How Much Does Prom Cost? Here are 7 Ways to Save BIG!

Hip2Save may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you via trusted partners and affiliate links in this post. Prices and availability are accurate as of time posted. Read our full disclosure policy here.

More Teens

So how much does prom cost? We’re breaking down ways to save for every teen’s big day.

teens at prom taking photos

Prom prep getting a bit pricey?

From the dress, shoes, and makeup to suits and dresses, you’ve probably asked yourself, “How much does prom cost?!” While it’s expensive, it is possible to save money! You may not know where to start, which is why we’ve come up with this guide to help you save big!

davids bridal prom dresses

First things first – How much are prom tickets?

Prom tickets can range anywhere from $20 – $250! This is determined by a variety of factors, including venue, meal, and how early you buy your ticket. If your prom is held on high school property, it’ll be significantly cheaper than if it was at a venue hall. With this ticket price in mind, you’ll be able to grasp an estimation of how much you can splurge for other prom incentives.

1. The average prom dress is $500. Make a budget you’re comfortable with. 

dresses hanging up

According to Penn Live, the average prom dress is between $500 – $600! That’s outrageous, but there’s no need to panic! You can still have the best prom at the most inexpensive price, but that starts with a budget. Be realistic and conscious of this budget, and stick with it.

Considering most people wear their prom dresses only once, you do not (and should not) spend a fortune on your dress. We have an entire post dedicated to cheap prom dress resources, including consignment stores, discount stores, and online boutiques.

2. Going to more than one prom? Swap dresses with a friend.

Ross Prom Dresses

There is no shame in the game of sharing! If you’re going to multiple proms, why not swap dresses with friends who are the same size? If you have older friends who aren’t using their former prom dresses anymore, you can always ask to borrow their dress or buy it at a discounted price.

3. You can find tux options on Amazon for less than renting.

three piece suits hanging up

A moment for the guys! Our Hip sidekick Lina mentioned tons of three-piece suit options are available on Amazon. Not only are they way cheaper than renting, but many are part of Prime Wardrobe; this means you can Try Before You Buy, so your teen won’t be charged unless they decide to keep the suit.

4. Dance the night away in shoes you already own.

woman putting on a pair of heels

If you have heels from a previous event such as a wedding or homecoming, now is the time to stunt in those shoes again! A bunch of our Hip sidekicks agreed that when it comes to prom costs, this is one of the easiest and simplest ways to save.

If you are looking for affordable, new shoes, sites like Lulu’s and Amazon are our go-to’s.

5. Do your own makeup (or pay a friend).

makeup bag

Prom is an excuse to glam up! Although it’s nice to get your makeup professionally done, if you’re up for the challenge, try doing you’re own makeup! With the help of a few beauty tutorials on YouTube or TikTok, it’s something that you can certainly do yourself or with the help of a friend.

Our Hip sidekick Nicole’s daughter actually paid a fellow classmate, and she saved tons because of it! We especially recommend doing this if you have more than one prom. This can also be applied to getting your hair done; maybe get either your hair or makeup professionally done; if you trust someone to do both, even better!

“My daughter paid a classmate to do her makeup. It was much cheaper than having it done professionally. Besides, with all the YouTube tutorials and TikTok videos, these kids are like makeup pros by the time they are in high school!”Nicole, H2S

6. Utilize family and friends as much as possible.

three prom corsages

Limo rentals and photographers are great, but, if you want to be super frugal, use what you have access to! Phones today have just as good quality cameras as some professional cameras (for casual use, anyway); unless you can swing it, save your money.

Splitting limo rentals can be affordable with a big group; however, if it’s not important to you, have family or friends drive you. This will save you tons, especially since it’s not the most important part of the night!

7. If you’re not graduating yet, start planning early for next year’s prom!

teen putting on prom boutonniere

Early prom birds do catch the worm. 😉 The earlier you start prepping, the more you can save! You’ll have more time to achieve your budget, save big on off-season dresses, and score the best deals!

You deserve the best prom yet, so why not give yourself enough time to make your dreams a reality?!

Read for college? Here are over 60 weird scholarships!

About the writer:

Kaitlyn has a Bachelor's Degree from St. John's University with 2 years of writing experience for LinkedIn, Celeb Magazine, and other various publications.

Join The Discussion

Comments 12

  1. Emily

    I only went to my junior prom, and felt like it was a waste of money so I skipped my senior prom. There’s no rule that says you have to go to prom!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      This is so true, Emily! 🙌❤️ I actually never went to Prom. My daughter can go to Prom this year and she is super excited to attend. The experience sure can vary for everyone. 🥰 Thanks for letting us know about yours!

  2. BW

    For the last few years, the kids in our district have gotten prom attire and accessories donated from the community and former students. They are all about repurposing these days and set up a large display room where prom-goers can choose items for either free or a small donation. Saves lots of money and waste!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      That’s SO awesome! What a neat yearly tradition for everyone. Thanks for sharing how your community has helped the kids in your area afford prom! 🤗💕🙌

  3. LisaK

    Dresses can be pricy- Thrift shops and good will are always great places to search got cheap dresses! Search all year whenever you are near them. After prom season (July-September) many places reduce there inventory and we have found amazing bargains at Macys and such. Also consider bridal shop sales. Probably the best advice is find one they love and then swap with friends. Our daughter is tall so it was challenging but we spent $60 on her dress and she went to 5 proms. She reused the dress but borrowed as well. And I’m glad to see many schools moving to cocktail dresses and lower key jr proms. It can be extremely pricy! For those who can’t afford a dress there are usually resources for them (you don’t have to prove it) but people should look for those opportunities at schools it through other organizations. We finsted our dress to that cause.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing your great tips on how to save on prom dresses, LisaK! 👗 I agree that it’s helpful to shop after-season sales to plan ahead and score great savings! 🤗

  4. Amy

    My dad died my junior year and money became super tight. We ended up renting my dress from a bridal shop. They had a pretty nice selection of bridesmaid dresses that were actually very nice!

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      So very sorry for your loss, Amy. ❤️ Thanks for sharing about your experience with renting a dress!

  5. Kelly1626

    David’s bridal. My daughter got one a few weeks ago for $115 after my $20 off coupon

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Sweet! Glad your daughter was able to scoop up a dress there – and saved with a coupon! 👗🙌

  6. Vintagemidge

    If you have a Dirt Cheap nearby, it’s worth digging through the racks! We spent $80 total on a $300 Nordstrom dress and $200 Cole Haan shoes! If you do buy shoes, neutral/less blinged-out is best so they can be worn them several times! 😉

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Wow! Thanks for the heads up on that store! I’ve heard of it but I don’t have one near me. Awesome that you were able to snag such a great deal on a dress and shoes! Love the tip on the neutral shoes too! GREAT idea! 💞🙌💗

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

It's not your Grandma's coupon site!

Sign up for a Hip2Save account (it's free) to access all of the awesome features!

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Register

Forgot Password

Don't have an account? Register

Become a Hip2Save Insider

Don't Miss Out! Join our large community of insiders - it's totally free! Once you join, you'll be able to save & share your favorite deals, rate posts and recipes and add items to your HipList and Cookbook! What are ya waiting for?!

Already have an account? Login

Thank you for rating!

Would you also like to leave us a comment?