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Buying Flowers on Valentine's Day - Choosing Between A Local Florist Or Ordering Online

Published 2/13/08 (Modified 3/9/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

Well Valentine's Day is here again and it's time to carry out the age old tradition of sending flowers to that special girl in your life. While women today frequently send flowers as well, I think the great majority of gift flowers purchased for Valentine's Day are made by men for their love crush, their girlfriends, or for their wives. Anyway you look at it - women love flowers - the commercially universal symbol of love (that and diamonds). They love to receive them, look at them, show them off to friends and co-workers, and display them on their desks for all to see (I see it all the time). Today, flowers make great presents for any occasion, and they're no longer just for the major holidays and birthdays anymore either.

Since giving flowers during those special holidays is almost a given, for the guys, if you really want to score bonus points, try sending your special lady flowers for no special reason at all - it's even better when she's not expecting them. That will really brighten her day. Not that I am an expert in the flower-sending department or even have that extensive of an experience in wooing girls with flowers, but I've done it before - through both traditional local florists and through online flower delivery services. Both techniques have always yielded great results.

Flowers Are Expensive, But Buying and Sending Them Doesn't Have To Break The Bank

Now one of the biggest gripes with sending flower arrangements as gifts is that they're usually quite expensive. Flowers don't come cheap and particularly around special holiday occasions such as Valentines Day, Mother's Day, and Christmas, flower prices usually sell at hefty premiums during those times. Prices can double during these high demand seasonal periods the closer you get to those special holidays. It would be nice to be able to save money by waiting till it's off peak, but sometimes you just can't avoid the premium periods.

But as the bearer of flowers, we do have two main options - we can either 1) buy the flowers at a cheaper price at the grocery store or local florist shop, or 2) we can choose to order them online and have them delivered. I personally like both options but for different reasons. Buying flowers at your local supermarket is definitely the most cost effective way to go if you have the time to browse and choose, as well as personally deliver the gift. If you don't have the time to visit or browse the store's flower selection, or if the distance between you and the intended recipient is too prohibitive, you can choose to place the order through an online florist and have it conveniently delivered.

While you may be able to save time and effort by ordering online, it's definitely going to cost a bit more. To give you an idea of what buying flowers online will cost you compared to buying them at your local brick and mortar flower shop: a dozen roses complete with a decorative vase at the supermarket will usually fetch about $20-$35 on Valentine's day; at a local florist they will usually go for a bit higher at around $40-60; and online they will usually cost upwards of $70-90 or more, although plenty of online flower deals, offers, and coupon codes abound. Another option is to buy them at a discount warehouse retailer like Costco, Sam's Club, or even Walmart where flowers are frequently sold at great discounts or near wholesale prices. Costco especially offers a wide array of colorful but very affordably priced flower varieties - if you don't mind doing a little bit of arranging yourself.

If you decide to go with time saver route, here are 10 Popular Online Florists to help you decide. To compare them, I've listed each online shop's cheapest and most affordable price for a dozen long stem red roses, excluding the cost of shipping and any special holiday surcharges. The prices may vary depending on proximity to a peak demand holiday. Keep in mind that the prices listed below are only for comparison purposes and represent last minute premium prices for Valentine's Day - 2008 . Flower prices are likely to be much lower during any other time (could be almost 25-40% lower).

Florist Name
Name of Dozen Red Roses Deal Price
Flower StoreA Dozen Red Roses$52.99-$72.99
USA Florist1 Dozen Red Roses or
2 Dozen Pink Roses
$69.99 or $89.99
Flowers FastOne Dozen Red Roses - Vased$72.90
FTD, Florist.comThe FTD Premium Red Rose Bouquet$74.99
1-800 FloralsTrue Romance Roses Vased$79.95
Pro Flowers/Flower FarmOne Dozen Long Stemmed Red Roses w/FREE Ruby Vase$79.98
1-800 FlowersRose Elegance Premium Dozen Red Roses$79.99
Flower.com, Just Flowers12 Mixed Roses With Vase$83.99
Flowers WhisperOne Dozen Red Roses Arranged in Vase$85.00

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