$400. Say Again? You Spent How Much on Flowers?

February 13, 2013 at 11:31 PM 6 comments

My husband is adorable. Every year he remembers to order flowers for my mom and grandmother. What a good son-in-law, right? The trouble is he spends a lot of money each year shipping them out on Valentine’s Day.

Buying flowers online is expensive enough, but shipping and handling can often cost another $20 to $25, especially if you want your recipients to receive them on Valentine’s Day.

So I nearly passed out when my husband told me he spent nearly $400 buying my mom, grandmother, mother-in-law and I flowers for Valentine’s Day. Of course, each of us live at a different address and four deliveries quickly added up to over $100 worth of shipping costs.


So what’s a frugal girl to do? I’m happy that my husband cares enough about me and the rest of our family to buy flowers, but I can’t get over that price tag.

My husband says it’s only once a year and it makes everyone feel special. When I told him we could pick up flowers from the grocery store and deliver them he said it’s not the same.

So I said next year he should ship me food instead. While flowers are pretty I don’t think they’d be as enjoyable as an equally expensive box of chocolate covered strawberries.

Entry filed under: gifts, spending money. Tags: .

Any Experience with Consignment Stores? An Update: That Involves Strawberries

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Michelle  |  February 14, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    That’s super nice, but if W did that I would tell him to get me food instead also! 🙂

    • 2. One Frugal Girl  |  February 15, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      Isn’t it funny that they choose flowers, when we’d prefer food? It seems he ordered chocolate covered strawberries too. The flowers arrived the day before Valentine’s, the strawberries on the actual holiday.

  • 3. Beth  |  February 15, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    OMG I think the SAME thing when DH orders me flowers! We have a LO on the way now and I’m watching our money like a HAWK and when he told me how much he spend on flowers for me, I wanted to smack him….but I couldn’t 🙂 You can get the same flowers at the grocery store for like $19.99….or even cheaper if you wait until the day after. I’d prefer that, that if he really wanted to get me flowers, get it AFTER V-day….so when everyone else’s flowers are dying, mine are just being delivered! Or even some edible arrangements…..I know they are expensive too, but their fruits are just out of this world!

    • 4. One Frugal Girl  |  February 15, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      Congratulations on the LO Beth! I know you’ve commented on my blog a lot, but I noticed that your blog doesn’t exist anymore. Did you start a new one? And funny you mentioned the edible arrangements. It seems he bought me chocolate covered strawberries too!

  • 5. » An Update: That Involves Strawberries One Frugal Girl  |  February 15, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    […] Wednesday I wrote about my husband’s decision to buy $400 worth of flowers for Valentine’s Day. My disappointment along with the extraordinary cost was that while […]

  • 6. OneFrugalBoy  |  February 16, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    Speaking as the husband here’s my perspective.

    Social convention requires males to deliver flowers and candies to important women in their lives on Valentine’s Day. This is non-negotiable. Ignoring this convention results in admonishment and disdain. “I can’t believe he didn’t send me something on Valentine’s Day!”

    To purchase a gift and deliver it involves a choice. Do it yourself at lower cost or do it online at higher cost.

    The differentiating factor is the opportunity cost as expressed as your hourly rate because selection and delivery take time. It may be cost efficient for low wage earners to work fewer hours and spend time personalizing a gift by selecting it in person and delivering it by hand. It’s very personal and intimate.

    If you are a high wage earner it may be more cost efficient to purchase flowers and delivery services online hoping your gift recipients will cheer with glee looking at their flowers and assorted candies and will gloss over the notion that you clicked on a website for 5 minutes to purchase your “heart-felt” gift. At least that’s the hope of every ProFlowers.com customer…

    This is the balance between frugalty and sincerity that is such a challenge for high income earners to achieve.

    Take time off from work for the personalized touch and it reduces financial benefits. Stay at work, bill more time, and take advantage of the cold hand of UPS for delivery but you risk being branded inpersonal and insensitive.

    With spouses ignorant of frugality this equation is easily solved. The human touch, by all means!

    But with informed spouses sensitive to cost the balance is more difficult. Should you favor cost (and appeal to their frugality) and order online and accept the inefficient but high cost hoping they’ll ignore it or do you ignore a personality trait central to their psyche (frugality) and do something more personal while ignoring cost and risk potentially offending them. If you did something more personal (but at the cost of taking off 5 days of work to prepare) would they be disappointed by your lack of frugality?

    That’s why holidays are stressful for people with financially informed spouses… You never know which side of the see-saw you’re supposed to land on. What purchase strategy do I use so as not to offend either the frugality aspects of my spouse or their emotional psyche.

    I enjoy Thanksgiving for this exact reason. No gifts… Just east, and you’re done. All these other holidays (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc) carry with them so many other hidden costs and traps that diminish the enjoyment of the day.

    Why can’t we just be nice all the time?


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