How to cut the high prices of prom night

Don't Waste Your Money

We all know that weddings are expensive.
But long before most parents get to that day, there's now another event hitting them with sticker shock: High school prom!

There are ways to cut those costs, though, without staying home.

Out of Reach to Many

It's a rite of passage: School prom. Unfortunately, the rising cost of dresses, tuxes, and dinner is making it out of reach to many.

Jenn Maurmeier is a mom of a prom-aged teenl.

She said she can't believe what just a simple corsage costs.

"I was shocked at the price," Maurmeier said. "The most economical I found was $27.95."

Indeed, a check of FTD's website finds corsages as high as $65. Just the boutineer --the flower the boy wears -- can cost $25.

$1,000 on Average

A recent study by VISA cards found the average prom now costs more than $1,000 per couple:     

     $231 for the dress
     $127 for the tux rental
     $75  for dinner
     $20 for the corsage

That doesn't include hair or a limo.

Jenn said she can't believe what some girls in her son's class are paying for gowns.

"They can range like bridesmaids dresses, $200 to $300. And that's insane," she said.

What You Can Do
But there are some ways to lower those costs, according to several shopping blogs. Among them:

    -Find gowns at second hand shops.

    -Some stores -- like Cinderella's Closet in Northern Kentucky or Kenzie's Closet in Cincinnati -- are set up specifically for underprivileged girls to buy prom dresses: Check with your school for others.

    -For that up hairdo, try local cosmetology schools, which may do it free.

    -For a tux: Get a bunch of guys together for a group rate.

    -And for that corsage: Check with your grocery store's floral department.

So why is it so much more expensive that mom and dad's "Stairway to Heaven" prom back in 1977?

USA Today blames it in part on reality TV shows. It says girls want to look like the Kardashians or the Real Housewives, and you're not going to do that for $50.

But with a little ingenuity, you can keep that magical night from breaking the bank.

As always don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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