Bodega flowers

Photo: Courtesy of Matthew Mead

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Skip the Middleman
Many florists receive their flowers directly from farms within two days of being cut (which explains their higher price). The premade bouquets that you see in supermarkets, however, are assembled by a third party in large plants off-site and spend more time in transit. And often, old flowers are mixed with new ones, says Waga Perez. To get more flowers for your money and guarantee their freshness, buy single-variety bunches that are more likely to have been picked at the same time. Carnations, which can seem cheap in an arrangement, look like luxurious, ruffled fabric when grouped alone in a tight cluster, says Waga Perez. Not to mention they're readily available all year, are affordable (about 30 cents a stem) and can last up to two weeks. Daisies, pincushion chrysanthemums and hydrangeas (a flower easily grown in greenhouses) are also hardy, budget-friendly options, says Mead.