How To Shop For Prom Dresses On A Shoestring Budget

Being a mom of three girls can be quite fun. Especially now that prom season has rolled around think of all the prom dresses I will have to buy in my lifetime especially if they are asked to more than one prom. My oldest daughter attended 4 proms. Yep four whopping proms but one of those was the 8th grade prom. Now she has gone on to college, it is my middle daughter’s turn. Imagine my surprise one day when I got her car keys at one of her soccer games to grab something out of her car to find this message written on her car window.

kick it at prom

I thought it was so unique that she was asked using the word “Kick” as she is a soccer player. But now comes the great hunt for the prom dresses. Here are several ways that you can save on a prom dress for your daughter.

None of these dresses were over $25.00. The cost starting from top row left to right free from friend, $25 at a flea market, and $25.00 online.  Bottom- free from a friend, $10 at a thrift store and $20 bought while on vacation in Mexico.
None of these dresses were over $25.00. The cost starting from top row left to right free from friend, $25 at a flea market, and $25.00 online.
Bottom- free from a friend, $10 at a thrift store and $20 bought while on vacation in Mexico.
  • Shop thrift stores. Believe it or not they actually have some great deals on prom dresses. I bought one of my older daughter’s dresses that she wore for $10 from a thrift store. It was a chiffon evening gown.
  • Ask around and see if you can borrow one or if anyone has one that they want to get rid of. That is how my oldest daughter got her prom dress last year.  A friend of mine had it sitting in her closet. It was in mint condition and it looked amazing on my daughter.
  • Check out yard sales. I have lost count on to  how many dresses I have seen at yard sales.
  • Shop online. Believe it or not there are more of a selection online and sometimes you can get a better deal online than you can in store. Of course you can’t try on the dress to see if you like it and that is part of the fun of prom dress shopping but you can still shop stores for a dress that you like and then search for it online.  I found a great deal on her short evening gown for her junior prom and I only paid $25 for that one. So whether you are looking for a long or short prom dresses online might be your best bet.

Just remember prom dresses don’t have to break the bank you can still find amazing dresses on a shoestring budget. You just need to know where to look and how much you want to pay. Do you have a daughter going to prom this year? Hope this helps you this prom season.

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  1. Great tips on saving on prom dresses. I too have taken to shopping online – there are quite a few great deals out there and I can shop from the comfort of my own home too 🙂

  2. My mom always made my dresses back in the day and your tips are super helpful – especially with today’s outrageous prices! True gems can be found in thrift stores. 🙂

  3. Those are all really good ideas. When my daughter graduated from high school last night we actually rented her dress. No need to spend an arm and a leg on a dress that she’s only going to wear for one night.

  4. What a great idea to try the dress on in person, get the right size and then find it much cheaper online! I wouldn’t have thought of it either, but it makes awesome sense.

  5. I feel like a girl only goes to her prom once (usually), so it’s something that really shouldn’t be skimped on.

  6. I bought mine at a discount shop that sold last years fashion. Got it for 30.00 and paid an extra 20.00 to have it altered. 50.00 total for whole gow.

  7. These are great tips! I am horrified when I think back to how much money my mom probably spent on my dresses—totally unnecessary! I won’t be breaking the bank for my daughter when the day comes.

  8. I have three girls at home too and I’ve no doubt they will be excited to shop for prom dresses when the time comes! We’re already shopping fancy dresses for the Father/Daughter Valentine’s Dance which is good practice for later! lol

  9. I agree if it is for their Senior prom. But so far we had 6 proms in our house for two daughters.

  10. These are great tips! I’ll have to remember these in a few years when my girls get to prom!

  11. Great advise. Gowns and dresses can be pricey. Sounds like you have it all covered!

  12. I like the Shopping Online option .. what if someone shows up in a dress contribute by a girl at this same high school. That would not go down too well. Online Shopping rules

  13. My mother loves thrift stores and used to always take me there to find deals! Thanks for the helpful tips!

  14. Great tips!! Not every girl can afford a super fancy prom dress but that doesn’t mean she can’t still look great. Awesome!

  15. I never went to my prom, partly because I didn’t want to spend a lot on a dress. My daughter is only 6, so I have awhile until she’s ready, too.

  16. I love thrift stores and yard sales. I have had awesome luck finding really great deals!

  17. My daughter went to junior prom last year and it was so hard to find dresses. She is really modest and didn’t want spaghetti straps but that was all we could find.

  18. Great shopping tips that we could use all year long. Consignment shops are such a gem! Thanks for sharing.

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