Select Page


For many people, prom is a stressful and worrisome event. Expenses such as new dresses and limo rentals can be out of reach for many families, but parents and teens still want to make this a special time. However, there are ways to save money on prom expenses. Creating a memorable prom experience for your teen doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive. Here are some budget-friendly ideas to make their prom night special:

Prioritize Expenses

If you are trying to plan for a thrifty but memorable prom, it makes sense to prioritize your expenses. It’s easy to assume that you have to make all your choices as inexpensively as possible, but instead, choose a few things to splurge on. Find out what is most important to your teen and set aside more money for that. Prioritizing will allow you to focus on the things that matter and can make your thrifty options feel less disappointing to your child.

Affordable Attire

One way to save money on prom is to look for more affordable formal wear. For example, search for prom dresses and suits at thrift stores, consignment shops, or online platforms. You can find beautiful outfits at a fraction of the cost in these places.

If new, pricy attire is a priority for you or your teen, consider looking for local shops by doing an online search. A simple “prom dresses Canada” search can yield valuable results. Once you have found local shops, you can contact them to see if they have sales, clearance racks, returned items, or other bargain options that are new but less expensive.

DIY Corsages and Boutonnieres

One easy way to save money is by making your own corsages and boutonnieres. You can use artificial flowers, ribbons, and other craft materials and the result will become a keepsake. If you want real flowers, choose inexpensive options at a florist and create your own designs. Either way, your teen will save money and have a great time crafting.

Hair and Makeup

Hair and makeup can be one of the priciest parts of prom preparations. However, Instead of going to a professional salon, consider doing hair and makeup at home or with the help of friends. There are plenty of online tutorials to guide you. If this is intimidating, make sure to plan far in advance and experiment with different styles, products, and methods to see what you like best. This will help you feel more confident in your skills on prom night.

Pre-Prom Potluck or Dinner

One way to save money is by hosting a potluck or a budget-friendly dinner at home before prom. This can be a fun and intimate gathering for your teen and their friends. Rather than splitting up and going out as couples, the group can enjoy each other’s company and save money at the same time. This creates a great memory for everyone.

Transportation Alternatives

Transportation can be one of the bigger expenses of your teen’s prom night. However, there are ways to save money, especially if they don’t have their hearts set on a specific transportation option. For example, instead of renting a limo, consider more affordable transportation options. Creative and memorable options to consider include creating a parade of decorated vehicles with the rest of your teen’s friend group, coordinating with other parents to share costs, or even arriving on a tractor-pulled hay wagon.

Home After-Party

Planning an after-party that doesn’t break the bank is one good way to save money. Instead of an expensive venue, consider hosting a home after-party with snacks and refreshments. This way, you can control costs while still providing a fun environment. If your teens are interested, have them help plan the party. Or keep it to yourself and plan a surprise party for your teen and their friends.

Memory Book

One way to make your teen’s prom memorable without adding expenses is by creating a memory book together. A memory book or scrapbook with pictures, mementos, and messages from friends can serve as a cherished keepsake of the night. Plan ahead, gather supplies, and collect mementos. After the night is over, plan a day for the kids to complete the memory books together.

Work Together

Working with others will help you save money. Take the time to coordinate plans with other parents to share costs. This could include transportation, decorations, or even the pre-prom meal. You can also encourage your teen to pool their resources together- the crafty one can take charge of memory books and corsages, the make-up expert can do everyone’s faces, and the teen who enjoys doing hair can become a hairstylist for the group.


Remember, the most important thing is to focus on the experience and the memories rather than the expense. With a bit of creativity and planning, you can give your teen a memorable prom without breaking the bank. Make sure to plan ahead, prioritize your spending, and keep communicating with your teen during the weeks leading up to the big night.