Prom on a Budget

By Zoe Redfield

Prom is an exciting time in an upperclassman’s life, but it can be very expensive. Here are a few options to create an affordable but still entertaining night.

Outfit and Accessories- Finding the perfect outfit for prom is possibly the most stressful aspect for most prom-goers. While it is possible for everything else to simply fall into place, the perfect dress, shoes, purse, jewelry, bow tie or tie take ample preparation to acquire. However, all this apparel can add up and cost quite a fortune. If you are looking to sport the best outfit at prom without emptying your pockets, try the following stores.

$ Cinderella’s Closet, PTA thrift store, Formalwear Outlet

$$ Plato’s, Rumors

$$$ Forever 21, online, Men’s Wearhouse


Food- A somewhat underestimated part of prom, making sure you get the right nutrition before the big night is very important. You don’t want to eat too much as you will definitely cramp while trying to dance, but make the mistake of eating too little and you won’t have enough energy to last through the night. You might feel as if it is expected to dine out at a fancy restaurant on prom night but no one really wants to overpay for a small amount of food. The best alternative to this is to hold a potluck with your prom group or have a willing friend cook a huge meal. Fast food and cheaper restaurants are also good alternatives.

$ Make your own at home/have a potluck!

$$ fast food (make it into an ironic joke), pizza or takeout

$$$ cheaper restaurants (Med Deli, Twisted Noodle, Kurama Sushi & Noodle Express)


Hair and Makeup- Almost as important as having the perfect outfit is making sure your hair, makeup, nails and everything in between is done perfectly. Getting makeup done professionally can be enticing but also very pricey. Buying drugstore or Sephora products and allowing a trusted friend to do your makeup is the most cost efficient option and can look just as good as a professional.

$ Drugstore products

$$ Sephora

$$$ Beauty Salons


Transportation- Although getting your mom to drive you around the night might seem practical, its probably not the most stylish way to roll up to prom. Getting good and reliable transportation is key to having a successful night. Eco-friendly and probably the most fun is carpooling with friends, so try and find someone with a large car and decent driving skills. Another option is to drive yourself if you have a car and are willing to splurge a little on gas money. Most fun, but a little steep in pricing, would be renting a party bus or limo. It is recommended that you only do this if you are going with a large group and are willing to split the cost.

$ Carpooling with friends (save money on gas!)

$$ Driving separately

$$$ Party Bus/Limo

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