It’s officially the time of year to start thinking about Valentine’s Day gifts. It’s the top holiday for florists, with 35 percent of Valentine shoppers predicted to buy flowers for the big day on Feb. 14. In fact, loved ones spent more than $2.3 billion on Valentine’s Day flowers this year, according to Statista.
If flowers are on your list of Valentine’s Day gift ideas, keep in mind they aren’t cheap. And, retailers tend to inflate those prices to take advantage of the Valentine’s Day rush.
Click through to see how you can save money on Valentine’s Day flowers this year.
Shop wholesalers for bouquets
To get the best bang for your buck, don’t overlook promotional deals from wholesalers such as Costco or Sam’s Club. At Costco, for example, you can preorder 50 stems of red and white Valentine’s Day roses for $49.99 — and that includes shipping and handling.
Pro tip: You can also pick a delivery date and add a custom message. Even though the flowers don’t come with a vase, what you’ll pay compared to a custom vase arrangement from a local florist could be a win-win for everyone.
Think beyond roses
The most popular Valentine’s Day flowers are roses, with 250 million produced for the holiday each year, according to the Society of American Florists. Popularity means a higher price point — roses are typically double the normal price at this time of year, particularly red roses.
Getting another beautiful arrangement as opposed to roses could save you money without jeopardizing the romantic gesture.
Visit your local grocery store
Don’t overlook the local grocery store for your Valentine’s Day bouquet purchase. Grocery chains typically offer stunning floral arrangements prearranged and ready for a romantic gift-giving gesture.
More often than not, the pricing can beat a locally owned floral shop. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about being urged to upgrade your selection or add on additional items. Of course, flower delivery is free, too.
Purchase flowers before or after the big day
Sure, Valentine’s Day is meant as a time to romanticize your sweetheart, but sending flowers to that special person in your life on Feb. 14 is also very predictable.
If flowers are a must for your special someone, why not deliver them before or after the holiday? If you deliver after Feb. 14, you could save enough money to purchase another small gift, making the flowers just another romantic surprise up your sleeve.
Deliver the flowers yourself
If you’re going the extent to purchase flowers for Valentine’s Day, why not deliver them personally? There’s really no point to having a stranger deliver them for a fee, other than convenience.
It’s a different story if the intended recipient isn’t local, but you can ask a friend or relative to do you a favor by dropping off the flowers on your behalf, or something similar.
Give a flower that can be planted
Nothing sucks the romance out of Valentine’s Day faster than dried-out flowers being thrown to the wayside within a few days of receiving them. If you’re going to put money into flowers, why not opt for a flowering plant rather than a freshly cut arrangement? That way, the investment will feel worthwhile and your show of affection will last a lot longer.
Keep the day special by looking for Valentine’s Day themed options. For example, 1-800-Flowers offers a bamboo plant shaped in a heart. For a single heart, the cost is $34.99 before any discounts or promotional codes.
Say no to add-ons
Every retailer has a way to get you to spend more, whether it’s the impulse buys at the checkout line or the sales items on end-caps in the grocery store. When it comes to flowers, it’s no different.
In particular, balloons, chocolates and teddy bears are frequently offered on top of your order whether you’re shopping online or in a brick-and-mortar store. If you truly must have one or all of these items, say no to the add-ons and head to your local Dollar Store to get the best value. For the price of all three, you will still have money left over compared to buying from the floral vendor.
Search for discount codes for online retailers
Most people who order flowers typically turn to the internet, visiting big name sites such as Teleflora or 1-800-Flowers. Before you click the Buy button, stop to do a quick search for coupon codes for the site you’re on and comparable providers.
First, search the website for coupons or a deal of the day. You can also use websites such as RetailMeNot or CouponCabin, which list coupon codes for a variety of retailers. Typically, you’ll save up to 15 to 20 percent using promotional codes.
When purchasing from the big names in the floral business, don’t forget to check for potential savings from membership sites such as AAA or employee discounts. Many retailers offer standard discounts to certain professions such as teachers or the military.
Don’t leave design up to the floral designer
The most sought-after customer for floral shops is someone who provides no design instruction. If you call in and simply say that you need something for Valentine’s Day, you’ll get something very nice — and probably extremely expensive.
To avoid this from happening, let the florist know upfront that you want to find something that fits your budget. That way, you’re not paying for the lavish bouquet well after the holiday.
Ask the florist if there are any in-season flowers that might be less expensive or if they have any flowers on sale. Perhaps there’s an overage in wedding flowers that they want to part ways with — and that’s your chance to nab an incredible deal.
Don’t wait until the last minute
They say all good things are worth the wait. We’d say Valentine’s Day flowers are an exception to this rule, particularly if you’re trying to save and have flowers delivered by Feb. 14.
The truth is that many online floral retailers thrive on consumers waiting until the last minute so they can charge an arm and a leg. It’s not just savvy marketing pitches telling you order by a particular date to lock in a deal — research shows pricing truly does go up. So, unless you’re anticipating catching deals after Valentine’s Day, act now.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 10 Ways to Save Money on Valentine’s Day Flowers