Fun & Easy Ways to Save on Prom - Simply Complicated Mom

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13 Fun & Easy Ways to Save Money on Prom!

13 Fun & Easy Ways to Save on Prom!

Prom season is upon us, and it seems like every time I turn around I’m being told something needs to be purchased, rented or ordered for Prom as it’s referred to now.  Prom these days can easily skyrocket into the hundred’s of dollars if you let it. I know this after experiencing the money drain twice now, once with a son and one with my daughter.  After learning some valuable lessons, I have come up with 13 fun & easy ways to save some money on prom!

Ways to Save on Prom

Hair and Make-up

Glam Expenses can pile up! Here are a few ways to save some money on those hefty charges

  1. DIY your hair and make-up, by hosting your own in-home Spa Day.  Last year I hosted 6 goofing and giggling girls who had a blast getting ready together.  They did each other’s hair and make-up and spent the entire afternoon together making memories.   Be “extra” and head to your local Marshalls or Tjmaxx and find some luxury face masks for all of the girls to indulge in for pennies on the dollar!
  2. Make-up- Video Tutorials!  Teen girls these days spend vast amounts of time watching these videos.  I at times have found myself mesmerized by these time-lapsed addictive clips.  Just go onto youtube or Pinterest and search homecoming or prom make-up and find a look you like and voila, easy peasy!  EXTRA HINT- Invest in some false eyelashes, like Ardell (my personal favorite) they will immediately glam up any look in seconds.

Clothing-Look Smashing without Breaking the Bank

Here are three ways to look amazing on your special night without having to eat bologna sandwiches for a month!

  1. Scour the internet for a dress for deals ( a no-brainer.)   This year I found not one but TWO dresses for my daughter online at Dillard’s in their clearance department.  Beware though there is a “no returns” policy on final clearance, the deal was too good to pass up.  We now have her homecoming and her graduation dress both for $75 shipped.  They would have normally been over $300!
  2. If you don’t feel like taking the plunge or know that you’re daughter will never have the occasion to wear a formal dress again, try renting a dress.  There are several options out there for you. “Rent the Runway” is just one of the many online shops to do so.  (Honest Engine disclaimer-I have never ordered from Rent the Runway so I cannot speak for their quality)
  3. Be Thrifty!– Upscale Thrift Stores,  both Brick and Mortar and Online such as Uptown Cheapskate and Poshmark are great resources for formal dresses.

Say Cheese

Take your own Photos- You don’t have to be Annie Leibovitz or have a fancy camera to take good pics these days.  Many of today’s newer phones have just as many mp’s (megapixels) as the professional cameras.  Here are three tips for taking great tips for your teen!

  1. The Great Outdoors- Go outside and avoid shadows.  Overcast lighting is ideal, but Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor.  When outdoors always have the sun behind the photographer.
  2. If you have a newer phone, put that baby in portrait mode, tap to put the focus on the subjects face, and ALWAYS use the flash even if you think you don’t need it. That will help fill the shadows, that you don’t see now, but will show up later in the pics.
  3. Have an assistant help you to tell jokes, distract the subjects. Anything that will make the photos look natural, candid and not posed.  The photos that are of your kiddos goosing and giggling are infinitely better than those where your kiddos are posed and bent into ridiculously unnatural stances. P.S Use Burst to catch every second, you will find gems in that camera roll, I promise! 

For the Guys

Those Tux’s can get expensive, I know my son’s tux rental price tag was ridiculous. He’s still recovering from the embarrassing situation when I almost spit out my drink when the store employee informed me of the forthcoming tux rental total.  But, when I was there I saw teen after teen come in with a voucher for $$$ off their tux. I inquired a little too late,  lesson learned.  Here are the deets on this awesome money saving program from The Men’s Wearhouse, so you can save;

Get Crafty!

Make your own Prom Mum or corsage~Get the scissors and glue gun out and get crafty to save some money!  Here in Texas, the mum game can get a little insane “Go big or go home,” being the anthem heard around the campus’. So it’s no surprise that mums can go into the hundreds of dollar range.  But all you have to do is google “homecoming mum DIY” or check out Pinterest HERE and you will hit the jackpot of mum instructional videos.

Another great resource for mums and corsages and do good at the same time is to purchase your florals at your school.  Our high school’s Parent Teacher Association makes and sells them.  They are a fraction of what you would pay at a retailer and proceeds go towards making your school a better learning environment, It’s a win-win!

Get a Lyft

Why stress out over the driving situation, and why spend the extra bucks on a limo or a party bus, when you can easily get a lyft?  Which btw, Party busses are now banned at some schools, for obvious reasons. A lyft is a safe alternative to your teen having to navigate a tenuous night as it is.  This is one less decision, they have to make.  And one less thing you have to stress out about.  You know that your teen not depending on another teen for a ride, or having to drive home after possibly having a drink (let’s keep it, real folks.)

Chowing Down on the Cheap

Three different options for saving money on grub for homecoming are;

  1. Use your local savings program such as Groupon, or an Entertainment Book (tons of Restaurant Options)  to find dining deals near you.
  2. Host a “Fancy Potluck” dinner- if your teen is going with a group of other teens. Have each parent be responsible for a dish and pull out your best china.  The kids will love it, and how hard is it really to throw together a Ceasar salad or Buy Roasted Chicken’s from Sam’s Club and toss them on a serving tray (no one needs to know- think smarter, not harder)
  3. Parents are usually the ones in charge of making the reservations, at least in our group another mom and I have, so make them early.  When they have happy hour specials and take advantage of them.

No matter how much money you do or don’t end up spending at homecoming, remember your kiddos only get to do this a couple of times in their lives.  This stage in their life is fleeting, and pretty soon their lives will be encumbered with adult responsibilities, bills, and other not fun stuff.  Try not to penny pinch the fun out of it 😉

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