Bargains In Eye Wear

For over seventeen years, hubs and I have been getting both our eye exams and eye wear at Wal Mart. What started off as being a bargain in eye care has now turned in to a very expensive proposition, as is with most other eye care centers. Eye exams at Wal Mart, provided by an optometrist used to cost $45. Today? That same eye exam, which is more computerized than ever, is priced at $100. That’s an increase of 122%! Ditto for their frames. We used to get nice looking frames for around $29, with single vision lenses priced at only $10 or so. Now? Frames are priced in the hundreds of dollars and single vision lenses are priced more than double of what they used to be.

Eye exams and related prescription glasses aren’t covered under Medicare. So, it’s important to shop around and look at prices as well as an optometrists’ qualifications. You don’t want to skimp on the eye exam, nor the filling of the RX lenses. That’s a given. As we age, our vision is very important. You can bargain hunt, however, for frames.

The same optometrist at our local Wal Mart has been treating my husband and I for the past seventeen years. We have no intention of finding another doctor. His exams have been excellent. His prescriptions even better. For the first time, I’m using reading glasses and I am astounded at the difference it has made in my life. Lately, I noticed I couldn’t get my eyes to focus on a page. Reading off my iPhone or iPad was becoming blurry. My computer vision was OK but how long can one sit in front of a computer and read? It was tiring, so without realizing it, I stopped reading.

Once I got my new reading glasses, the world of books and social media reading exploded! Pages look bright, crisp and clear. My eyes no longer tire. Social media no longer looks blurry. I’m back at my local library and renting out volumes of books. I calculated I’ve started reading one book every few days or so.

Last weeks’ library score!

The frames, however, I purchased at Wal Mart are a different story. Wal Mart isn’t in to ‘trendy’ nor ‘fashionable’ eye wear. I may be older but that doesn’t mean I still can’t make a statement in my eye wear. I bought two pairs of glasses: one for reading, one for distance and I looked awful in them. The two pairs of glasses, with single vision lenses came to $151 (in addition to the $100 eye exam) for a total of $251. Not cheap.

store front
While vacationing in Florida, I came upon this eyeglass mega store.
eyeglass racks
They had oodles & oodles of trendy eye wear PLUS they were 2 for the price of  1!!!!!!!!!!

I found the perfect pair I had been dreaming of (the new trend today is to get big, bulky, nerdy eye glasses). If I bought just the one frame, it was $109 with tax BUT if I bought two pairs, the total came to $95 and that included RX single vision lenses at no extra charge and no tax! So for $95 I bought two trendy, fashionable eye glasses, had my RX filled (one for distance, one for near) and it cost me $56 less than what I had paid at Wal Mart. Which I promptly returned and got a full refund ($151) from Wal Mart under their 60 Day guarantee, when I got back home.


The lesson learned: it pays to shop around. Even when you are on vacation!


  1. I think Zenni on line is amazing. I bought two sets of glasses through them for under $100 (and I wear bi focal). Frames are often $20 or less on sale. Last time I made a mistake on my prescription. They wrote me and asked me specific questions, getting the correct information. Win, win!


  2. Oh yeah! Zenni is great! My brother is an opthalmologist & said they’re fine for simple scripts. I got glasses from them last year & they’re great. Just look at numbers inside the frames you have – they tell you about frame size – length of temple, etc. I could care less about having a designer name on my frames & I’m sure as hell not going to pay a few hundred more to advertise for someone!! (same thing for purses & shoes!)


    • Hi Susan, I checked out Zenni website and it’s awesome! I could get a good deal on a fashionable frame for at least $25, which is fine in my budget book.
      I’m going to need bifocals soon and I don’t think Zenni has the ability to fulfill that kind of an RX. I might just order the frames and bring them back to WalMart to fill them. However, WalMart, as other labs do, charge an extra $20 to fill other frames. So, I may have to shop around for that also.


  3. Your post reminds me that I need to get my eyes checked. It has been 2 years, I think. Really like your glasses, especially the tortoiseshell. For some reason, I have wound up with two purple frames when my fav color is green. Ha!!

    I see Rachel Hollis’s new book in your haul from the library. Will be anxious to know what you think. So glad you are able to enjoy reading again.


    • Leslie I read Hollis’s introduction. She said she got the inspiration to write her new book, Girl Stop Apologizing from Demi Lovoto’s hit song “Sorry, Not Sorry”. You can search for it on You Tube. Be prepared to be disgusted. Demi says the F word in the song more than I can count. Hollis used to sing and dance to the song with her children!!
      You know who Demi Lovato is? She just recently overdosed on heroin and had to be revived by the police. Woman is a huge junkie, drunk, alcoholic……you name it. If that’s Hollis’s role model, I’m not reading any further. I sent Hollis a tweet. I said “Girl, You need to get your head examined”.
      Book going back to Library unread.


  4. That’s awesome news! I’ll be in the market of getting a new place to shop now that Shopko is closing in our town. I dread having to find a new eye doctor, but like you said – shopping around pays off. You look marvelous in your choice by the way! Very hip and happening!


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