I get it, we all don’t want to spend our savings on something as temporary and ephemeral as flowers. Sometimes, by the time you bring your hydrangeas home they look wilted, or you find that you have to buy in bulk in order to make a dramatic impact. And hey, we all have our spending priorities, and I understand that flowers may not be one of yours.

Even I, as infatuated with flowers as I am, I try to be conscious about my expenditure on (not shoes, but) flowers. (Shoes last much longer than flowers, no sense in contemplating any footwear purchase!) And although I frequent the flower district, where you can buy blooms at a reduced rate, I am no stranger to the bodega variety either.

So, how do I do it? How do I remain frugal but buy a bouquet that will make an statement? Here are a few of my thrifty ways that I make the most of my flower budget.


Whenever I shop for flowers, I try to buy seasonal and local ones. I promise you, the tulips imported from Holland or the birds of paradise from Thailand will be much more expensive than the local variety. Sometimes flower shops showcase the imported ones and keep the local assortment in the back; the imported ones can many times be more dramatic, more colorful and larger, which is why they put them upfront. Don’t be ashamed to ask to be directed to the local blooms, you’re wallet will thank you later.


The larger the bloom, the more space they take up in your vase. So, go BIG. Think: hydrangeas, lilies and large roses. You will only need to buy one bunch (rather than two or three of smaller buds) and you’ll still have an extraordinary arrangement.


When I attended The Flower School, the very first arrangement I made was composed (almost) entirely of herbs! What a unique way to bring some (non-floral) fragrance onto your table and an even better way to stretch your flower budget. Herbs bought in bunches and used in an arrangement (with or without flowers) make for an inexpensive and unusual display!


Rather than consolidating your purchase into one vase, separate the buds into various vases – an easy way to spread your flowers across a rectangular table. One, two or three buds in a vase makes a beautiful statement, many times, just as beautiful as an elaborate arrangement. Try using bud vases of different sizes and heights to add dimension and contrast.


Rather than buying already cut flowers, buy potted plants or bulbous flowers. You get a great bang for your buck because the plant lasts longer than pre-cut flowers. Buy potted tulips, hyacinth, amaryllis or orchids!