CHICAGO – In added years Lisa Price has dished out money for intricate haircuts, manicures, tanning, facials, dresses, tuxedos, limo rentals, flowers and photos – all to accomplish brawl night bewitched for her boyish children.
“I adulation every additional of it,” the distinct mother of four said. “It’s the best anamnesis in the world.”
But this year, with a aged economy, such memories appear at a steeper cost. Now is not the time to bead hundreds of dollars for one night, Price said. Instead, she came up with a plan that bargain her spending by added than $500, not counting transportation. It included accepting her daughter’s beard done at a cosmetology school, accepting flowers at a grocery abundance and application a adopted dress.
“My bells dress in 1987 amount $600; there are brawl dresses out there now for $500,” the Frankfort, Ill., mom said. “The appraisement on this actuality is unbelievable. These dances annihilate me every year.”
Once abundant diplomacy area parents maxed-out acclaim cards, brawl this year is actuality scaled aback – by schools, acceptance and parents.
To cut costs, schools are alteration venues, aggressively negotiating prices, accomplishing their own decorations and alms shuttle-bus services. Acceptance are accomplishing their part, authoritative their own dresses, activity around-the-clock and award added means to scrimp.
At Lincoln-Way East Aerial Academy in Frankfort, affective brawl from The Field Museum in Chicago to a area a home will advice save money while advocacy the bounded economy.
“We all apperceive what our association does for us,” said Arch Brenda Jensen. “Our association supports our programs and not aloof financially. They canyon our referendums; they appear our events. It’s nice back you can abutment the bounded vendors.”
Thornridge Aerial Academy in Dolton, Ill., best a adjacent area this year that offered a cafe banquet so acceptance wouldn’t accept to absorb money at a restaurant and pay for parking – as they accept in years past.
“This is a prom, not a wedding,” said Barbra Green-Kenan, a advice advisor who helps plan it. “We acquaint our acceptance brawl is important, but graduation is the prize.”
Green-Kenan said she additionally saves by affairs decorations and favors in aggregate off-season, and application bounded disc jockeys, photographers and vendors who action discounts.
Students at Mundelein Aerial Academy in Mundelein, Ill., capital to advancement and authority brawl in Chicago, but affairs dictated that it’ll break at Concorde Banquets in Kildeer, Ill., area it’s been for years.
“The kids are bored,” said Tracy Carlson, who helps alike the affair, answer the acumen for absent to about-face locations. “But we are attractive to accumulate it local.”
Oak Park and River Forest Aerial Academy administrators are auspicious acceptance to appear brawl with friends. That way, no one feels pressured to buy two $95 tickets, said Cindy Milojevic, an abettor principal.
“Back in the day bodies acquainted they had to go to brawl with a date,” she said. “The new trend is it’s OK to aloof buy your own ticket.”
At Evanston Township, Ill., Aerial School, administrators aggressively adjourned a arrangement with their hosts at Navy Pier to benumb admission prices. Admitting the amount of a banquet and baiter ride has increased, the academy won’t pay abundant more.
Some schools accept the aforementioned brawl plans, but acceptance are demography it aloft themselves to save money.
Students at Warren Township Aerial Academy in Gurnee, Ill., are opting to booty a shuttle bus rather than drive or hire cars or limos, said Carolyn Waller, association relations director.
Instead of accepting her beard professionally styled, Kelly McGill, 17, who attends Rich East Aerial Academy in Park Forest, Ill., said she’s activity to accept her updo created at a cosmetology academy in Bradley, Ill., for a third of the cost.
And admitting Bianca Gaytan, 17, is able to appear her brawl at Kankakee Aerial Academy in Kankakee, Ill., and her boyfriend’s, she’ll apparently appear aloof one.
“The better affair is not accepting the aforementioned dress as addition else,” she said. “I’m not activity to decay money.”
Victoria Kenny, 18, of Bradley-Bourbonnais Association Aerial Academy in Bradley, Ill., asked her mother to buy her a $40 acclimated gown, which angled as a altogether gift.
“The abridgement is hitting us hard,” said Victoria’s mother, Julie Kennedy. “I’m actual appreciative of my daughter. She’s accommodating to accord up a few things to advice us financially. Our accouchement understand, and they assignment with us.”
It wouldn’t be abominable for some seniors to be agitated with accepting to decline their plans.
Proms are acutely abiding in tradition, giving teenagers a adorned adieu into adulthood, said Amy Best, a folklore assistant at George Mason University, who has accounting a book on the topic.
“We’ve complete a anecdotal about prom,” Best said. “We accept said, ‘it’s a night to remember,’ ‘a night that can’t be missed.’ Aerial academy acceptance are inundated with that message. If they don’t go, they will accept a big broad aperture in their memories. We’ve created a circular, self-propelling anecdotal that helps advance itself.”
And that advance creates an estimated $2.7 billion to $4.1 billion spending on brawl anniversary year, Best said.
Kathy Witte of Orland Park, Ill., can accept the numbers. She has two daughters in aerial school, and the oldest, a senior, chose a $450 brawl dress.
So on a contempo Friday night, Witte brought her youngest daughter, Kristine, 17, to a used-dress auction to acquisition article for her to wear.
“I’ve consistently been frugal. We borrow and allotment back we can,” Witte, 49, said.
As mom and babe shopped, they were alert of alienated dresses that bare above alterations (another expense) and attractive for those that could go with shoes and accessories she already has.
Kristine, a inferior at Sandburg Aerial Academy in Orland Park, didn’t assume to mind.
“I acclimated to assignment at Goodwill, so I’m acclimated to aggregate actuality secondhand,” she said. “If you’re not activity to abrasion it anymore and it’s still in acceptable condition, I’ll use that to my advantage.”
Plus, she said, the dress isn’t the big deal. “It’s about how abundant fun you have.”
She eventually larboard the boutique with two dresses – a strapless atramentous floor-length and a blush one with silver-colored chaplet at the top. The absolute came to $65.
“She’ll accept one for accession aing year,” her mother said. “She can consistently accommodate them to friends.”
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