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How to Send Flowers on the Cheap

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Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla: I love flowers. I like to give them to people, and occasionally I like to buy them for myself. Yes, I know they last longer in nature; I also know that some people regard them as a waste of money. But sometimes it's nice to be able to give someone a beautiful thing that won't pack on the pounds.


I have a few tips for arrangements that won't break the bank. If you live in a metropolitan area that has a flower market where florists buy their flowers, by all means, go there first -- the prices there can't be beat. If that's not an option, flowers at farmers' markets are generally a good deal. Stick around until the market is closing up, and you can get beautiful bunches for practically nothing.

Costco and supermarkets (especially Trader Joe's) are good places for a bouquet. Costco has a standing deal on roses that runs about $14 for two dozen. Most supermarkets have lots of choices. I find the arrangements to be pretty pricey, but the bouquets can be very reasonable -- especially if they're a weekly special. Take a plain bouquet and ask for a rewrap with some greenery and a ribbon. Some markets will do it for free; others will charge a couple of bucks.

Also, I like to patronize the local flower shops. I bring in my own vase or basket, or buy a fun ceramic pitcher at T.J. Maxx or Ross (look in the clearance section first) and take that into the shop. A friend of mine glues pencils all around a coffee can and ties it with a thick ribbon for a teacher's arrangement. Just tell the store what you're looking to spend, and they can fill your container and arrange it.

Lastly, I've had some good experiences with online florists. I buy when there are great specials, use Internet coupons and combine that with cashback. I ordered for myself a couple of times and was pleased with the quality, but most sites have a lot of mixed reviews. They're good to use in a pinch for gifts for out-of-towners, but I find that presentation of a bouquet in a cute container is nicer for the locals.

3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Renae May 25, 2010, 9:31 PM

I am a florist, and first of all, a wholesale florist does not sell to the public. Second of all, there is a difference of design and flower quality from a florist as opposed to a grocery store. We buy from different farmers, and we refuse older flowers, where as grocery stores do not. Also, we do not like to use outside containers because our containers are for the most part inexpensive, and we are liable if anything were to happen to it. Most people don’t realize you’re better off going to a florist instead of an online order gatherer. They take 30% of the order total and do not give us any shipping and handling fees they charge their customers.

Recession Mama May 29, 2010, 12:35 AM

Our downtown flower market is open to the public and I’ve never had a problem with local florists using my containers. Also, I haven’t practiced law in a while, but I don’t believe you would not be liable for anything if a customer used their own container. You, as a florist, provide a wonderful service. I am just trying to help people afford your service more oftn!

RugenickOl January 3, 2011, 5:20 PM

Hi all! I’m originally from London but am living in Berlin at the moment.
Gotta like this site!

Barrater is my life

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