If your teen insists on dining out, Foss suggests using credit-card rewards points to pay for the restaurant tab. Alternately, he or she could pay for the meal out of savings from babysitting or a part-time job, which is what Ingram will suggest if her daughter wants to splurge on a fancy dinner or a limo.
5. Resell or repurpose the dress. If you opt to buy a dress instead of renting, recoup some of that investment by reselling it on eBay or at a consignment shop. When Foss' daughter moved away to college, the pair sifted through her formal dresses and earned about $2,200 by consigning them.
Behre has other plans for her long black dress. Instead of reselling it after the dance, she'll have it shortened so she can wear it for less-formal occasions and get more mileage out of the dress. Swapping dresses with a friend for a future dance is another cost-cutting option.