How to Cut Costs for Prom or Spring Formal

Posted on 04/22/2013

Prom costs can vary widely. According to, the night can cost as much as a speeding ticket ($175) or as much as your first car ($2,100). The biggest variable is the dress, but these five tips could help you save some major cash on prom.

Think Outside the Big Box Store
Department stores are usually the go-to source for formalwear, but if you get creative you can save a lot of money on a dress for prom or spring formal. Consignment stores, outlet stores and even bridal shops may have a great selection and offer better prices than you'll find at the mall.

Find a Free Dress
Teens all over the country donate their gently-used prom dresses so other low-income girls can use them for their prom night. Check out to find hundreds of locations across the country where you can donate or receive dresses.

Pack the Limo
Do your research on the cost of limo and party bus rentals. If a stretch Hummer rents for $1,800 and it holds 18 people, you'll want to fill it up so that each person pays $100. If only 14 people chip in the cost increases by about $30 a person.

Forgo Professional Photos
A professional photographer would be ideal for capturing prom photos, but when the budget needs trimming, opt instead for the Camera360 Ultimate app. It's free and helps you enhance your photos with some cool effects like double exposure, light color filters, and a self-shoot timer.

Discount Hair and Makeup
Hiring a makeup artist or going to a salon for a fancy up-do is something brides do, but for high school seniors it may be a bit much. Instead head to a local beauty school for a discount hair style or sign up for a free cosmetic counter makeover. Just be careful-- you may be tempted to by some products and that could end up costing you more in the end.

By Alison Storm

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