Where Are the Best Fresh-Cut Flowers Sold?

IMG_2599Every now and then, I find myself performing these odd little investigative reports. For example, a couple of years ago, I was obsessed with figuring out the cheapest store for purchasing large quantities of wine. I was throwing a company holiday party and was on a tight budget, so it was really out of necessity that I did all this research and compared a bunch of wine price points at several major markets. Trader Joe’s was the winner and whenever I need to buy wine in bulk, I go to TJs.

Another time, I was absorbed with finding out which coffee retailer sells my morning drink at the best price. The results were kind of astonishing: my drink (a double short cappuccino) is .95 cents more at Starbucks than it is at Peet’s. Isn’t that crazy?! At Peet’s the cappuccino costs $2.45 and at Starbucks it’s $3.40. By ordering my coffee at Peet’s instead of Starbucks, I’m practically saving myself $365 a year!

IMG_4697Today, I realized that I’ve spent the past couple months searching for the best place to buy fresh cut flowers. A vase with beautiful blooms on my coffee table makes me incredibly happy and therefore, I justify it as a reasonable weekly expense. Naturally, I want the best bang for my buck. This means the cheapest flowers that will last the longest.

Of course, flower type matters. Carnations always last longer than tulips, which are one of the worst cut flowers around. Sure, they’re pretty, but they never last more than a few days. The flowers that generally last the longest are the aforementioned carnations (which I think look gorgeous in a super tight arrangement), chrysanthemums, and alstroemerias. Roses can last awhile, but it really depends.

IMG_0558In terms of the price, that really depends as well. Safeway and Trader Joe’s offer deals on certain bouquets that rival the Flower Mart, but you can’t beat the selection of the Flower Mart. However, the flowers I bought from the Flower Mart for my Thanksgiving dinner wilted in a very short time and I was completely disappointed.

Safeway is really hit or miss when it comes to the flower choices. Sometimes you can get a beautiful bouquet for cheap and other times the affordable bouquets are filled with neon-dyed flowers. Trader Joe’s has cheaper flowers than Whole Foods, but they don’t look as fresh as Whole Foods offerings.

After this week, one bouquet type I’m going to steer clear of is Whole Foods ‘Local Field Bouquets.’ I was blinded by a sign that described them as the best price around and with their large assortment of flowers including carnations, roses, daisies, and greens, I thought it would be a great investment for the week. This was on Monday evening. By last night, all the flowers were wilted and dead! I think these special cheap bouquets must be made with flowers that have been sitting in the store for awhile.

Well, it seems I haven’t come to a definitive conclusion. I’m going to continue my research and I’ll let you know what I come up with. Until then, happy arranging!

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