How to save on prescription eyeglassesPublished 12:29pm Friday, September 28, 2012
Shop and compare
Shopping and comparing prices from discount retailers and eye doctors’ offices in your area that sell prescription glasses is another key way to save.
Costco is considered by Consumer Reports as the best discount store for good eyewear and low prices, and you don’t have to be a member to use them. Walmart and America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses offer bargain prices too.
Also ask about discounts. Many retailers provide discounts to membership groups like AARP and AAA. AARP members, for example, can get 30 percent off a pair of prescription eyeglasses as well as discounts on eye exams at any LensCrafters, most participating Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, JCPenney Optical and thousands of private optometrist offices.
Buying glasses online is another way to save big over traditional retail stores. Some online stores like zennioptical.com, goggles4u.com and eyebuydirect.com sell prescription eyeglasses for as little as $7. Other good sites that offer huge savings and selections include 39dollarglasses.com, coastal.com, framesdirect.com, justeyewear.com and warbyparker.com.
Most of these sites will also let you do virtual try-ons. This lets you upload a picture of yourself, and the site simulates what you’d look like in different frames.
To purchase glasses online you’ll need your prescription and pupillary distance from an exam, and your frame size (check the inside of an old pair).
Look for assistance
If your income is low, depending on where you live, there may also be some local clinics or charitable organizations that provide free or discounted eye exams and eyeglasses. Put in a call to your local Lions Club to see what’s available in your area. To reach your local club, visit directory.lionsclubs.org or call your local chamber of commerce.
You may also be able to get free eyeglasses through New Eyes for the Needy or the OneSight program.
New Eyes for the Needy (neweyesfortheneedy.org, 973-376-4903) is a nonprofit volunteer organization that provides free eyeglasses through a voucher program to people in financial need.
And OneSight (888-935-4589, onesight.org), a creation of the Luxottica Foundation, provides free glasses at LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears and Target to people who have a letter of sponsorship from a local nonprofit or charitable organization stating your need.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.