Where to Get Cheap Prescription Eyeglasses

by Shawanda Greene

Shawanda's old broke glasses

$300 Chanel Eyeglasses from LensCrafters

Go ahead. Feast your eyes on those sexy Chanel frames that cost me $300 back in 2004. They were my first pair of designer eyeglasses.

Say what you will, but I got every penny’s worth of my money out of those suckers.

After 6 years of lovin’, what you see is all I could salvage.

You probably suspect it took me a while to admit I was in desperate need of replacements. (What tipped you off?)

There were a few tell-tale signs it was time to invest in a new pair of glasses.

  • My boss constantly wondered how my vision wasn’t impaired by the visibly scraped, bruised and cloudy lenses.
  • I’d used glue, broom bristles, and dental floss to reattach one of the earpieces.
  • They snapped in two.

Tempting though it may be, I simply could not bring myself to tape my glasses back together. I’m a professional.

I remembered this company where you could get cheap prescription eyeglasses for $7: Zenni Optical.

Although I was a little reluctant to order eyeglasses without trying them on, I figured it was worth the risk. At seven bucks, even if I received a box full of toenails and chewed bubblegum in place of eyeglasses, I could absorb the financial hit.

After shipping, frames and lenses worked out to a grand total of $12.95.

It took a little over a week to receive my order (probably came from China), but my patience paid off.

Shawanda's new glasses

$13 No-Name Glasses from Zenni Optical

I’ve had my “cheap” glasses an entire year. There are no signs of their imminent demise. They’re stylish, light weight, and best of all, effective.

For added savings, pay for your order with tax-free funds from a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Remember, prescription eyeglasses are a qualified medical expense under the Internal Revenue Code.

Even though I’m perfectly happy with my purchase from Zenni Optical, I’ll leave you with a couple more options for cheap prescription eyeglasses just for hoo-has.

120x240 Helping Your Kids see better


Glasses.com by 1-800 CONTACTS is another, newer website that offers sunglasses, rx sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses at affordable prices. Click here to view brand name eyeglasses available at prices as low as $29. All orders placed through the site qualify for free standard shipping.


About a month ago, I saw a Goggles4U deal on SlickDeals where you could get a complete pair of prescription eyeglasses for $9, including shipping. At the time of this writing, FatWallet offered 8% cash back on Goggles4U purchases through their website.


Knowing what I know now, spending $39 on a pair of glasses is almost blasphemous. However, I understand there’s a market for spendthrifts.

If you have vision insurance, you shouldn’t have a problem staying within your reimbursable limit with any of the options I’ve provided.

Have you ever purchased discount prescription eyeglasses online? How’d you like them?

Did you enjoy this article?
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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Stefanie October 12, 2011 at 9:38 AM

I have bought from CoastalContacts.com a couple times in the past year. They're always having free glasses promotions where all you have to pay is the shipping and they're designer frames too. I had been buying contacts from them for years and gave it a try. I will never be buying frames in a store again!


Shawanda October 12, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Say whaaat? I normally buy my contacts from Vision Direct, but I'll have to check out Coastal Contacts.


Lulu October 13, 2011 at 6:54 PM

I bought my glasses at an online place too (before I got my LASIK done) and I think it was Goggles4U or some similar name. My prescription was funky and it would have cost me over $300 to get the glasses made here…but they made them in Taiwan and shipped them free and I paid around $20. I was wary but took them to an eye place to have them checked out and they were perfect!!!! Glad I got LASIK though, no more dealing with all that.


Independence October 14, 2011 at 3:07 AM

Every little helps on your way to financial independence…

You were doing very good already back in 2004. Congrads on spending little fortune then.

I tried some online shops to order spectacles /glasses and experience has not been great. If you have to replace them…it is very time consuming. So I decided not do it, I am not crazy about glasses so I only order when I need one. Time is of an essence then.


daffen August 24, 2012 at 10:51 PM

Zenni is full of craps, you need super luck to get a useful pair


Shawanda Greene August 25, 2012 at 6:25 PM

No you don’t. I’m wearing my Zenni glasses as I type this. You’re just bashing them because you work for a competitor.
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