Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on eyeglasses? You'll love this.

Budget Girl is, to some extent, also blind-as-a-bat girl. Okay, not really blind, but I am far-sighted, and have worn glasses since second grade. About two weeks ago, my favorite pair of glasses broke irreparably. I've spent the ensuing couple of weeks sulking over the dearly departed frames, and wondering where on earth I was going to find the money to buy new glasses. Those of you who wear them know they can be hideously expensive.

I'd just about resigned myself to digging around for a Lenscrafters coupon, when I saw a mention on a craiglist forum today for Zenni Optical. Insane prices, they said. I figured it was worth taking a look, so off I went.

Insane doesn't begin to describe it.

I found a pair of half-rimmed glasses almost identical to my broken pair, and after waiting a few minutes for my eye doctor (the delightful Dr. Pachman) to fax me my prescription for reference, I purchased a pair with lightweight lenses and all the premium coatings for $25.85--including shipping. They probably heard my squeals of joy all the way up in San Rafael, where Zenni's lab is located. Yup, these are Made in the USA glasses, too. I have no idea how they do what they do, but it's an amazing deal.

They have a huge variety of frames, including plenty that are truly leading-edge fashion frames that'll rival any of the designer frames you'd find in your local optical boutique. The most expensive frames I saw on their site were $29.95, but they start as low as $8.00. You can have tinting added (and turn them into prescription sunglasses) for $4.95. Or, if you're feeling extra-posh, you can order photochromic lenses (like the expensive Transitions lenses) for an extra $39.95 if you want to go totally over the top. However, to their bargain-driven credit, Zenni points out on their info page for them that photochromic lenses never darken as much as most people like, and seldom darken at all from inside a car with UV-blocking windshield, so they recommend you just go for the $4.95 sunglass tinting. Here's what you get with every pair:
  • High quality stylish frame
  • Thin and Light 1.57 index lens
  • Anti Scratch Coating
  • Full UV Protection
  • Lens edge polishing and beveling
  • Quality Hard Eyeglass case
  • Microfiber Lens Cleaning Cloth
  • Full Guarantee
  • If you're wary of ordering online without trying them on, then take the time to go to the mall and find an optical shop, and spend a little time trying on frames. Figure out what you like, take notes, and then go back to Zenni's site and find an equivalent pair. Delivery takes about a week, so I should be getting mine early next week. And I'll probably give in to temptation and order a pair of prescription sunglasses tomorrow (with the frames I like, it'll cost me a whopping $18).

    And now that I've pointed you to the cheapest-ever eyeglasses, I have to give a shout-out to my favorite contact lens store. Because I sit in front of a computer all day, I have problems with dry eyes, and the only contacts I can wear that don't drive me nuts are Acuvue's Oasys lenses. They're great, but they're spendy. AC Lens, by far, has the best price on them. I found them after an internet search for online contact lens stores a couple of years ago, and I've been a devoted customer ever since. The lowest prices anywhere, you can always find a coupon code for free shipping or a discount (or both!), they ship quickly and have great customer service.

    So, there you are. No matter what kind of vision correction you choose, there's an online retailer out there who'll save you a substantial amount of money. Now I think I'll go order those prescription sunglasses!


    1. That site really makes me wish I wore glasses. I *LOVE* glasses.

    2. Interesting! So glad to have came by this site. Really helpful! Thanks!

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    3. This was a very informative hub. GlassesShop.com and 39dollarglasses.com are two great online glasses websites that you can trust on.