Budget Saving Tuesday Tips: Fresh Flowers

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Budget saving tips

Welcome everyone to a new feature for summer, Budget Saving Tuesday Tips!

Here I plan to offer budget saving tips for different areas of your life during this incredibly challenging time of high inflation

I hope to bring you information and inspiration to get you through!


budget saving tips

For those who are like me, I wanted to begin with fresh flowers.

I love to have flowers in our home and lately every time I go by that department of the grocery, I am shocked by the prices.

I also know there may be some of you planning events this summer…so let’s go to an expert.

A young woman, I know and respect…Katie Penfield of Katie Bug Florals.

budget saving tips

 How long have you worked with flowers…just describe your company briefly.

I started KatieBug Florals in 2015 after doing florals for friends and family on the side for a few years prior. I wanted to start a creative business that I could do out of my home with my babies by my side. Almost exactly a year after starting my business, we had our first child and I quit my full time job and became a full time business owner. Now we’ve grown to a full service wedding and event florist that takes on about 30-40 weddings a year as well as a sister company, called KatieBug Blooms, where we offer a la carte floral ordering from pre-designed collections. 

Why do you believe flowers are priced higher right now?

The high cost of florals is kind of a series of unfortunate events that led to the perfect storm of incredibly high costs. It all started with the Covid shut down that forced farms across the world to shut down production and furlough field workers, which in turn led to crops going to waste. This also caused a lot of major farms to completely close after years and years of business. When the world begin to slowly reopen, the farms left did their best to replant and harvest what they could, however, in the spring of 2021, parts of South America where large amounts of floral product is grown experienced terrible rain and flooding. This caused major farms that grow the basics, such as roses and hydrangeas, to lose more crops. Then the fall of 2021 hit and the world was reopened in many parts for large events again and the demand was too much for the supply. Many farms are still attempting to recover and regrow. There were massive shortages last fall of basic flowers like roses that we never thought we’d see a shortage on. Finally the last straw was the rise in shipping costs worldwide as well as the shortage of shipping workers. Luxury agriculture, as florals are known, became low priority on the few ships and trucks that were moving product. So here we are with incredibly inflated floral costs and unfortunately, wholesalers are telling us there is not much of an end in sight. 

budget saving tips

 If we want to have flowers at home, then which ones are the best and how do we keep them alive the longest in the house.

Flowers that tend to last the longest and are the heartiest are things like roses, hydrangeas, carnations, lilies, tulips and mums. Just make sure that you are regularly cleaning out the water and remove all foliage that would reach beneath the water line. This creates bacteria faster, then causing the flowers to die quicker. If you have the packets of floral food that often come with store bought flowers, that helps keep the water clean and the flowers fed as well.  The most important thing is to change the water often and snip the tips again every time you do. It is crazy that some stores now charge for that floral food packet.  But a touch of sugar sometimes helps as well.

Also, for hydrangeas, you can dip the ends in an aluminum chemical compound called Alum. It helps them to better absorb water.  Also lilac has a more woody stem, so it is good to smash the end of the stem with a hammer before putting them in water.

 If we want to gift flowers to someone, is it best to go with a plant or what would your recommendations be?

I think it’s depending on how long you are wanting your friend to enjoy them! A plant will give them more longevity, as long as they water it, but a fresh bouquet of flowers definitely brings the most joy, in my opinion. 


budget saving tips

Do you have budget saving recommendations for any planning a wedding or a special event?

I always start by telling my clients to think about the ways that we can get the most bang for their buck! Reusing and repurposing arrangements from ceremony to reception is a great way to get two for the price of one. We often move large arrangements from the altar onto table tops to double as centerpieces. We also move arches to behind sweetheart tables or around cake tables as an added wow for the night. There are also a lot of more affordable flowers out there that when layered together can create a high end look with a lower price tag. Carnations have always been considered sort of a cheap looking flower, however, farms are breeding new varieties that have incredible color and fullness. I’ve had people think carnations are a peony at times because of how beautiful they can be. The same goes for mums and some incredible new varieties being produced. This is why it’s important to hire a professional that knows about these things available in the market. And finally, I say to trust your florist. Due to the crazy shortages, we have had to make some massive substitutions in our orders just to secure enough product to produce events. There are still beautiful flowers available in the desired color schemes, however, you must trust your florist to make those substitutions for you and still gain the desired look. I’m always testing out new varieties and new colors to have some things in my back pocket in case of an emergency. 

budget saving tips

I want to thank Katie for helping to bring some clarification and tips to this topic…I hope I can keep flowers at home.  

If you wish to contact her, you can go to

Instagram: @katiebugflorals
FB: @katiebugflorals
Pinterest: @katiebugflorals
I have known her family for years and she is a trustworthy and impressive young woman.
I hope this first Budget Saving Tip is one that will prove helpful for you…especially if you are planning events….I know I learned a few things!
Any questions…please ask!  Thanks for being here.  Be safe and always….
budget saving tips
By Pamela Lutrell

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