I used to think buying cheap prescription glasses and cheap prescription sunglasses was a pipe dream. But then I moved to Florida and the intense sun and heat made it a necessity, so I researched how to afford prescription sunglasses. Learn how to purchase your prescription glasses for under $20 like I do! This is a great tip especially if you have children who may easily break their glasses, or if you want to match glasses to a few of your outfits (you will now be able to afford to do so).

Things You Will Need

A Prescription from an Eye Doctor with Pupillay Distance Measurement

Step 1

To get your cheap prescription sunglasses or glasses, you will need a prescription from an eye doctor (and not a contact lense prescription). If you have had an eye doctor's appointment within the last year, ask the secretary to fax your prescription information to you. Otherwise, set up an appointment. Make sure your prescription includes your pupillary distance (PD) measurements, as you will need this information when ordering your cheap prescription sunglasses or glasses.

Step 2

One option you have is to take a set of frames--either your old ones, or ones bought at a flea market/discount store--and have your prescription lens put into the frame. You can also do this for prescription sunglasses. This way you are just paying for the lens and not for the frames.

Step 3

To save the most amount of money, order your prescription glasses online. Check out sites such as Zenni Optical, or 39 Dollar Glasses (which typically has online coupons available). You can purchase prescription glasses or sunglasses for as little as $8.00 plus shipping and handling. Bifocals and other special lens needs will run you higher, but still under $40 in most cases.

Step 4

If your prescription has changed only slightly from the last time you had a checkup, consider adding tinting to your current lenses to make them into prescription sunglasses. Note that UV protection is inherent in polycarbonate material.

Step 5

Many drugstores now offer prescription glasses ready to buy for $16 or so. These are typically for reading, but some are starting to roll out corrective glasses for near-sighted and far-sighted people. Try a pair or two on and see if they work for you. Now you can afford to try out new styles and not worry about how they will look! Also, you no longer have to worry about whether or not your child will break his hundreds of dollars worth of glasses.

Tips & Warnings

Some eye doctors will try to pressure you into purchasing glasses or sunglasses through them, thus making you feel weird to get your prescription information from them. Realize that your prescription information is completely yours, and you have paid for it. Do not feel bad for purchasing glasses elsewhere.