Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How to Pick the Perfect Flowers for Your Sweetheart

As Valentine's Day swiftly approaches, florist companies are busy stocking showrooms and planning orders in preparation for the hectic holiday. Fresh flowers happen to be one of the most popular Valentine's Day gifts, representing 36 percent of all transactions and 40 percent of total love-day sales, according to AboutFlowers.com.

Whether you're in a long-term relationship or celebrating Cupid's holiday with a new flame, choosing the perfect bouquet can be challenging. For help, follow this budget-friendly guide on how to buy flowers for your loved one while saving money, too.

Pick the Perfect Petal
61 percent of consumers buy red roses on Valentine's Day even though their sweetheart may prefer another petal. Since roses are the most popular choice, you can expect costs to be exorbitant, too. Consider a bouquet of Dendrobium Orchids, for example; this presentation puts a dozen red to shame for a comparable price. Even a simple bouquet of red tulips conveys your affection in an elegant arrangement for less.

Favor Fragrance
In addition to appearance, fragrance is an important factor in choosing the right flower. Many flowers are unscented which can leave the recipient disappointed. Lilies are a fragrant choice, while gardenia smells so good it's bottled and sold as perfume. Irises smell incredibly sweet, especially next to lilies and tulips in a delightful spring bouquet.

Reduce the Rate of Roses
Your florist may try to convince you that two dozen, long-stemmed roses are the way to your loved one's heart. However, sticking with a single dozen or even half dozen sends the same message but for a fraction of the cost. Otherwise, opt for less expensive short-stemmed roses or select a bouquet mixed with other flower varieties that elicits your romantic feelings in a more unique package.

Veto the Vase
Most flower companies charge extra for vases and many households have a few vases from previous arrangements. Ditch the vase fee and spend a little more on a bouquet instead. Otherwise, head to a local dollar store for super cheap vases that look just like the expensive ones. Alternatively, you can show your creative side by picking up an inexpensive wine carafe from TJMaxx or Home Goods and add a favorite bottle of wine to your presentation. Cheers, indeed!

Order Online for Less
Florists mark up prices over Valentine's Day, which is why you see so many discounts purporting to help you cut costs. While you can't change the reality of increased storage and transportation fees, you can take advantage of online deals and available coupon codes to reduce the markup. CouponSherpa.com features online coupons for reputable flower delivery companies like ProFlowers, TeleFlora and 1-800-Flowers, so be sure to search for savings before you checkout.

Splurge with Daily Deals
If you really want to impress your sweetheart but have limited funds, purchase a daily deal to stretch your budget. For example, you can currently purchase an AmazonLocal voucher priced at $25 for $50 worth of flowers at Teleflora. If you're budget is $50, you could splurge on a $75 arrangement without impacting your bank account. You can also add extras to your arrangement, including chocolates or a stuffed animal, all without paying more!

Head to the Grocery Store
Most people shop local florists to pick out the perfect stems, but it's important to remember these speciality companies make most of their profits on this holiday, so you can expect prices to be at an all-time high. Grocery stores, on the other hand, offer a great selection of flowers without the price fluctuations. You can even consult with one of the staff who may have a few tips for picking out the perfect bouquet. You stand to save nearly 30 percent!

Pick a Plant
Plants are a great alternative for the Valentine who enjoys gardening and are also less painful to your pocketbook, often costing 20 to 50-percent less than traditional bouquets. Opt for a flowering plant to keep things romantic, and make sure whatever you select does well in your sweetheart's area. Consult with your local florist about appropriate plants for your location, or use Sunset's Plant Finder tool to identify the best plants for your zone.

Think Outside the Bouquet
How well do you know your sweetheart? Though flowers seem like the perfect gift, your girl may not agree. While nearly half of men believe flowers are the best choice on Valentine's Day, only 4 percent of women concur, per stats from CreditDonkey.com. This shocking revelation means you may be wasting money on something your loved one doesn't even want! Think outside the traditional bouquet gift and get creative. Since Feb. 14 falls on a Saturday, nix the flowers and plan an all-day activity like a hike and picnic, museum visit or a cooking class.

Don't Forget Mom and Grandma
You don't have to go overboard by showering your mother and grandmother with two-dozen long stemmed roses, but a pretty bouquet will make her heart melt. Pick up some inexpensive pink carnations from the grocery store along with card to remind her how much you care. You can also find potted plants and flowers at your local supermarket, so keep that in mind if your mom or grandmother is a gardner.

Article By Andrea Woroch

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc., who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @AndreaWoroch for daily savings advice and tips.

Bookmark and Share