Thursday, April 19, 2012

Saving Money on Prom - From Bargain Babe Weekly

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This is a post by writer Yazmin Cruz.
Every time I look in my closet and see my burgundy gown collecting dust, I’m reminded of my prom. I don’t regret going, but I would have done some things differently to save money. I’m much more savvy now and below I share tips to save money on prom.
The ticket – I waited to the last minute to get tickets. Big mistake! I ended up paying a lot more. Many schools have early bird specials so take advantage of them!
prom3 225x300 How to save money on promThe dress – Every girl wants to look her best on prom night, but purchasing a gown to be worn once is wasteful. I’ve only worn the skirt of my dress one other time to a wedding. Instead, I could have invested in a cocktail dress to wear to other formal events when I went to college. A plus, short dresses are en vogue for prom!
Want to feel like a princess? Don’t purchase your pouf dress and opt to rent it instead. This will run you anywhere between $40-$150 depending on what you want. Some of the dresses are even knock offs of those worn by celebrities to big events.
The tux – Similar to a girl’s dress, a tux can be a big expense. Opt for buying a suit that you can wear to internship and job interviews. This will save you money in the end, if you don’t gain weigh. If you decide to rent the tux, make sure the fee includes all the accessories so you don’t end up paying more to get them.
Shoes – Comfort should be your goal. I remember many girls wearing sneakers to prom. It was genius and inexpensive! Don’t want to sport sneakers? Flats are another option or go for a pump that you can continue to use. It’s a bit easier for guys to save on shoes because they may already be in their closet.
Makeup & Hair – Forget about going to the salon and getting an up do. This can set you back $40- $60. Instead go for loose curls or a blowout – these styles are more modern and can easily be accomplished at home. Want to get your hair done? Head to your local beauty school and ask for prices. Beauty school’s usually charge less since a student will do your hair.
To cut cost on make up, you can do it at home. Another option is to schedule an appointment with a makeup artist at a department store and have them do your makeup for free. Some department store require you purchase items from them so make sure to ask if this is their policy and how much you have to spend. I had my makeup done and all I bought was the lip gloss to reapply through the night.
Corsage – Flowers can be expensive, but a simple boutonniere and corsage will be less expensive. Save money on flowers by comparing prices before making a purchase. Check at local mom and pop florists, and the flower district, if your city has one.
The limo – Skip the limo, unless you can get enough friends to pitch in to cover the cost. Consider a party bus for a group as it tends to be cheaper. Another option is driving to and from prom, but it’s safer to be chauffeured.
The photos – I have no idea where my prom photos are collecting dust. I do remember forking over my hard earned cash to pay for them. Instead of getting professional photos taken, carry a digital camera to snap shots through the night. You may also want to look around for semi-professionals (for example, photography students) who will charge less or do it for free!
If your teen is headed to prom, my best advice is to sit down and prepare a budget. Remind them that prom is not about who you go with or what you wear, it’s about having fun. (I feel old saying that, but it’s true!) Did I miss any other ways to cut costs on prom?

There is some great advice here, if you have kids going to prom this year.  Also think about dress buying.  You don't have to shop at the high end stores to get a great dress.  Places like Ross have some really cute dresses that are perfect for one time events and inexpensive ($20-$30).  Also think about Sears, JC Penny, etc.  Yes, these are lower end store that your teenage daughter might not want to buy from, but at least look at these place FIRST before going to Nordstorm, Macy's or a dress store.  If your kids are a little goofy, like my group of friends were, think about Goodwill or other thrift stores.  The dresses are usually terrible, but fun!  But then again, we saved lots of money on Prom, because we got all dressed up, and went bowling instead!

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