Whether you're stuck with a pair of broken frames or just need to get an updated prescription, here are five ways to save on your next pair of glasses.

A scratch here, a missing screw there—before you know it, you need to take the plunge and get a new pair of specs.

Before you drop a bunch of cash at the local eyewear store, try one of these cost-saving alternatives.

1. Buy your frames online.

I discovered this one when it was taking forever to be checked out at the optometrist's office a while back. Get your eye exam and shop around for the frames you'd like. Once you've made a decision, do a quick search online and find out how much they're selling for elsewhere. In my case, I found the exact same pair on Amazon for $74, instead of the $189 I was quoted in the optical store.

They may get a little salty with you for bringing in your own frames, but should still be able to put just the lenses in. Don't let them pressure you into buying something on the spot!

2. Use your insurance.

Do a little digging and find out what your insurance plan allows for vision benefits. Most will cover an annual eye exam and some portion of the eyewear you purchase. Even if your prescription hasn't changed, that doesn't mean you can't use the benefits to buy a backup pair or some prescription sunglasses.

3. Try a discount retailer.

Several online vendors are quite reasonable in price, whether you're looking for frames or full sets of prescription glasses. Warby Parker lets you try on five pairs at home before making your final decision. Zenni has frames that start at $6.95, if you can believe it.

Zenni, glasses

Courtesy of Zenni on Facebook

4. Re-use your frames.

This is much more common than you think! Instead of trashing your old glasses, keep the frames and have new lenses put in when your prescription changes. You can get a quote locally or look online for companies like Replacement Lens Express.

5. Don't panic.

We've all had glasses break on us and no amount of tape (electrical works best), glue, or prayer will keep them on your face. Your first instinct may be to go to the closest optical store, but most of them ship their orders out for lenses. That means you may have to wait a week or more for your new pair.

Same-day spots like LensCrafters can often get you new glasses within the same day, but you have to locate a store with an in-house lab. If you have your prescription already, Glasses in a Day is a Massachusetts-based retailer that will really make you glasses within one business day and ship them out to you overnight. I tried them recently, and their customer service is out of this world.

eyeglasses, woman

Courtesy of Glasses in a Day on Facebook

Do you have any tips on how to save money on prescription glasses? Did we miss a good online vendor? Let us know in the comments!