Buying New Eyeglasses – Balancing Fashion and Price

Prescription vision correction, in the form of glasses or contacts, is necessary for millions and millions of people. This isn’t all bad news, as glasses and contacts are generally easy to get, and most people require only an annual visit to an eye doctor in order to renew their prescriptions. More and more, Eye glasses are viewed as not only vision correction, but also as fashion accessories. Who hasn’t gone to an optical shop or counter and tried on glasses just for fun? It can be enjoyable to experiment with different frames and colors. Unfortunately, the most popular and flattering glasses are often the most expensive options, and most people these days are looking to lower costs as much as possible, especially if they are purchasing for multiple family members.

The good news is that there are plenty of options available to help defray the costs of eye glasses. One of the first lines of defenses for many families is vision insurance. In exchange for small monthly premiums, the insurance plan usually pays for an annual optometrist’s exam (at an in-network provider), and either a one year supply of contact lenses or one pair of glasses per year. Another option available to many families through their employers is a flex spending account or health savings account, which allows tax-advantaged savings for such purchases.

In the event that insurance or special spending accounts aren’t available to help with costs of eye glasses, there are still more options. One great way to get a deal on popular, fashionable frames is to shop during a sale. Some offices will offer back to school specials, for example, or other annual sales. Discounts can be significant if you stick to the on-sale frames. Another option is to use a discount retailer for your optical needs. So-called “big box stores” often offer vision services at a fraction of the price that an independent eye doctor’s office, or chain operation, would. Some of these stores even accept insurance plans, further lowering the cost.

Finally, another option is to shop online for Eye glasses. Obviously, an exam cannot be completed online, but once it has been completed, you can use the prescription information obtained during the exam to order your own discount eyeglasses. When doing this, most people usually try some frames on at a local store in order to determine the shape and colors that they want, and then they simply find something comparable at a discount online retailer.