Tips for getting Valentine’s Day flowers for less

The countdown clock to Valentine’s Day is ticking, and thinking outside the box can save money on floral arrangements — a D.C.-based consumers’ group has tips.

“You wouldn’t necessarily think to go flower shopping at a hardware store,” said Jamie Lettis of

“Many of our local hardware stores have large garden centers with a lot of beautiful plants of many types. And many of the plants that they sell will last a lot longer than a cut bouquet,” she said.

Making your own bouquet from grocery store flower offerings can have dramatic results with less cost than deliveries. (WTOP/Kristi King)

Opting for flower arrangements, Lettis notes that supplies from street vendors will be freshest in the morning.

She recommends skipping 800-number national order-taking services that can deliver disappointing products or cancel deliveries in times of high demand.

Instead, look up and directly contact a flower shop in the area where the recipient lives.

Instead of having flowers delivered, if your loved one is closer to home, you can save lots of money with little effort with a little “do-it-yourself” action.

It’s easy to boost a grocery store bouquet’s wow factor with wrappers and rubber bands removed.

“Many stores also sell baby’s breath and other filler flowers that you can use to make the arrangement look more robust,” Lettis said.

And lots of people already have beautiful vases from previous occasions.

“Think tulips, think peonies, lilies, all kinds of different flowers that you might be able to find that aren’t the coveted red rose, and they’re just as beautiful,” she suggested.

Roses don’t have to be red to share a message of love. (WTOP/Kristi King)

One last bit of advice? Don’t overthink it.

“Don’t worry that Valentine’s Day is coming. You don’t need a lot of time to get a beautiful floral gift for somebody that’s going to make them happy and express your love on this special day,” Lettis said.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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