How to Save $100-400 on Prescription Eyewear
How We Save More Than $100 to $700 on
I have been sharing this information for YEARS! For free! With everyone I meet who wears glasses and asks me about mine. I’ve dreamed of what it would be like to make a little commission on the referral. I thought it would be nice to get some credit, but mostly, I just wanted to help family and friends save a significant amount of money on a necessary expense. For those of us who wear glasses, this really is a necessity and not a luxury. However, the price tag can feel like it should have been reserved for a luxury.
How it started
I have been wearing eyeglasses since I was 13 years old. I used to buy them from optometrists that were the more affordable sort, like “Shoppers Optical”, who had 2-for-1 deals. This chain closed its doors, and no one else offered the same kind of prices or deals. So, for several years, I just “made do” with my prescription glasses for as long as possible. About 10 or 11 years ago, I had my eyes checked, and I needed a new prescription. I generally believe in buying local, so I supported my local optometrist by buying my glasses from them. Actually, I was on a tight budget, so I had them make new lenses to put in my crappy old frames, for the sake of saving some money. A couple of months later, my husband had new glasses from the same local business, and he scratched a lens. He went back to have it replaced and found out that the cost of replacement was $180, which was the same as I had paid. He was irate at the cost! (as was I, with mine). I had just unhappily accepted the price. Luckily for us, my husband didn’t accept this overblown price, and he decided to find a better solution. That’s what I’m going to share with you!
My dear husband thought to himself, “there must be a more affordable, a more reasonable way to replace the scratched lens”. He looked online and found a great company that we’ve been excited about, ever since our discovery! Their website has continued to improve over the years, too! All you need is your prescription, including your PD (Pupil Distance).
See How Much We Save!
When we first discovered a Wiser Way to buy prescription eyewear, the lenses we needed were single vision lenses. We went from paying CDN $180 for lenses, plus more for frames, to paying USD$7 for complete set, plus USD$10 flat rate for shipping, regardless of the number of glasses we ordered. So, we could buy one set for as low as USD$17 or two sets for as little as $SD24, and so on…you get the picture. And they don’t have to all be the same prescription, either. So, if you and your kids all need glasses, then you just combine the order, and save on the shipping – it’s a flat rate!
We are now at an age when we need progressive lenses. Those sell for $500-800 for one complete set! (lenses and frames). I pay only $60 for a progressive set, including lenses, frame and anti-reflective coating. I could have spent a little less, but also could have spent more. This price point gave me glasses that I am really happy with. I have always ordered anti-reflective coating or a tint, for protection, and local shops will charge a whole lot more than USD$5!
I had never had the luxury of sunglasses until we discovered this affordable option! Now, we can afford to buy several sets for each of us. We buy standard (progressive) everyday glasses, sunglasses, computer glasses (a little further distance than readers, and the glasses I’m wearing, as I write this 🙂 ), driving glasses (single vision or progressives, with a yellow or brown tint) and sometimes a fun set for special occasions or just because. The fun set makes a great backup, too!
Your optometrist may not want to give you part of your prescription called the “PD”, but we found solutions for that. To get your PD (pupillary distance), you can do one of two things: 1) pay your optometrist extra ($50 at our local shop), which I have done for myself, since mine won’t change, or 2) you can buy a pupilometer for a reasonable price, to measure at home, which we did for our son and our extended family, and have a family member or friend measure your pupillary distance.
The best part is the price point, but I love that there are so many styles and designs and colours and materials to choose from! I have three current sets of glasses at all times. Progressives for everyday use, computer glasses, and driving/sunglasses.
So, if you don’t have an extended medical plan, this will likely save you more than $100. If you do have a plan, it means that you can buy more glasses, like sunglasses or readers or computer glasses.
What’s the Company?
The company that we have been buying online from is called Zenni Optical. They have a corporate headquarters in California, USA, and a factory in China. They have a user-friendly website that has lots of “how-to”s, excellent customer service, and an amazing array of designs & styles to choose. I know there are other online eyewear companies, but this is the one we found and we love it.
Now that I’ve started this blog, I wish I had taken good photos of all the eyeglasses we’ve bought over the years. Instead, I’ve had to find all the old frames I could, and take new pictures. Ah, well, hindsight’s always 20/20. (See what I did there?) 😉