6 Simple Ways to Save on Prom
BY CATEY HILL
The fab dress, the dreamy date, the DJ and the dance party … what’s not to love about prom?!
Well, the price. The average cost of prom is more than $1,000. Yikes!
So what’s a girl to do when she wants a dream prom night, but doesn’t want to spend that much? Follow these simple tips and you’ll slash the cost of prom in no time (without sacrificing any of the fun!).
1. Get your makeup done at a department store: Go to the makeup counter at any big department store and have one of their pros do your makeup — you’ll look fab and it’s totally free! Of course, you may feel obligated to buy something. If you do, pick something inexpensive like a lip gloss that you know you’ll use again and again.
2. Get your hair and nails done by a student: Rather than go to a fancy salon for the perfect do, look into going to a beauty school. You’ll get your hair done by a student (who’s supervised by a professional, so don’t worry!) for a fraction of the cost of a salon. You can find beauty schools near you here: http://www.beautyschoolsdirectory.com/.
You can also often score discount mani-pedis from cosmetology students (use that same link to find cosmetology schools in your area)! If there isn’t one near you, invite your girlfriends over for a pre-prom “spa day” at your house. You can do each other’s nails.
3. Buy a discounted gift card to pay for dinner: It’s super fun to go out to dinner for prom, but who wants to spend that much? You probably already know about Groupon, LivingSocial and Restaurants.com, all of which have great deals on restaurants. But here’s another little secret that can save you and your friends big: Buy a discounted gift card for the restaurant you’re going to on PlasticJungle.com. So, let’s say you’re going to Macaroni Grill for dinner. You could go in with friends and buy a gift card worth $100 on the site, but only pay $80 for it! That means you’ll get $100 worth of food for only $80! And if you still can’t afford that, don’t worry: It’s often super-fun to host a dinner party at home!
4. Score deals on your dress: It’s tempting to totally blow your budget on your dream dress, but there’s really no need to. Skip local stores and boutiques (you don’t want to end up with the same dress as another girl!) and check out the dress selection (there are so many choices!) on David’s Bridal. They have some amazing dresses that are literally half off, and tons of super-cute frocks that are well under $100! If money is really tight, look for a dress (think classic, solid colors) that you can wear again if you pair it with different shoes or accessories. Here are three great dresses under $100 we LOVE this season and will make you feel like a princess on your big night!
Strapless Empire Beaded Empire Waist Prom Dress Style 8420CW7B
Pearl Jeweled Necklace Halter Mesh GownStyle 8420Y039
Beaded One Shoulder Mesh Prom DressStyle 8420BX1B
Remember: The #1 rule to saving money on your dress is to start shopping early. As prom approaches, the dress selection can get picked over — and that’ll make you desperate to find the perfect dress, and a little too willing to totally blow your budget.
5. Host a prom swap party: David’s Bridal once again wins my vote as the go-to spot for amazing shoes and accessories at prices you can totally afford! But if you’re running low on cash and still need a few key accessories, host a “prom swap party” for all of your girlfriends at your place. Everyone brings some fun accessories and shoes, and you guys can borrow each other’s stuff. It’s a super fun way to get together with the girls, and it allows you to put the finishing touches on your prom look. (Remember even if your BFFs shoes don’t quite fit you, you can always add insoles.)
6. Say no to pricey extras: A lot of people feel like they need to buy photos from the professional photographer at the prom or get a pricey limo. If you can afford these things, great, but they’re totally not necessary. Have your parents take the before pics, and once you’re at prom, you and your friends can use your phones to snap pics of each other. You can also rent a nice car with a driver rather than a limo, which is often cheaper, or just drive yourselves or have friends from a different school or your older brother or sis do the driving.