Valentine's Day flowers on a budget

February 8, 2012 4:23:11 PM PST
If you are buying flowers for your sweetie, then before you order, we have several ways to get the most bang for your buck.

When you order your fresh flowers and what you order all play a factor in price. So if you can be a little flexible, you'll get a bouquet of flowers that will impress your valentine at a better price.

The florists at Ace Flowers in southwest Houston are busy taking Valentine's Day orders and preparing for the big holiday.

Owner Jay Alavi says the classic flower for the holiday are red roses. But if you are looking to save money, Alavi says pick a different colored rose.

"Because of the high demand on Valentine's Day, it's way, way expensive," he said.

Something else that's pricey are long stem roses.

"They price based on length," Alavi said.

Flower shops are charging more for long stem roses and florists have to pass that cost onto the consumer, so pick the standard length.

Tip No. 2: If you must choose a rose, the best bang for your buck is the ivory vendela rose; it is not only less expensive than the red rose but you can keep them around longer.

"They last for a long time," Alavi said.

Other long-lasting flowers include calla lilies, lilies, daisies and carnations. And the flowers that don't last long are irises and tulips.

"No matter how fresh they are, they open up really fast," Alavi said.

Tip No. 3: Instead of sending your flowers on Valentine's Day, which is next Tuesday, have them delivered the day before. You will more than likely get a better price.

"Especially here, we offer free chocolate, free toys for those who want to be delivered on Monday," Alavi said. said.

Tip No. 4: If you must have red roses delivered, order a half dozen roses and have the florist "fill in" with other flowers.

For example, a dozen red roses go for $69.99, plus tax and delivery. A vase filled with twice the flowers is $10 cheaper.

"It's a combination of carnations, lilies, daises and roses," Alavi said.

And tip No. 5: If you really want to get 50 percent off or more, pick up your flowers wrapped in paper.

"If you want to take the wrapping paper just like this, it will be $19.99, but if you want it arranged in a vase it will be $49.99," said Veronica Ayala with Ace Flowers.

To keep your flowers lasting longer, Alavi says you should clip the stems each day. Also, keep your flowers fresher longer by adding a crushed aspirin and a penny to your vase.

On Valentine's Day, most flower shops don't have time to keep track of vases. However, during other times of the year, it's a good idea to try to incorporate a vase you already own. You can save as much as $10 to $15.