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That’s right prom is just around the corner. Next month high school juniors and seniors will be dressing up, picking up their dates, and making their way to this teenage rite of passage.  This is not my first prom season with an excited teen. Nathaniel went to his senior homeschool prom last year accompanied by his beautiful girlfriend. I had so much fun helping him figure out how to ask his girlfriend to the prom, picking out his tux, and taking a thousand pictures of the gorgeous couple. However, this year is even more exciting for me as a mom. Becca, my beautiful cheer chick, has been asked to the prom.  I am so excited to help her plan out her dress, shoes, and accessories for this big night. She is only a freshman, but a very sweet boy, who happens to be in the junior class,  presented her with a Pandora Princess ring and a prom invitation this Valentine’s Day. (What a way to be asked to prom!!!!) Becca has accepted his invitation, and now our fun begins.

I have to say I may be excited, but my husband is seeing only dollar signs. Yes, a prom dress and all that goes with it can be quite expensive. Unfortunately, he has forgotten he is married to the most frugal woman in GA. I can stretch a dollar so far it screams. That is exactly what I plan to do to make my baby girl’s prom dreams a reality. I have found ways to save money on everything she needs for this very special night. Let’s start with the dress.  I know some girls in Becca’s HS have spent over $400 for their dress. Needless to say, this mom will not be doing that. During our search I have came up with some great ways to make prom night affordable for the budget-watching-parents.


Now you might have a little trouble selling this idea to your senior, but all others should be open to this option. Becca has a lot of older friends who have dresses they would have been more than willing to lend her for the big night. We did not go this route for prom, but we did borrow a dress for her upcoming school pageant. Some day when Becca is an upper class man and has an excess of dresses, we will be glad to pass along the good deed to someone else.



My son’s girlfriend found a gorgeous gown for this year’s prom at a second hand store. Her mom paid about $50 for a dress that retails for over $250. Of course this dress looks brand new. It could not have been worn more than once or twice. These formal gowns usually only have a few hours of wear, and people are willing to part with them for a fraction of retail price.



Yes the want ads!!! My husband is an expert at finding great deals here. He simply searched for size 4 formal gowns. In our area there were over 50 options. Most of the dresses were only worn once and the average price of a $400 gown was about $100.  We plan on keeping this in mind for next year.



That’s right prom dresses do go on sale and some stores do offer discounts. A few weeks back while we were at a cheer competition David’s Bridal had set up a display with mystery coupons. These cards were worth anywhere from a $10 to $50 discount on a $100 purchase. Becca, her best friend, my mom, and I went on a shopping trip a couple weeks ago. They had some beautiful dresses and even had some that were on a 50% sale. We grabbed up  a few of  dresses in the style Becca had been interested in, strapless with a high low hem.  She found her dream dress and it happened to be a part of the sale. Our coupon was for $20 discount. We ended up getting this $200 dress for $79.50.  Of course her father was overjoyed.


I had a blast looking for dresses and shopping with my baby girl. She took my breath away when she stepped out of the dressing room in those amazing dresses. I cannot wait to see her on April 5th being escorted in the Grand March. Don’t worry parents there are ways to make your princess happy and not break the bank. Happy prom everyone, enjoy the memories.

Becca and her best friend Cassidy had such a great time shopping.  We ended the day with Starbucks Frappes and cake pops. Memories they will treasure.


  1. She looks great in all of those dresses. The blue one is my favorite!

  2. I love that red dress on her!

    I wonder if I can sell my prom dresses on Craigslist..they are taking up closet space at my mom’s house!

  3. Love the blue high low dress.
    She looks amazing in all of them though!

  4. She looks great in those dresses! We passed a prom shop at the the mall this afternoon, and my wife was in awe!

  5. Yikes this brings back horrible memories for me. Lol. I put my mom through hell finding the perfect prom dress! She looks great! love all the choices!

  6. they all look great but the blue has more of the oh wow with her skin tone. prom is so fun!

  7. I actually never went to my prom, but now that I think about it – maybe that was a good thing. Back in the 90′s the dresses were horrific :)

    • psssssh. I rocked those way high bangs with stiff stuff hairspray and a big ol poof right at the hips of my dress (oh my word)

  8. I love that blue dress! It is absolutely beautiful!

  9. I bought my first prom dress for $35 at a surplus and salvage store. It was beautiful! My 2nd came from Goodwill ($15), and my 3rd from DEB ($80). Love bargain shopping, esp. for something you’re only going to wear once.

  10. Wow, the whole “asking to prom” thing has gotten a lot fancier. Anyway, she looks great! Hope she has a great time!

  11. That blue color looks positively gorgeous on her! Good idea to shop all these sales and keep eyes open on Craig’s List and such!

  12. She looks great in all of them, but Just beautiful in the blue one!

  13. I vote for the red one. It brightened her skin tone and brought out her pretty hair color. Let us know which one she chooses! And don’t forget the corsage to match!!

  14. She is so beautiful! And so are those dresses! I have two daughters, so prom’s going to be pretty pricey for us!

  15. Ah well your daughter looks beautiful in the dresses she tried on. I like the blue one the best!

  16. You remind me of how glad I am that I have a son! My mom-in-law just bought a $500 prom dress for my niece, I think that is just too much!

  17. I loved prom shopping one of the best memories! And I have two girls, super excited and we will not be spending $400….

  18. My daughter will have her junior prom next year! Until now, we’ve always bought her end of year party dresses at Macy’s or Ross – they have great dresses at really low prices!

  19. Amy Desrosiers says:

    Wow, I love all these options she tried on! I hope she finds a pretty dress for a great bargain.

  20. These are great ideas! I love all of those dresses!

  21. She Looks Beautiful In Them ALL!!

  22. She’s gorgeous – in every dress you shared here! My mom made my prom dresses, based on photos I found in magazines. It was a really fun experience!

  23. The darker one is my favorite and I love that she is not ‘insisting’ on brand new. Brand new ones are so expensive! #beentheredonethat

  24. Great ideas! I never would have thought to look on Craigslist!

  25. I LOVE shopping consignment! I always discover some awesome finds! It’s awesome that you all found a $200 dress for $79.50! It’s pretty, your daughter looks gorgeous in it!

  26. So glad that you got to share this with her. She is so gorgeous – and I really do love all of those dresses. Tell her to enjoy it because it will be a great memory for the rest of her life. Thanks for sharing.

  27. It’s so true that dresses like this only get a few hours wear. They are a great bargain.

  28. Love all of those dresses but that red one is GORGEOUS! I love the color and the cut. I can’t believe how long ago my Senior Prom was. It makes me feel so old. One day I will be taking my little girl prom dress shopping!

  29. Ah, to be that age again. I remember prom shopping like it was yesterday. They look beautiful! I hope they know it!

  30. Beautiful Dresses Beautiful Lady!!

  31. Those are beautiful dresses. Great tips on how to save some money. Thrift stores and consignment shops always have beautiful stuff but I wouldn’t have thought of checking Craigslist.

  32. Ahh it looks like you had so much fun! I can’t wait until I have the chance – IF I have the chance!! – to take the girls prom dress shopping!

  33. Aww, the dresses are pretty! If you’ve got enough time, you can find a great deal. Oh and those cake pops are my absolute favorite!

  34. Oh, I really, really like that blue dress. She looks gorgeous in it.

  35. PRETTY PRETTY!!! Prom dress shopping is sooo much fun. My mom actually made my prom dress (it was gorgeous) but I’ve been shopping with my nieces. Prices are crazy though. My sister always hits the thrift stores first, before heading out to the dress shops.

  36. Promenade night is really an amazing moment for all of us. I can still remember my prom night as if it was just yesterday. Great job with your shopping; I would vote for the red dress. :)

  37. i am so glad I still have a few more years before prom dress shopping!

  38. She looks beautiful in all of them. I love the last blue one the best.

  39. I just want to say how refreshing it is to see a mom have respect for her daughter. I am so tired of seeing these girls in short skimpy dresses that they wear to prom. It was nice to see these dresses were respectable and fashionable. I liked the pink ones

  40. I really love the pink dresses. She looks so beautiful and I can’t wait for you to follow up with us and let us know what dress she picked

  41. That is a beautiful dress! What a great deal and awesome making memories!

  42. So fun! I remember those days so well. I have two boys, so I guess we’ll be shopping for the perfect tux. I love the blue dress; it looks stunning on her.

  43. Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll be taking my daughter dress shopping this weekend. I can’t believe it’s prom time already!

  44. I like the red dress, I prefer full length. Looks great on her – which one did she chose? Looks like a fun day!

  45. I love all those dresses. Which one did she choose?

  46. Such a gorgeous girl! I can’t wait until my girls are old enough to go prom/homecoming dress shopping. I never got to go to any (I was home schooled thru high school) so I am super excited.

  47. That blue dress is gorgeous! I remember wearing a HOT PINK prom dress covered in glitter one year. My senior year of homecoming I found a dress at Ross for like $20. MAJOR WIN!

  48. I can’t wait to do this with my daughter. I loved all the dresses she tried on. What a hard decision because they all looked so good on her!

  49. So many pretty dresses! I really love that blue one.

  50. Oh you must be excited for your daughter to go to the prom :) I like her gown in blue :)

  51. I think all 4 of these dresses are so beautiful. I’d have such a difficult time. I never had this experience with prom. So I think the experience you have with your mom is such a big and beautiful thing. Hope you had a fun time.

  52. She looks beautiful in all the dresses, but I really love her in the red one. It looks really lovely against her skin tone. Hope she has a fabulous time at the prom!

  53. Those are all such pretty dresses! Pink really looks great with her complexion!

  54. So exciting – we just went with my baby sister to find a dress for her prom!!

  55. Great tips for finding a prom dress! I love that blue one at the end on her, gorgeous.

  56. Those dresses are all beautiful! Dresses are so expensive.

  57. She looks gorgeous and you’re going to be such a proud mamma. Well, prouder :)

  58. I’m also in prom mom mode. My daughter is thinking of renting a dress. I don’t see the sense in spending over $300 on a dress that is only going to be worn one day. They very rarely ever wear their prom dress again. Those are some great tips and I’ll keep them in mind if we run out of options.

  59. I love the first dress, the red (or dark pink?) is a great rich color, that looks so pretty!

  60. Angela S says:

    Becca is going to be so beautiful at the prom! I am glad she found the perfect dress.

  61. I really like the blue one the best. All of the dresses are gorgeous though.

  62. This is sooo exciting! All those dresses look gorgeous on her :)

  63. These dresses are so beautiful. Dress shopping is one of the most fun things ever!

  64. Ashley M says:

    I really loved the red, what a great experience for you! :)

  65. I just posted about prom dresses on the blog for JenJenHouse! It was fun to look through all the options. I wish adults had more occasions to put on a stunning dress.

  66. My oldest daughter is 12 and I know these days of shopping for prom dresses will arrive faster than I am ready for. Thanks for sharing some great ideas on finding prom dresses!

  67. She looks great in all the dresses! My favorite was the red. I will not get to help with prom dresses but will surely do help with tuxes!! Hehehe…hope your daughter has a great prom!

  68. I have a few more years until I go into this mode. Though they do formals in middle school here…it’s crazy LOL

  69. What a fun time to go shopping for fancy dresses together! I like the high low that is in style right now!! You really found some great prices.

  70. I think I love the blue dress the best! I know she will look good in anything though!

  71. What a special time with your daughter! Love the dresses. She is very beautiful!

  72. Beautiful dresses! I am so excited to do this with my daughter. She is almost 1 so I have awhile to wait but how exciting.

  73. So what did she end up choosing?

  74. I love that blue shade! I think she could make them all work – she’s a beautiful girl!!

  75. Aw, your daughter is beautiful!!! I LOVED prom dress shopping with my mom! What a great memory. And a great list of ideas for not blowing WAY too much money on a dress that will be worn once! Every girl wants to look beautiful but every mama wants a good deal!

  76. They are all so pretty on her! I love all the sparkly tops!! I would say that red one is extra pretty.

  77. Love the blue dress! I had my dress made, but never went to my prom.

  78. The blue dress looks gorgeous on her. Actually they all do but, that’s my fave.

  79. I really like that red dress. I am so glad I have another 11 years to worry about this, but thank you for all the great tips on where to look.

  80. Great ideas! When I went to homecoming and a few other dances, I borrowed my dresses from a friend who had a bunch…saved my family a lot of money and it didn’t bother me one bit.

  81. Eliz Frank says:

    It is an exciting time for seniors and knowing all their choices is a great idea. You found some lovely dresses for Becca and I like her final selection in blue… very pretty.

  82. She looks so nice in all of the dresses. Make sure to post her prom pics!

  83. i think the red dress looks amazing on her. hope she has a great prom

  84. That blue dress is gorgeous. Prom season is so fun.

  85. We have a great dress swap program here where girls all swap dresses. It’s great

  86. Sounds like a fun day! I liked the blue dress.

  87. While it is only a few years away form now, I can not even comprehend it. I love that blue dress though

  88. These are great tips!! I won’t need to shop for prom dresses for several years but these are great tips for shopping in general!

  89. Your daughter looks really beautiful! I’m sure she’ll be absolutely stunning in her own senior prom one day!

  90. I cannot imagine what it will be like when I have to shop for dresses for my girls. I envision spends lots of money and time!

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