Valentine's Day Flowers
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11 Tips for Saving on Valentine's Day Flowers

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Valentine's Day Flowers
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PETAL TO THE METTLE

There's absolutely no way to tell a sweetheart you got a great deal on their Valentine's Day flowers, but a little private gloating is fine. We've gathered tips to consider in lieu of the iconic but cliche dozen long-stem roses; use them and put the savings toward further spoiling him or her -- or, yes, be a true tightwad and keep the savings for a rainy day.

Order Early
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ORDER EARLY

Sending a dozen long-stem roses is a romantic gesture that might put you in the poorhouse. At least avoid the whole "day of" crunch and order (and send) flowers early. Kelly McKeone, a vice president at Teleflora, recommends that customers order by Feb. 11 to avoid a last-minute rush. At 1-800-Flowers.com, the magic date to order by is Feb. 4 -- it can actually save up to 40 percent, the company says -- and early delivery is a good idea too. Make Feb. 13 the new Feb. 14 to avoid late delivery anxiety, and go even earlier to ensure flowers are in peak bloom on the actual holiday.

Skip Roses
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BYPASS ROSES

Who says Valentine's Day flowers have to be roses? I'm infatuated with carnations -- yes, the cheapest flower out there. A bunch of white ones, and I'm in heaven. Admittedly, not everyone is like me, but at least roses can be the star within a mixed bouquet, or replaced by another flower all together. If a sweetie has a sweet spot for something else, you'll be a star for paying attention.

Choose a Plant
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CHOOSE A PLANT

A rose plant, especially the kind that features a wealth of miniature buds and is often fancifully wrapped, can send the same message -- or perhaps one even deeper: You want to shower your love with roses every day … and will be around to see this plant flourish.

Forgo a Vase
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FORGO A VASE

Most everyone has a vase already, even in the office, for those special times when flowers arrive. Send a bouquet of cut flowers instead of an arrangement.

Give a Single Rose
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GIVE A SINGLE ROSE

Simplicity has its place and, when done right, puts excess to shame. We're not talking a wilted rose from the local gas station, but from a place that sells elegant single stems that can be memorably presented with a few lines of poetry or a home-cooked meal.

Choose Silk
Courtesy of petals.com

CHOOSE SILK

Fresh flowers make a big splash, but silk flowers go the distance. Today's silk flower companies are making more realistic and affordable options. We're loving the Rose Nosegay Silk Flower Arrangement ($59) from Petals.com, for example, which will remind the recipient of you for years.

Try Porcelain
Courtesy of romanceher.com

CHOOSE PORCELAIN

A single porcelain rose stem strewn across his or her bureau or nightstand will add a decidedly romantic note to the festivities. Such an artistic keepsake can be yours for $32 through RomanceHer.com.

Go Edible
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GO EDIBLE

For those with allergies -- or a more eclectic taste -- consider an Edible Arrangement. These popular fruit baskets can be picked up locally or ordered online with options that, for the sweet tooths, include chocolate.

Shop Local
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SHOP LOCAL

Even a local grocery store will have roses on sale for Valentine's Day -- often at a good deal, and especially with use of a frequent-shopper card. (Consider a bottle of wine, too.) Other thrifty options close to home include destinations such as Trader Joe's (and its always-strong floral department), warehouse clubs, and a local florist (be a regular).

Keep It Simple
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STICK TO YOUR GUNS

If you do order online, don't be swayed. If you want flowers, buy flowers. Don't play with the options so a single purchase of flowers suddenly becomes flowers with a box of chocolates, a heart-shaped necklace, teddy bear, candle, bath products, or even a tin of popcorn.

Roses on Paper
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ROSES ON PAPER

Consider the old-fashioned route: Making a Valentine's card -- with flowers -- from scratch. You can cheat and send a virtual card, but make sure the flowers are prominent. This one's an investment in time more than money, and how romantic is that?