What do couples fight about all the time? Money. So if you overspend on Valentine’s Day flowers, you could be setting yourself up for another money fight.
“There can be an intense pressure to shower our significant others with extravagant gifts and dining experiences,” says psychotherapist Tori Buckley, a New Orleans-based specialist in relationship and sex therapy. “For those who are budget-conscious, this can be stressful. And stress is quick to kill the mood!”
Buckley advises couples to “spend time celebrating their unique connection,” which can lead to romance without spending money on Valentine's Day at all — or even leaving the house!
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But if you’re set on the idea of sending flowers, there are savvy ways to do it.
The key is to avoid having roses delivered on February 14. If that sounds like exactly what you want to do, consider the reality behind what you’re paying for.
The Rising Cost of Roses
For about two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, wholesale prices shoot up, according to florist Randi Vallecorsa, owner of Agent Flowers near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“Our costs double. But to the customer, they almost triple or quadruple,” she says. That means roses that cost $1 or $1.25 per stem wholesale in November will cost up to $1.75 come February.
But the real factor that increases costs isn’t the flower itself.
“The reason for the big mark-up is the additional labor charge for deliveries,” Vallecorsa says. “Florists have so many deliveries that they have to bring on people. It’s not so much the cost of the flower.”
Cheap Valentine's Day Ideas: How to Save Money on Flowers
There are money-saving tricks in going a little off the standard path.
Most importantly, buy literally any other flower than roses or carnations.
Vallecorsa recommends Ornamental or Asiatic lilies. “Lilies are gorgeous at this time of the year,” she says. “And they have multiple buds, so they bloom in progression. You’ll have more flowers for longer.”
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If you’re stuck on giving roses, rethink the delivery. Grocery stores and big-box retailers can be much cheaper than florists because you pick up the flowers yourself, eliminating the delivery costs.
Another way is to keep an eye on potential deals through your place of employment. Vallecorsa, who doesn’t have a physical retail shop, works with employers like law firms to take several orders and then deliver everything to that one location. “I save money by delivering to one work site,” she says, adding that she can pass that savings along to the customers. “Plus, you are not running out at your lunch hour!”
The Bottom Line
Still, it’s important to understand if your loved one actually wants flowers — or if you want to give them, a point Buckley makes when advising on sex and relationships. “People tend to make assumptions about ways to show their love that often don’t match with how their partner best receives love,” she says.
Whatever you do, stop and think. Or have a talk with your partner. “Slow down and acknowledge what first drew you to one another,” Buckley says. “Find ways to celebrate what you love about each other in a way your partner can best receive it.”