I've used Sears Optical and had good results. They often run specials. If you don't pick out designer frames, the cost is very reasonable. Look for optical places at the mall too. Many of the optical chains have good deals.
I used to go to For Eyes Optical when I didn't have insurance. I got good care and very inexpensive frames and contacts. See if they are in your area.
I had a friend who got his prescription from his optometrist and then he went and ordered his glasses on-line. He thought it was much cheaper to do that way.
There are really inexpensive ways to do that, you just have to have a really good idea of what you want
I've been to America's Best before. It's ok but I've been to better places and won't go back to AB. I know you're not getting contacts but I found it weird when they wanted me to remove my lenses and put them back in later but couldn't offer me a place to wash my hands. Red flag for me!
As far as prices go, I've never had insurance to cover eye stuff but they do have that two pairs of glasses for like $59 or something. Of course, you gotta add the prescription lenses and exam and it inflates the price to about $300. Heck, some frames cost that much alone.
Good luck. Maybe it will help to ask for a discount since you don't have insurance and then offer to pay cash.
Dunno if you have a Costco, but the doctor out here charges $49 for an exam, and it's a very good and thorough exam.
Their glasses start around the 50-60$ range, with lens and frames included.
Hour Eyes, Doctor's Eye's, Lenscrafter's, Walmart -- been to all of them -- all about the same 50-70 for the exam, usually 2 pair of the cheap lenses w/no upgrades run about $99. But you can get exams in one place and buy the glasses elsewhere.
I recommend not going for the actual "glasses in an hour" -- sometimes the techs get a little ambitious about finishing early, and the prescriptions are not always spot on.
The best way to buy online is to look at the measurements of glasses that you have and that look good on you. I have a wide face so the narrower and taller styles do not look good on me. I went to a Walmart and wrote down the dimensions on ones that looked good on me. You could also try on reading glasses at a drug store to see what dimensions look good. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask since I am really a huge fan of this immense cost saving route.
Try Target! They do exams for $65-$85 and they have a wide assortment of glasses. That's where I got mine & I love them!