Roses are red...One of the first images that comes to mind when we think about Valentines day is a beautiful bouquet of one dozen red roses. Since the 17th century, when the Greeks deemed roses to be the favorite flower of Venus (the goddess of love) the idea of a dozen roses has become synonymous with Valentines Day.
Why twelve roses? Twelve is the number that represents completeness in many cultures. Think twelve months in a year, twelve eggs in a dozen, twelve signs in the zodiac. So how could you go wrong buying a dozen of these gorgeous long stem buds for your sweetheart? To quote Brett Michaels, "Every rose has it's thorn," and in this case that thorn is the price tag.
With rose prices climbing every year, you could very well end up paying between $55-$100 for a simple grouping of twelve red roses wrapped in brown paper. Want them delivered on Valentine's Day? Well, you are going to pay extra for that, and don't forget to tip the delivery guy. What's a frugal Valentine to do? Here are four tips for wowing your sweetheart without breaking the bank.
Related: Fabulously Frugal Valentine's Gifts
1. Skip the Florist
Florists are not the only place to get great looking flowers. Cruise by your local vegetable stand or hit the local farmers market before Valentines Day and find out if they will be carrying red roses on the big day. Pre-order if possible and take an early lunch to hand deliver. Or you can always stop by the stand on the 13th and then stash the blooms in someplace cool (like the garage) till morning.
2. Not Always Cheaper By The Dozen
Consider giving another meaningful number. Maybe one rose for every month/year you've been together. Afraid of looking like a cheapskate? Fill in the bouquet with other colored roses which cost considerably less than their red counter parts. White for innocence, pink for affection, or yellow for friendship can add dimension and sentimental meaning to your bouquet.
3. Find Your Local Wholesale Flower Market
Wholesale flower markets are a great way to get cheap flowers of any kind, if you know the rules. Find out when the market opens to the public and be there at least ten minutes before, on Valentine's Day you might even want to make it a full half hour. Showing up even half an hour after the doors open can mean paying full price. Also be sure to bring ones, fives, and tens as many dealers want exact change. The beauty of the wholesale market is the ability to haggle, just be sure not to lowball too much and offend the dealer.
4. Convenience and Frugality, Two Ideas That Are Not Always Mutually Exclusive
If you know you need your bouquet sent directly to your love this year, or you just hate to shop around-- online florists are probably your best bet. Stick to sites with trusted reputations like FTD, who is affiliated florists nationwide. Before you click "add to cart" look for promotional codes online to help ease the sticker shock that will inevitably come when you view the "total." Taking a moment to Google the floral sites name and the words "promo code" can save you up to 25% or score you free delivery.
It's true that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet. But getting the best price for the iconic Valentine's Day gift is even sweeter.
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