of Dealista, our podcast that'll help you get more for less.
It’s National Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, and that means time for everyone (even the guys) to replace their worn out glasses for some new ones! But before you fork out big dollars, read our tips for saving big on your eye care expenses!
Check Your Insurance
Many people are unaware if their regular medical insurance plan covers eye care. If you’re one of them, get informed! While it may not cover actual glasses or contacts, some plans do cover exams and will offer discounts to additional services (like laser surgery). Check the plan’s fine print or contact your HR rep through your workplace to find out what’s available to you.
Use That HSA or FSA
In addition to the awesome tax perks that you can get from taking advantage of these savings plans, they can be a useful way to sock away money for a much-needed replacement pair of lenses. If you’re finding yourself with extra FSA funds at the end of a tax year, this is a great way to use it up. HSA’s will also cover some additional eye care expenses (like contact lens solution). Again, it’s best to check your plan carefully to see what qualifies.
If this is going to be your first pair of eyeglasses or contacts, you may want to stick to ordering in-clinic. For the rest of us, you may be comfortable ordering from an online discount chain like 39Dollar Glasses. I’ve used the service myself, and while the quality is nothing compared to my favorite $300 Kate Spade frames that I wear most often, it’s a great way to snag a cheap pair of “backup” frames or for getting fast replacement when the budget is extremely tight. You’ll want to have a current prescription from your eye doctor, as well as measurements for making sure you get a good fit before you order.
(Editor's Note: We were recently made aware of this useful guide on Cheapism that reviews many of the online outlets. Check it out before buying your glasses online.)
Take Advantage of Repair and Replacement Plans
Some clinics will offer one free replacement or repair on certain kinds of lenses, and most reputable eye doctors that I know will switch your contact lens brand for free if you have trouble wearing them. In addition, retailers like Walmart will replace kids’ lenses for up to a year from the date of purchase for free, and many big chains like Lens Crafters may adjust or repair your frames from another store — no questions asked. To get an idea of what’s available to you, just call your closest eye clinic and ask!
There’s no better way to save money than by being an informed consumer. That’s why I like the Glassy Eyes blog, a journal about saving money on eyeglasses that includes reviews for retailers, discount codes, and clever hacks to help you from overpaying on your eye care.
I wouldn’t recommend this for your best pair of designer frames and lenses, but as a last resort alternative to tossing your beat up frames, you might want to try Armour Etch.
If you enjoyed these tips you can find more in our show's archive.