Unexpected Ways To Save Money On Eyeglasses

Getting new glasses can be a stressful and expensive endeavor, but doesn’t have to be. You might be familiar with the optical shops at your local Walmart or Costco, but there are even more affordable options that you may not be aware of. If (like me) you’re fearful of having your lenses made and fitted through an online order, there are even options for you.

While mail-order spectacles outfits like Warby Parker are growing in popularity, most people who wear glasses don’t get them from a standalone optician or from their own doctor. Most people visit the optical store within a discount store like Walmart, Costco, or possibly even Sears.

Our in-focus colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports put together some tips for saving money on glasses without sacrificing quality. Remember to ignore designer names: no matter what celebrity or fashion brand has their name on a pair of frames, they probably have come from the same place. Most frames that you find in stores, regardless of the name slapped on them, are made by the Italian eyewear conglomerate Luxottica, which also happens to own familiar American mall brands LensCrafters and Sunglass Hut.

One potentially useful piece of information: some shops will fit lenses in a pair of frames that you’ve purchased elsewhere, for a small fee. Walmart charges $10 above the cost of the lenses for this; Costco charges $18. Those are subject to change, so check with different stores to find the best option.

How to get a great-looking pair of cheap glasses [Consumer Reports]