Prescription glasses are necessity for many people, but they can put a big hole on your wallet.  Prescription glasses are quite an expensive purchase.  Even a simple pair can easily set you back hundreds of dollars. Which is really true if you’re buying eyeglasses the old-fashioned way either at an ophthalmologist office or an eyewear chain. But seat back and relax, we found lots of way to save hundreds on your next purchase, read on:

1. Take advantage of your vision insurance benefits. If you have vision insurance, you usually have a yearly or bi-yearly frame allowance that covers the cost of your new glasses with a copay.

2. Check eye exams deals at America’s Best. How much does an eye exam cost? It can cost you around $50-$150 on a average. But why would you pay for one if you can get a free exam deal when you purchase 2 pairs of glasses from an America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses for only $69.95.  But if you opt only for contact lenses eye exam it will cost you $89, it might seeem expensive at first but if you can also avail their  Eyecare Club deal for only additional $10, you’ll get 3 years of FREE eye exams (up to 2/year) and save 10% on contacts, glasses & accessories.

3. Purchase your glasses and contacts online. There are tons of virtual eyewear shops that you can choose from and believe me it can help you save up to 70% on your purchase. Here are some options where you can choose from for shopping online along with some of the incentives they offer:

  • 1800contactsWith 1800contacts, you can get a coupon for 10% off your first order once you have signed up for their mailing list, and you can get additional $10 each time you refer a friend  and orders through them as well.
  • Zenni Optical: This place is known for its stylish frames. You can buy glasses for as low as $8. Yes, $8. And you can upload a picture of yourself to virtually “try on” frames. You can also get a 10% off coupon for your next purchase once you have signed up for the mailing list. And if you refer a friend to Zenni Optical, you’ll both get $5 off when they order their first pair of glasses. You can also upload a photo of yourself to see how you virtually look in different frames. Another plus for Zenni Optical is that they  give you a full 30 days to try out your glasses and send them back if they’re not right for you.
  • GlassesUSA: Save up to 70% on retail prices and get a coupon code for 55% off your first set of frames. I suggest you check them out as they often have buy one, get one free sales along with clearance deals. Another plus for this shop is that you don’t need an updated prescription to buy a prescription glasses from them.
  • GlassesShop.com – Get 50% off on your purchase for eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses with the code GSHOT50.
  • 39dollarglasses – This website allows you to select from a variety of frames, then choose the lenses you want either tinted or clear for eyeglasses and the prescription power. Choose from a huge selection of glasses for only $39.
  • EyeBuyDirect – This site also often has a by one get one deal often use the code: BOGO. They even offers a little bonus for loyal customers with its Loyalty Rewards program, which gives you points for every purchase, extra discounts, and even a free premium case.

4. Avoid Unnecessary Upgrades. Depending on your prescription sometimes it is required to get add-ons like anti-reflective coating to reduce glare or light-adjusting lenses for when you move from indoors to out. It is important to do your research on which extras you might really need and which you can skip. Also if you search well, you can find deals that will make both a regular pair of glasses and prescription sunglasses cheaper than buying one pair of glasses with transition lenses.

5. Use the free try on offer from Warby Parker. For you to be sure that the frame you selected fits you, you can order up to five frames from Warby Parker as they offer free in-home try on, with no obligation for five days.  After trying out the frames you can send them back using WP’s prepaid return label. Then next step is to look for similar frames online which in case I’ll suggest GlassesUSA as they usually sell similar frames with half the price.

6. Reuse your still-good eyeglass lenses in a new frame. This one is pretty good. If there has been no changes on your prescription and it is still the same as the last time you visited your optometrist, you can reuse your lenses. You can splurge on the frames instead. But a protip, you can only select similar or smaller frames so that your lenses can fit. It can be adjusted to fit the frame. But if you will use a bigger frame, it will not work.

7. Keep your old frames and have new lenses. Opposite to the last tip, if there has been changes on your prescription. You can take your old frame into an eyeglass store and have just the lenses replaced. Protip, eyeglass store might push you to get a new frame too and provide you some offers since their income is mostly coming from selling frames. So make sure to be firm or if your old frame does not work anymore, you can get some frames you prefer on discount store such as TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack then bring the frame to your doctor and transfer the lenses on them.

8. Shop for glasses at big-box retailer.  You can purchase to big-box retailers like Sam’s Club,  Walmart Vision Center or Costco. These retailers offer prescription glasses for much lower than your traditional eyeglasses center, up to 33% less. For example, there is an ongoing discount promo in Sam’s Club where you can get 20% off a complete pair of eyeglasses and enjoy free shipping on contact lenses if you are have a Sam’s. They also have great deals on eye exams, with a Sam’s Club basic contact eye exam running you just $50.

9. Use a flexible spending account to pay for your vision costs if you can. What exactly is a flexible spending account or FSA? When you sign up for an FSA, money from each paycheck is automatically deposited into an account. You can use this account to pay for health expenses that aren’t covered by insurance. If your employer offers a FSA, you have the option of depositing money into the account pre-tax to pay for medical expenses such as eye exams, prescription glasses or sunglasses, contacts, and contact lens solution.

Do you have other methods you want to share to save money on glasses? Do you know other sites that offers better deals? We’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment below.