When it comes to mothers, Americans open up their wallets. This Mother's Day, celebrants will spend an average of $152.52, according to the National Retail Federation. Lots of that money will go towards flowers, and florists expect to rake in $2.2 billion.
If you live near the special woman in your life, buying flowers locally costs far less than $152. Most supermarkets sell inexpensive bouquets and roses for less than $15 a dozen. Even upscale markets like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods sell flowers at far cheaper prices than you'd pay at a local florist. The farmer's market also offers an array of seasonal flowers that might include, depending on your location, tulips, lilacs, irises, or peonies. Pick up several varieties and group them into a lovely arrangement at home; unleash your inner Martha Stewart and arrange them artfully in a flea market vase.
Alternatively, stop by the neighborhood florist who will gladly assemble an arrangement for you. This will cost far more than a supermarket, however. We took a sampling of florist services in several cities and found that the average price for a custom arrangement is about $50, plus delivery.
To hold the line on cheap Mother's Day flowers, look for Groupon deals from local florists. The advantages of buying from an independent florist may outweigh the higher cost: You'll have a wider selection of flowers; the arrangement will undoubtedly be lovely; and the flowers will have been better cared for and thus longer lasting at home. (Home remedies for prolonging the life of cut flowers include adding a crushed aspirin, half a can of lemon-lime soda, or a splash of vodka to the water surrounding the flowers. The experts at the University of Minnesota, however, say these tactics don't work - just use the little packet that comes with the flowers.)
Folks who live far from their mothers should plan ahead. One way to send cheap Mother's Day flowers is to arrange for delivery several days early. Most online florists charge more than the standard delivery fee to get blooms to mom on or just before the holiday. Online flower sellers usually maintain an association with a florist in or near your mother's neighborhood who will make up and deliver the arrangement. If not, the online seller will ship the flowers in a gift box.
Many online vendors are now running deals for cheap Mother's Day flowers. For example, Savings.com has a coupon for 15% off flowers ordered from 1-800-flowers. Gifts start at about $30 for blooming plants and $35 for an arrangement of spring flowers, such as hydrangeas and Peruvian lilies, or a dozen roses. You'll pay an additional $5 above the normal delivery fee if you want them to arrive on May 13 or up to two days before.
Another site with coupon deals on flowers is flowershopdeals.com, which is offering up to 20% off Teleflora's Deal of the Day bouquets. Teleflora itself is discounting most Mother's Day arrangements by $10. Deals from Teleflora include $20 for a bunch of daisies in a bright yellow vase; a purple medley of roses, asters, and chrysanthemums in a purple plastic ginger jar for $30; or a $45 arrangement of white roses and lilies in a glass vase. A $16 delivery fee is tacked on to any arrangement.
Be sure to note what you're getting when you see a good deal online for cut flowers. ProFlowers offers several cheap Mother's Day flower specials, including seven stems of lilies for $19.99 For this selection you'll pay extra for a vase, plus $15 above the standard fee for delivery on Mother's Day. Proflowers sends flowers in a box even if you buy a vase, which means you (or mom) will do the arranging.
Another route to cheap Mother's Day flowers is choosing a bouquet that's not showcased on the Mother's Day section of the website. At Beyond Blossoms, the Mother's Day choices start at $30 for a few sunflowers and there are limited options for less than $40. The main page, however, features a large selection of rose bouquets for $40 or less, as well as other choices at the same price level. Beyond Blossoms delivers throughout the country via FTD.
And don't forget those non-obvious sources of cheap Mother's Day flowers. Sam's Club offers the best online deal because shipping is free. The catch: You'll have to accept delivery on May 11th. The Sam's Club website offers several Mother's Day bouquets starting at $40 (including a vase) and non-holiday arrangements, like a bunch of 12 white or blue hydrangeas, for $35. Or, you could order 75 stems of red roses for $80, take delivery yourself, and share the bounty with all the women you love.