WASHINGTON - Flower prices and delivery charges can soar around big holidays like Valentine's Day, but there are easy ways to save.
Research by Washington Consumers' CHECKBOOK shows little to no relationship between higher-priced flowers and good floral quality.
Secret admirers or star-crossed lovers can save money on Feb. 14 by choosing flowers without vases, or by picking up flowers from florists and skipping the delivery option and accompanying charge.
Also, shop around.
"Floral shops that rated really high on quality, they were just as likely to quote low prices as floral shops that don't rate very well," says Kevin Brasler, executive editor of Consumers' CHECKBOOK.
Prices vary greatly when comparing floral shops to each other and when comparing floral shops to other venues like supermarkets and street vendors.
Compared to an average price of $50 at florist shops, CHECKBOOK finds supermarket prices for a dozen long-stemmed red roses can range from $10 to $36.
Local street vendors may charge between $6 to $20. Street vendors' flowers are likely to be fresher earlier in the day.
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