Smart Buying

How to Get the Best Price on Valentine's Roses

Some sources cost less than others, so you should shop around to find the best deal.

Valentine's Day is one of the biggest gift-giving holidays of the year. In fact, consumers are expected to spend more than $130 on items for loved ones, according to the National Retail Federation's Valentine's Day spending survey. Among the most popular gifts (no surprise here) are flowers. One-third of those surveyed plan to give flowers, with spending expected to top $1.9 billion.

Anyone who has ever bought a dozen red roses knows that they can be expensive. The average price on Valentine's Day is about $80. Now, you probably don't want to come off looking cheap on Valentine's Day, but there's no reason to spend more than you have to on flowers. Cheapism.com, a Web site that identifies the best cheap products, found that you can save significantly by ordering flowers from a local florist.

A dozen red roses from a local florist cost about $50, compared with $59 to $86 from major online florists, according to Cheapism.com's research. To find a florist near you, visit the Society of American Florists' national florist directory or do a search on Yelp for florists with good reviews.

One thing the Cheapism.com research doesn't take into consideration is that you often can find coupon codes online to help lower the cost of ordering from online florists. For example, according to coupon site Offers.com, consumers can find discounts of up to 50% on roses and flowers from companies like FTD, ProFlowers and other popular flower delivery options. Also check Coupon Sherpa to find discounts for flowers.

To help lower the cost of giving flowers even more, the Society of American Florists offers these tips:

-- Order early and ask about specials.

-- Pick up your flower order and deliver it yourself (to save on delivery costs).

-- Consider flowers other than roses, such as an orchid, a bouquet of tulips or a basket with a bulb plant that can be planted in the spring.

-- Sometimes less is more. A single long-stem rose can be a romantic gesture.

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