When I was a kid there were two things I wanted more than anything: glasses and braces. Don’t ask me why, because I honestly don’t have an answer for you. But alas, I was blessed with both. Braces, as it turns out, are way more of a curse than a blessing — thankfully I was done with them at a young age. But at about 20, I got glasses.
Be careful what you wish for is the underlying lesson in this article, because I not only found out that I required reading glasses (doable) but I’m also farsighted. That’s right, in my 20s I officially qualified for bifocals. Naturally, there was no way in hell I was opting for bifocals, so I went with two separate pairs of glasses. The only problem (besides feeling like my mid-life crisis was coming up fast)? Glasses are bloody expensive.
People don’t bat an eyelash about dropping $300 or $400 on a pair of glasses and I had to get two! I lucked out when I purchased my first two pairs and found a BOGO sale at a local glasses shop and got myself two pairs of RayBans for less than $350.
As I got older though, I got a little more choosey about where I spend my money and when it came time to replace my glasses because my prescription had changed there was no way I was going to spend that much money. So I started on a mission to figure out how to save money on glasses.
Where to save money on glasses
I am a huge internet shopper (I’d even buy my groceries there if it was feasible for me), so when it comes to looking for where to find things cheap, that’s the first place I go. And once I found a few places, I asked my friends and colleagues to see if they had tried any other places. So, without further ado, here are the two places that I’ve found where you can save money on glasses:
If you’re stuck on brand name glasses then Clearly is for you. While they don’t carry all of the most fabulous brands (do you really need Tiffany glasses), they do carry a number of common brand names, including my personal favourite, RayBans.
When it comes to getting glasses on Clearly, I always wait for a sale. The prices aren’t exorbitant to begin with (though if you’re heading towards the bigger brand names you’ll probably be looking at $200) but I love a good deal. I find about twice a year they have a BOGO sale, and beyond that they often have sales that hover around 30 percent off.
I find that glasses from Clearly are better quality, which considering you pay a bit more makes sense. I personally like to go with Kam Dhillon glasses because they’re good quality but still under $100. Thus far, I think I’ve gotten four pairs of glasses from Cleary and I wear them regularly.
Do you have a different experience with Clearly? Drop it in the comments below!
Eye Buy Direct
If you’re looking for really cheap but still usable glasses, then Eye Buy Direct is the choice for you. You can get a cute pair of glasses for around $30. Seriously, I got myself six pairs for around $120 and now I have three brand spakin’ new pairs of both distance and reading glasses. That’s a pretty good deal if you’re looking to save money on glasses.
There are a few catches with Eye Buy Direct, I find the lenses to be not as high-quality, they get dirty much easier and they’re a lot harder to clean. If I choose to only wear the one pair of glasses they’d probably only last me around six months. But for around $20, I’ll take it. That said, you can get higher quality lenses if you pay a bit more and I’m sure they’d last a bit longer.
When I first bought glasses from Eye Buy Direct, I was in the eye doctor not long after and I asked them to check the lenses out for me to make sure the prescription was right and everything checked out, so as far as the “do they work” question, it’s all things go.
I typically buy Eye Buy Direct glasses as my fun accent glasses. I might wear them for a specific look but they aren’t necessarily my slogging around the home office in my PJs glasses.
Do you have a different experience with Eye Buy Direct? Drop it in the comments below!
Other places to save money on glasses
I’m only officially recommending Eye Buy Direct and Clearly because I’ve actually tried them out. That said if you’re in a country that doesn’t have either one of these services or you simply didn’t find anything that you liked on them there are a ton of places online where you can save money on glasses.