Emma Goldman once said, “I’d rather have flowers on my table than diamonds on my neck.” That woman and I clearly speak the same language. In fact, I am pretty confident that flowers are their very own love language.
Since being married, our family has fallen everywhere on the financial spectrum, spending many years living a strict “envelope system” lifestyle. Even then, I managed to figure out a way to have fresh flowers in my home! I love the color, the life, and the warmth that they bring, and I always made sure that my budget (or lack thereof) never stood in the way. I found that I could make two or three gorgeous arrangements (that would easily cost $50 each) for less than $20!
Flowers on a Budget
Many flowers are regularly very inexpensive and have a long shelf life. Alstroemerias, sunflowers, roses, gerbera daisies, hydrangeas, and carnations are all very well priced and last a week (or more!). You may be able to score some other, harder-to-find flowers when they are in season. Peonies can cost upwards of $5 per stem in the winter, but if you find them in season, they can be as inexpensive as $7.99 for a bunch of five!
Where You Shop Matters
Just like everything else, flower prices vary dramatically by store. Trader Joe’s is, by far, my favorite place to shop. They have bouquet arrangements ranging from $5.99–$9.99, and most other single-variety bouquets are $3.99–$6.99. Costco and Sam’s Club also have excellently priced larger bouquets that can be split into a few smaller arrangements.
Don’t Forget the Greenery and Filler Flowers
Adding greenery to your floral arrangements is a great way to fill up your bouquet without spending an arm and a leg, and also allows you to make your flowers go a bit further in terms of how many arrangements you can make!
Eucalyptus, lemon leaf, fern, and myrtle are incredibly cost efficient (a whopping $2.99/bunch at Trader Joe’s!) and are beautiful all by themselves, not to mention when paired with flowers. Baby’s breath, statice, poms, and feverfew are all inexpensive filler flowers that work just like greenery but add a little extra color.
Mix It Up
My favorite arrangements have two to three different flowers and one or two different types of greenery. Cutting each to varying lengths will also add dimension and visual interest! I also enjoy putting arrangements in different types of containers. You can use anything from a mason jar to a bowl or a galvanized metal bucket. Get creative!
Also, don’t feel obligated to stick with the original length of the flowers you buy. I often cut 10–12 inches of stem off to fit my container.
Keep Them Fresh
Flowers like clean, fresh water and a cool environment. Dump your water out every two days and replace with fresh water, and consider trimming the stem each time as well. Keep your flowers out of direct sunlight and out from underneath warm air. My great grandmother actually put her fresh flowers in the refrigerator every night to extend their life!
Want to add a little extra life to your flowers? Add one drop of pure melaleuca essential oil (a.k.a. tea tree EO) to the water. It will help keep away bacteria that will cause your flowers to die faster.
- Pick out your flowers. If you go to Trader Joe’s, consider getting three types of flowers and two bouquets of greenery. This should be about $20 and will make two or three different small arrangements or one pretty large arrangement.
- Choose your container(s). Add fresh water and flower food (or a half cup of Sprite or sugar water).
- Add a tape grid over the mouth of your container. This is optional, but will help your flowers stay put with ease!
- Trim the stems of your flowers and greenery at an angle. Don’t be afraid to cut really short if you have a small or short container. As a rule of thumb, make your arrangement about one and a half times the height/width of your container.
Be sure to remove any leaves that would become submerged by water as well. This will extend the life of your bouquet significantly! I like to trim all of my flowers and greenery first, then lay it all out on the counter for easy access. You can always trim more as you go, too!
- If you are not using a tape grid, place several pieces of greenery in your container first. This will allow your flowers to stay put a little easier. Starting from the center, begin placing your flowers, working your way out from the middle. If you have any larger flowers, like hydrangeas, place those first, then filling in with the smaller flowers and fillers.
- Use your greenery to fill in your arrangement. I often like to have greenery a smidge taller/wider than the rest of the flowers just to add some variation.
Don’t Forget to HAVE FUN!
Above all else, get creative and have fun. Think outside the box, browse Pinterest for ideas, get your kids involved, and just experiment. If you don’t like something, pull everything out of the container and start over again! With just a little bit of practice and an open mind, you will have fresh flowers sprinkled around your home for all to enjoy!