How to snag a deal on prom dresses

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- No matter if you're going for cute or flirty or sweet or sassy, one thing's for sure, your prom dress can be pricey.

"Why would anyone spend $400 on a prom dress when you can have one of these and they've only been worn once or so to last year's prom?" said Value Village's Keila Arredondo.

Prom dresses can run you beaucoup bucks, but not at thrift stores or consignment stores, where there is usually prom dresses aplenty. At Value Village on High Point Road, the most expensive dress we saw is $24. On Wednesdays, the entire store is half off, so that dress would be $12.

"They're in great condition, not dirty, not stained, not ripped at all," said Arredondo.

What you save in money, you'll invest in time.

Goodwill's Sara Butner says, "You really have to approach it with a treasure hunter's mindset. Make a fun day or two out of it. Visit all the Goodwills in the area. We have so many dresses, but it's not a store at the mall where you can find what you want in 12 different sizes."

At Goodwill's University location in Winston Salem, we found not just prom dresses, but stuff for the whole prom night ensemble: handbags, shoes, even some Spanx -- brand new.

If you find a dress you love, but it doesn't fit just right, alterations can make a huge difference.

"We're starting to get busy already doing prom dresses," says Charlotte Hall, with Alterations Express on Battleground Avenue in Greensboro. "There is a limit to what we can do, but we can shorten it, make it smaller within reason, add pizzazz or a belt, whatever, really. Minor alterations are just $and go up from there. It really makes us feel good to be able to help make that night a special one for a young lady."