Flowers make me ridiculously happy. I’ve forever wanted to be one of those ladies who always had fresh flowers in my home and more recently I’ve made it my mission to keep them around regularly. They add such a happy and welcoming vibe to our space. The cost used to be a concern for me but I’ve figured out how to keep my fresh flower habit affordable and thought I would share what I’ve learned.
The most cost effective place I’ve gotten flowers is the grocery store. I’m partial to Safeway and Save-On-Foods. Both stores have a good selection that changes all the time and regular specials, as well as helpful staff.
It’s no secret that different flowers vary in their lifespan. Once I figured out which flowers lasted the longest my costs went way down. For example, if a bouquet of roses is $20 and lasts a week and carnations are $6 and last three weeks, it’s easy to see which option is most cost effective. I’ve found that anything that has a tougher, woody stem usually lasts a long time. Also, use your judgement when looking at the condition of the flowers. If they are already soft and droopy in the store, they won’t last long at home.
When something is in-season the store gets more of it so they can sell it cheaper. The flowers will also be in better condition because they are in their prime. Look for the in-season bunches to be displayed in a high visibility area (in front of the till or store entrance) with a sign like, “Market Bunch” or “Special of the Week” and a price tag under $10. I’ve gotten peonies, hydrangeas and sunflowers for just $7.99 a bunch this way. Even if one of those seasonal bunches only last a week (and they have lasted much longer!), that cost is well worth it to me.
You know those bouquets that are already put together with a bunch of different flowers? They look pretty but if you want long lasting and budget friendly, step away. Those pre-made bouquets can easily cost $30-40 even at the grocery store but the value typically isn’t great. They usually include a few more expensive flowers (like roses or lilies) which jacks up the cost and those tend to die faster, also decreasing the life of your bouquet overall. You’re better off to choose a few long lasting varieties and put them together yourself. You’ll easily cut your cost in half this way while increasing the lifespan of your blooms. Safeway has a 3 bunches for $18 special that I like for this. The first photo in this post is of a bouquet I put together myself using a mix and match special!
Most stores sell bunches of leafy fillers that tend to be very long lasting. I am STILL reusing the greens I purchased for our wedding flowers; they were $4.99 a bunch and are still in perfect condition two months later! Including greens makes your bouquet look full while keeping costs down and I’ve just been swapping out the flowers as they die. I’ve also had just greens themselves in a vase and they look great. Bunches of mixed greens are inexpensive and a unique way to add colour and freshness that will last a long time.
Clean Them Up
Once you get them home, don’t just stick them in water and forget about them. Trim the ends of the stems on an angle and remove all leaves that will be underwater. If you don’t, they will rot once submerged and the flowers will die faster. My flowers lasted way longer once I started doing this.
Change your water regularly to keep it fresh; I change mine every two days and always use cold water. Also, use the flower food; it really does help increase the lifespan of your flowers. I like to ask for an extra packet too.
What’s your favourite flower?
Mine are peonies, of course! They remind me of being a little girl, running around my great-grandma’s yard. She had tons of them…it’s a nostalgia thing for me.