Cinderella’s Half-Priced Handbook to Homecoming

Emily Leung

Cinderella ,a young and neglected girl, lived a miserable life; however, she still went to the prince’s ball looking nothing short of stunning. Yes, she had a fairy godmother, but today, many of us don’t have such a luxury. Luckily, I’m here to help.



The Easy-on-the-Pocketbook Ensemble ($19)

Every child remembers the moment when Cinderella glides down the stairs in her gorgeous, sky blue ball gown. However, everyone can relate to that moment, as we too would like to look equally as stunning, or handsome, when we walk onto the dance floor. Whether you’re a girl looking for your perfect dress or a guy looking for the most dashing tux, it is a well-known fact that finding affordable homecoming attire is not easy. For girls, the typical clothing stores such as Forever 21 and H&M would have inexpensive picks; however, if you have a good idea of your size, I would try PromGirl, an online dress shop for formal occasions. This website carries everything from elegant, floor-length gowns to girly, A-line dresses. The best part is that there’s a large selection of dresses on sale that start at $19!

Consignment stores, or the trending term “thrift shops,” are also great places to find both dresses and tuxes. Most girls only wear their dance attire once so the dresses found at these types of stores are likely in stellar condition. Cinderella’s fairy godmother truly took “thrifting” to a whole new level when she transformed Cindy’s rags into a beautiful gown!


The Affordable Accessories ($40)

Corsages and boutonnieres are a must have for Homecoming, but the cost alone can add up to $30. Cinderella would have never been able to afford that, so what would she do? She would make her own! There are countless DIY’s online showing you how to create them using something as cheap as flowers from your backyard. If you need to buy flowers, try purchasing carnations since they are inexpensive and easy to dye.

Cinderella’s glass slippers were truly the most significant part of her outfit. You may not have the opportunity to wear Cinderella’s dazzling shoes, but you still want to make sure your Prince Charming will remember your heels. Spending a fortune on the perfect shoe is unreasonable, so try Designer Shoe Warehouse for great deals on the perfect stiletto. If you enjoy online shopping, Online Shoes, Overstock, Piperlime, and Shoes all carry great shoes at reasonable prices.


The Marked-Down Makeup ($20)

Cinderella looks absolutely beautiful with her simple, magenta lipstick, so why don’t you try glamming up a bit for the big night? There is no need to get your makeup done by a professional makeup artist when you probably know someone who can do it for you. However, if there is no one around that you trust to do your makeup, makeup counters for the most part will do your makeup for free if you book an appointment ahead of time, but keep in mind that they usually prefer you purchasing at least two products afterwards.

As for products, starting off with a good base is essential. The Revlon Colorstay foundation is a great option because it’s cheap, yet gives the same degree of coverage as a high-end foundation. For lips and cheeks, NYX is affordable and offers a beautiful selection of lipsticks, lip glosses, and blushes. For those of you who love a dramatic eye, Wet n Wild offers a large selection of extremely pigmented eye shadow trios for under $3. Elf is also an overall great brand to check out since most of its products are either $1 or $3.


The Cut-Price Chow ($10)

Eating out can be awfully expensive, but you don’t want to go to the ball on an empty stomach! is a great website that allows you to purchase gift cards for less than their actual value. If you buy a $10 gift card, it is actually worth $25! Eating a large meal at home before you go out to eat might be a smart idea, so when you go out, you can just share a meal with someone else. Websites like Groupon and LivingSocial also have amazing deals for restaurants for your special night.


The Penny-Pinching Photos ($15)

Pictures are a crucial part of homecoming, for it’s one of the only tangible souvenirs to souvenir remember your special night, but going to a studio will cost at least $50 per couple. If you or your date has a good camera, ask either your parents or friends that are not attending the dance to go with you to a scenic location, such as a park, to take some fun shots. You can take as many shots as you want compared to a photographer who would probably constrict you to his or her tight schedule. As for design, Picassa is a great free photo editing program that you can download. There are numerous options to retouch, add filters, borders, text, and more.

With the digital copies of the photos, you can easily go to stores such as CVS or Walmart to print them out. The 2×3 wallet sized photos at Walmart are only $0.54 for a set of two—that’s only around $26 for 100 prints! And why go for plain old prints when you can save the memory on a mug to send to your grandma or a magnet to put on your fridge? The options are endless when you have a digital copy of your photos. If you want the photographer to have at least some experience in taking photos, ask around school; you will probably find a few skilled students willing to take your homecoming pictures for a small fee! Making the most of your magical night doesn’t have to drain your wallet, so follow these easy steps to create your own fairy-tale experience like Cinderella!  Now hurry, you don’t want to be late to the ball!