Even though they’re considered a “simple pleasure”, flowers can actually be pretty expensive. Sure, you can get some carnations or spray roses for a few bucks, but if you’re hoping to make an impact with your floral arrangement, you’re usually looking at quite a bit of money.  Since I like to have fresh flowers in the house pretty much all the time, I’ve had to figure out ways to get more for less.

When you break it down, the two components that make or break a floral arrangement are (1) the vessel/vase and (2) the flowers themselves. So let’s talk about how you get the best deals on both.
I have several sources for inexpensive vases and vessels. Thrift stores, craft stores (when they’re 50% off), Target (when they go on clearance), Pier 1, Ross Dress for Less, and Home Goods/Marshall’s/TJ Maxx. I’ve amassed a sizable (bordering on hoarder-ish) collection of vases in my basement that I cycle through based on the season.
I’m always keeping an eye out for interesting vases. If I’m at the thrift store, I’m looking for vessels/vases that they just don’t make anymore. I’m definitely bypassing those plain glass vases that come with the flowers that your aunt sends you for your birthday every year. Those are boring and useless (my opinion). Don’t waste your money. Always keep an eye out for a good deal on a unique vase, even if you don’t need it at that moment.  As you can see from the picture above, I love groupings of vases, and so finding complementary vases (while not being matchy-matchy) is another objective of mine when vase and vessel shopping.
For flowers, you really won’t do better than your local farmer’s market for budget-friendly floral options. Trader Joe’s is the next best option, in my opinion. Where I live, Harris Teeter and Publix are our main grocery stores and they carry decent selections at decent prices, but still fall short of the variety and value that I’ve found at our area farmer’s markets and TJ’s.
While it may sound counter-intuitive, in some situations, deconstructing an already-assembled bouquet is your best bet. Deconstructing is visually effective, plus it really stretches your dollar. In example, for the arrangement pictured above, I picked up a $10 bouquet from the farmer’s market this past weekend. It wasn’t a huge arrangement, but had a nice variety of blooms. When I got it home, I pulled out eight or so vases and went to work on breaking the bouquet up into parts to fill each of the vases. Some vases I kept very simple – just a single stem. For others, I mixed different kinds and colors. Just go with what you like, what pleases your eye.
With that said, I do NOT recommend trying the ‘deconstructing’ technique with grocery-store bouquets. There’s such a big mark-up on them already, that it won’t be your most economical option. Just buy a few different kinds of the $4 selections and work with those.
Flowers can and should be everyday indulgences. I’m anticipating that this topic will become a series where I’ll post new ideas on ways to stretch your flower-buying dollar.
Until then….