Reading Glasses. Eye Glasses. Contact Lenses. Frugal tips techniques and help. Money saving ideas.

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Reading Glasses, Contact Lenses and Eye Glasses

OTC (over the counter) reading glasses are all I buy for reading--I'm 55 and my eyes aren't what they used to be. The 99 cents store here has great reading glasses. I buy size (lense strength) 100 for computer work, 150 for reading a book and 400 for getting out slivers or other very close work. At one of our local swap meets a guy sold glass or plastic lensed OTC reading glasses for $2.50 with a nice looking wire frame with screw release sides for lense installation. (Yucaipa, California swap meet at the high school). <see the picture below> These have gold toned frames, swivel plastic nose pieces for comfort, and the ear pieces are spring loaded, so if they get bent backward they give instead of breaking. As you can see these $2.50 reading glasses are good looking and full featured and yes that is two dollars and fifty cents. With this style you can unscrew and remove a lense from one pair and put it in another. So, if your eyes aren't very close (luckily mine are) you could have a 100 lense in one eye and a 200 in the other and have a balanced pair of reading glasses and at my prices that would be $5 (no tax at swap meet) and that's FRUGAL! :-)

Frugal Eye Glasses

To begin you need your prescription. :Your eye doctor should give it to you. However, some may not. Tell them you are going overseas or to California or New York for 3 months and need the prescription in case you lose or break your eye glasses. If there is a law in your state restricting the doctor from giving you the prescription for your eye glasses or contact lenses, visit relatives in another state and have your eyes examined there instead of in your home state. Since you don't get eye glasses or contact lenses often, an out of state trip could be planned in advance of your need. Before you have your eyes examined by any one, ask if they will give you a copy of the prescription after the exam. If not find another service.

Also if your present glasses are a current prescription and you still see well through them, the optometrist can take your eye glasses and using only them come up with your prescription.

With prescription in hand you can shop the news paper ads and call various otical services to get the best prices on contacts and eye glasses. Ask if there is a discount on the second pair or if you buy eye glasses will they discount contact lenses. Remember all those old cliches: "The squeaking wheel gets oiled", "Ask and you shall receive", "silence is golden" ----OOOOPPS! not in this case. Speak up and ask. They may give that discount. Sometimes it may not even be policy, but if it's a slow month they might just say, "Yes".

Another tip is to watch garage sales, thrift stores, antique shops and swap meets for really "cool" frames in old used eye glasses--Often, the price is only a dollar and usually less than $10. You can have your lenses ground and then put into these frames, but again check around some offices may not put their lenses in your frames.

If you are lucky you will find some nice older frames that say, "14c gold" on them somewhere. These frames are like the gold in wedding bands and the gold won't wear off of these eye glasses---EVER. Gold plated glasses will will eventually have the plating wear off. This is especially true at the bridge of the nose where you push them up on your face when they slip. Also on the ear pieces at the side of your head where they rub and body chemicals eat at them.

The ear pieces can be a medical problem if they are allowed to wear down to the underneath metal. Body chemicals react with it and eat the metal (not the gold that wore off) and this rough surface can irritate and even cause sores on the sides of your face. Solutions I've seen are: Use clear fingernail polish and put a thin coat anywhere the metal touches your face and across the bridge where your fingers push. The polish would have to be renewed regularly since it will wear faster than gold plate.

If you try to clean the finger nail polish off with finger nail polish remover, be very careful. Acetone in fingernail polish eats plastic. Plastic ear pieces, plastic nose pieces and plastic lenses---not very frugal.


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